Ranking fan bases can be a distinctly arduous task, given that many fans believe they represent the truest essence of a die-hard fan.
However, there are teams whose fans go above and beyond fandom. They sell out arenas, cheer constantly and embrace their home team with a certain aura that sometimes simply can’t be measured.
Across the sporting world, each fanbase has distinct characteristics. The Oakland Raiders have the Black Hole, Red Wings fans have their Legend of the Octopus and Yankee Stadium has its Roll Call.
This list will only cover professional sports because adding colleges could add a number of teams to the list.
Surely fans will want to see their team crack the top 10, but these are the best fan bases in sports right now.
The city of Portland has embraced the Trail Blazers from their inception since they were the only major team in town until the start of the Portland Timbers.
Regardless, Portland boasts a number of die-hard NBA fans and they have been cheering for Rip City since 1970.
Although they haven’t won a title since 1977, “Blazermania” has been full throttle since the days of Bill Walton.
The Blazers held the record for the most consecutive sellouts, with 814 from 1977 to 1995, but that mark was broken in 2011.
Portland may have been 10 games under .500, but you wouldn’t have known it by the attendance numbers. They ranked second in the NBA, by averaging 20,496 attendees at each home game.
Not to mention, the Trail Blazers also feature the “Free Throw Guy”, who sits behind the basket and attempts to distract the opposition while they are on the charity stripe.
Portland has some great basketball fans, there’s no doubt about it.
For a Pacific Northwest city with not a whole lot of optimism in regards to sports, Seahawks’ fans sure show up when it counts.
After the departure of the Sonics and the constant inferiority of the Mariners, the Hawks have been the one constant in a tumultuous sports world.
Although they may have not been in contention for Super Bowls, the Hawks have sold out 77 consecutive games, which dates back to 2002.
Seattle fans are known for being loud, almost obnoxiously loud if you’re the opposing offense. The Hawks have forced 111 false start penalties since 2005, which ranks first in the NFL.
Seahawks’ fans take pride in the boisterous amount of noise they can produce while cheering on their squad. CenturyLink Field can produce some impactful noise, as the stadium has reached 112 decibels, which is close to the sound of a Boeing 747.
The Hawks Nest is filled with some of the best fans in the NFL, and opposing teams should dread having to make the trip to Seattle.
They haven’t been the best team in baseball since 1908, yet the Cubs still own Chicago.
The Cubs are loveable losers, yet their fans still flock to games and show them the same love and admiration as if they were the best in the league.
Chicago ranks eighth in attendance this season, bringing in 37,427 fans per game, according to ESPN. They may be 14.5 games out of first, but Cub fans still are eager to see if Bryan LaHair can strike out again.
The Cubs came in as the fourth most popular team in 2011, according to the Harris poll and their future is not as bleak as in years past.
With Theo Epstein running the club and youngsters like Starlin Castro already making an impact, Chicago could be in for an upswing in a few years.
But, the 104-year old curse still looms over their head, and until they can prove otherwise, they will still be loveable losers.
It’s all about history when it comes to the Celtics. They boast the most championship banners, with 17, and feature enough current talent to still be a huge draw for fans.
The Celtics also have some of the most intelligent and loyal fans out of any team. They were rewarded in 2008, when management acquired the big three and raised their most recent banner.
Nonetheless, the Celtics only ranked 11th in attendance this season, which was due in large part to their slow start. Their fans should be celebrated however for cheering Rajon Rondo, even if he begins taking jump shots in the fourth quarter of a close game.
When the place does fill up, it is a nightmare for incoming teams, and even the Celtics’ players are able to feed off of the crowd’s energy.
Celtics fans have been through a whirlwind with the current crop of players and have seen Paul Pierce mature into a true superstar, but with age setting in, their team could be in for a real transformation.
It will be interesting to see how the Celtics handle the coming years, but one thing is for certain, Boston fans will be filling the Boston Garden regardless.
With a name like “Hockeytown”, you would expect the fans to be die-hard.
And they certainly are when it comes to the Red Wings, as they have some of the best fans in the NHL. Detroit ranked third in the league in overall attendance, averaging 18,884 fans per game this season.
With legendary antics including throwing octopi onto the ice for good luck, as well as playing Journey when the team is winning, the Red Wings play in front of some crazed fans.
The Red Wings have been one of the most successful teams in the NHL for years, as they boast 11 Stanley Cups to date.
The thing about the Red Wings is their national exposure, as it is increasingly common to encounter a Detroit fan while outside of Detroit.
