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Pittsburgh ranks as 4th best American city for sports in recent survey

File photo by Ed Thompson

This article is written as a special for Pittsburgh Soccer Now, by guest contributor Robert Bell. 

Is Pittsburgh the 4th Best American City for Sports?

There is no doubt that the people of Pittsburgh love their sports. But how does their support compare to that seen in other American cities? The WalletHub site noted recently that the sports market in the US is expected to reach an overall value of over $80 billion in 2021.

They carried out a survey to find out how over 400 American cities ranks in terms of the popularity of sports there. Pittsburgh came in 4th, behind only Boston, New York, and Los Angeles. Behind Pittsburgh came Philadelphia, Chicago, and Washington DC. 

The Full Results

This survey looked at over 50 key metrics in the country’s five biggest sports; football, basketball, baseball, hockey, and soccer. Boston came out top with a score of 54.25. This was thanks for first place finishes in baseball and hockey. However, it was 14th in soccer, 2nd in football, and 4th in basketball

New York scored 48.15 and was top in baseball. Los Angeles got 47.2 points and was classed as the nation’s best city for soccer. The survey team used a range of information from sources such as the U.S. Census Bureau, ESPN data, CBS Sports, NBA, The Harris Poll, Pro Football Hall of Fame, Minor League Baseball, and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum to pull together their numbers. 

A Look at Pittsburgh’s Numbers

The score for Pittsburgh was an impressive 43.6 this put the city well ahead of 5th place Philadelphia, which scored an overall 40.34.

In terms of football, the success and huge support of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL made this the best football city in the US. Boston was in second place in this category. Interestingly, Green Bay was 3rd for football but way down in 27th spot overall.

Pittsburgh was down in 120th place for basketball, in the city’s worst performance. There is a strong college basketball scene here, but poor performances in the year before this survey and the lack of an NBA franchise hurts its score. Basketball fans here are left with choosing the best betting apps on to enjoy the sport.

Landing in 11th place in baseball seems a little on the low side for a city with such a strong history in the sport. To be fair, the Pirates are currently suffering from the longest World Series appearance drought in the MLB from among the teams that have appeared in it at least once. However, there is hope that the Pirates get back to winning ways soon.

File photo courtesy Pittsburgh Penguins

The result for hockey was a lot better, with Pittsburgh claiming 3rd place in this sport. The Penguins are one of the most successful teams in NHL history and just a few years ago they were the first back-to-back Stanley Cup champions in almost two decades. So this is a well-deserved 3rd place.

As for soccer, Pittsburgh was a lowly 33rd. The Hounds will be hoping to change that in the near future. With the growth and recent success of the club, there is a good chance the city is a lot higher in the next survey of this type.

A Different Report Puts Pittsburgh in 8th Place

A different report on the Bleacher Report site names Pittsburgh as the 8th best American city for sports. They gave the city good rankings for issues such as star power, media, and history.

However, it ranks lower for fan passion and recent success.

This report is from 2014 and has Boston in top place followed by Los Angeles.

Could Pittsburgh’s jump to 4th in a more recent survey suggest that the city is becoming better in terms of sport?

Soccer has definitely grown here in the last few years and the Penguins have enjoyed some success since this first report was made.

PItt MF Michael Sullivan

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