MLB Fans: Ranking 1-30
I've had arguments with friends of mine (who don't root for the same team as me) over which of our favorite squads has better fans. It's an argument that a lot of people have had, but one that doesn't have a definite answer.
I've looked at attendance stats over the past five seasons (current season included) and tried to figure out which teams do, in fact, have the best fans.
I judged the attendance portion of my rankings based on percentage of the stadium filled as opposed to average attendance. The reason being that teams with large stadiums obviously have large average attendances, but there are a bunch of empty seats. I feel that percentage filled is a better judge of how good a teams' fans are.
So, I averaged where each team ranked over the last five seasons and got my preliminary rankings, then I took into account how good the teams have been over the past five seasons. If a team has been good but attendance has been low, the teams' rank lowers.
After adjusting my rankings accordingly, I looked up TV ratings for each team and adjusted my rankings one final time. So, to the best of my ability, I have ranked all 30 MLB fans.
Note: Attendance Score is the added totals of where each team ranked in attendance over the past five years. The lower the score, the better.
30. Miami Marlins
Attendance Score: 115
Is two World Series wins in the franchise's first 19 years not good enough?
Attendance is up because of the new ballpark, but that doesn't make up for years of empty stadiums.
29. Tampa Bay Rays
Attendance Score: 117
The Rays didn't even sell out their playoff games last year. Even the players have spoken out complaining about empty seats during the middle of a playoff race.
A new stadium in Tampa instead of St. Pete would likely increase attendance, but as of now, the stadium remains empty.
28. Toronto Blue Jays
Attendance Score: 139
Baseball north of the border just doesn't draw fans. Depending on the opponent, the Rogers Centre can get close to full, but it doesn't happen often.
The Blue Jays have a bright future, so expect to see more fans in the seats soon.
27. Arizona Diamondbacks
Attendance Score: 113
Like Tampa Bay, the Diamondbacks didn't sell out their playoff games last year; that's inexcusable. Baseball in the desert just isn't working out.
26. Oakland Athletics
Attendance Score: 135
If the A's got a better stadium, attendance would probably go up. Unfortunately, they are stuck in a football stadium patiently waiting for their new home to come.
25. Washington Nationals
Attendance Score: 92
Now that the team is good, attendance should go up.
Washington sports fans are fair-weather fans, and if the team plays well, they'll pay attention.
24. Baltimore Orioles
Attendance Score: 135
The interleague series against the Phillies at Camden Yards says all that needs to be said about Orioles fans. They were severely outnumbered by Phillies fans, and the stadium was as full as it's been all year.
23. Cleveland Indians
Attendance Score: 125
I struggle to figure out why Cleveland's attendance has been so low when they used to have some of the best fans in baseball. Maybe the city is losing faith in its teams.
22. Seattle Mariners
Attendance Score: 116
Seattle is a good sports town, but the Mariners haven't been drawing big crowds. If the team begins to show some promise, then the fans will start showing up.
21. Kansas City Royals
It's been 26 years since Kansas City has made the postseason. The franchise seems to be headed in the right direction, so attendance should go up in the next few years.
20. Pittsburgh Pirates
Attendance Score: 111
It's been 19 years since the Pirates have made the playoffs, and they have had a losing record in each of those 19 years.
The Bucs are the third most popular professional sports team in town, but they do have their share of loyal followers.
19. Atlanta Braves
Attendance Score: 92
For whatever reason, baseball just doesn't draw in the South. Atlanta has had consistently good teams, but the fans don't show up.
18. San Diego Padres
Attendance Score: 91
The Padres have never won a World Series, and the fans are getting frustrated. In fact, no San Diego sports team has ever won a championship.
Attendance has gone down in recent years, but I can't really blame them for not wanting to go see their team lose.
17. Chicago White Sox
Attendance Score: 87
Chicago is a town dominated by Cubs fans, so it's impressive that the Sox are even this high on the list.
The South Side gets its fair share of fans, but they will always be Chicago's second favorite baseball team.
16. Houston Astros
Attendance Score: 80
What killed the Astros on this list is their television ratings which rank among the bottom five in the league.
When the team is good, the fans show up; when the team is struggling (like they are now), there are a lot of empty seats.
15. Texas Rangers
Attendance Score: 79
The Rangers barely edged out their in-state rivals. Texas has been towards the top of the league in attendance over the past few years because of the team's success.
Although the fans don't fill the park on a regular basis, I've given them some slack because of the tremendous heat they face every time they attend a game.
14. Colorado Rockies
Attendance Score: 71
Rockies fans got recognition during the 2007 playoffs when they rocked Coors Field (pun intended).
Denver is a great sports town, and people often forget about the baseball fans in that city.
13. Cincinnati Reds
Attendance Score: 97
Cincinnati is a baseball town. Attendance is pretty low, but the Reds are towards the top of the league in television ratings.
A town with such a rich baseball history gets the benefit of the doubt.
12. Los Angeles Dodgers
Attendance Score: 59
Watching Dodgers games, it seems like the majority of the stadium is empty, but that's because the place is so huge.
Yes there are a lot of empty seats, but the fans who are there make their presence felt.
11. Minnesota Twins
Attendance Score: 53
Attendance in Minnesota has gone way up since the Twins moved into Target Field, but even in the MetroDome the fans showed up.
We'll see what happens to attendance in the next few years.
10. New York Mets
Attendance Score: 52
A bad team and uncertainty in the front office have kept Mets fans away from the park in the past few seasons, but they still have a solid fanbase who are starting to find their way back to the ballpark.
9. Detroit Tigers
Attendance Score: 43
Despite economic turmoil, fans in Detroit have still found a way to get to Tigers games.
Detroit is one of the best sports towns in the country, and they love their Tigers.
8. Los Angeles Angels
Attendance Score: 37
Typically thought of as the other Los Angeles team, the Angles actually have better fans than the Dodgers.
With the thunder sticks given out in the postseason, don't expect to be able to hear anything the day after attending a playoff game in Anaheim.
7. Milwaukee Brewers
Attendance Score: 37
Milwaukee is the smallest market in baseball, but the fans are among the best.
The franchise has never won a World Series since moving from Seattle in 1970, so the fans are hungry for a ring.
6. New York Yankees
Attendance Score: 37
It's easy to be a Yankees fan. 27 World Series wins, by far the most all time.
There are front runners all over the country who root for the Yankees, but real Yankees fans from New York are for real.
Ticket prices keep some fans away, but for the most part, Yankee Stadium is just about full every night.
5. San Francisco Giants
Attendance Score: 30
San Francisco is the most underrated baseball town in the country.
Giants fans have been loyal to a team that hadn't won since coming to San Francisco in 1958, until they finally did it in 2010.
4. St. Louis Cardinals
Attendance Score: 34
St. Louis is a baseball town through and through. The fans are extremely knowledgeable about the game and appreciate talent when they see it.
The sea of red in St. Louis is one of the best sights in baseball.
3. Chicago Cubs
Attendance Score: 19
It's been 103 years since the Cubs have won a World Series. 103 years. Yet, the fans of Chicago still head to Wrigley Field to cheer for the Cubbies.
If the Cubs ever win the World Series, I expect them to have the most fans that have ever attended a championship parade.
2. Philadelphia Phillies
Attendance Score: 8
The Phillies are currently in the middle of the longest sellout streak for a team with a stadium that seats over 40,000.
Philadelphia fans get a bad reputation, but the truth is they are extremely passionate. Go to a Phillies game and you will learn just how knowledgeable these fans are about the sport.
1. Boston Red Sox
Attendance Score: 9
What put the Sox ahead of the Phillies is the fact that Boston has set a professional sports record with well over 700 consecutive sellouts. What makes that more impressive is that the Red Sox went without a World Series victory from 1918-2004.