With the proliferation of fans throughout the country, Detroit is undoubtedly one of the best fanbases in sports.
The Red Sox nation may be upset with only placing fifth on the list.
But the Sox have been great recently and that alone has caused an abundance of bandwagon fans to don Boston hats.
True Red Sox fans are certainly some of the best in the MLB, but with the influx of late-to-join fans, the overall fanbase has suffered.
Look no further than the fact that the Red Sox have sold out every game at Fenway since 2003, yet don’t even rank in the top 20 in attendance at away games.
Nonetheless, Boston fans had to suffer through the torture of an 86-year old curse, which was finally righted in 2004.
Beantown has some of the most loyal fans in the game, as they have suffered through watching their team absorb the astronomical salaries of players like John Lackey and Daisuke Matsuzaka.
The BoSox ended the curse and their fans remained loyal through the bad times. That is hard to say about a lot of teams, but Fenway sure does feature some of the best in the MLB.
Forget the fact that they draw more celebrities than an average Hollywood party; the Lakers truly own Tinseltown.
With a star-studded history featuring the likes of Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant, the Lake Show has been dominating Los Angeles since their move from Minneapolis.
They boast more than just celebrities as well, as the 'Average Joe' also seems to bleed purple and gold.
If there was one story to describe the obsession fans have over the Lakers and their head man Kobe Bryant, consider this:
According to Rick Reilly, Bryant encountered a man who had the exact same tattoos as him, right down to the names of his daughters and wife. That was in Ohio, not even in Los Angeles.
The Lakers ranked eighth in the league in attendance and were second to only the Heat, in attendance on the road. They sold out 99.9 percent of their games this season.
Aided by a front office that is willing to make transactions in order to produce a quality product, Lakers fans have the luxury of seemingly always cheering for a contender.
With a stranglehold on all things LA, Lakers fans hold the title for most devoted fans in the NBA.
Although they finished towards the bottom in the standings, Toronto fans still packed the Air Canada Centre as if it was Game Seven of the Stanley Cup.
With a 103.7 sellout rate at home, and averaging 18,658 fans per game, the Maple Leafs had the luxury of playing in front of the best fans in the NHL.
They have the longest Stanley Cup drought in the league, as they have not hoisted the cup since 1967, yet their fans still flock to games.
The worst part about the whole thing is how badly their fans are treated. The Maple Leafs were ranked 120th out of a possible 122 professional teams in an ESPN survey about rewarding fans.
Regardless of surveys, the Maple Leafs are able to sell out games constantly and have a seemingly endless wait list for season tickets.
With their team’s futility, Toronto fans show up night in and night out and they are loyal and eager to support their team.
That’s exactly why they are they hold the top spot for fans in the NHL.
They may be considered the evil empire but when it comes to the MLB, the Yankees boast some serious fans. Their methods may be cruel and unusual, but the Yankees are still on top when it comes to fandom.
Their fans support the team, as they rank second in overall attendance this season, at 38,849 fans per game . Given how expensive a single ticket is at Yankee Stadium, fans come out in groves when the Bombers are playing on the road.
With the Bleacher Creatures occupying the right field fence and being a nuisance for anyone who may enter the area, the Yankees do have some seriously die-hard fans.
It makes it easier to support a team when they win as often as New York does, but much like the Lakers, the Yankees feature an aggressive front office that will win at any cost.
The Yankees play in front of the best fans in baseball, and there’s no denying that the rich baseball history in New York has something to do with it.
A true count of Yankee fans may be inflated because of bandwagon fans, but the true fans are as real as they come.
Let’s just say this: If you wanted to purchase season tickets for the Packers, you would be waiting behind 96,000 others.
The reason that Packers fans rank No. 1 on this list is not because of their recent string of success, or even because of the famed Lambeau Leap.
It’s because the Packers represent the city of Green Bay, and their fans embrace their team and support them regardless of their win-loss record.
The Packers are unique in the fact they are publicly owned, and are the only sports franchise in town. When the Pack are playing, everything in the city shuts down and 70,000 people fill Lambeau Field to cheer on their team.
In freezing temperatures and with snow filling the stadium, fans flock to the stadium each week to support their squad. Packers’ fans are the most loyal and dedicated fan base in all of professional sports.
Even on the road, there is guaranteed to be a number of cheeseheads in attendance.
With a reportedly 955-year wait for season tickets, it is not unlikely for Packers’ fans to bequeath their season tickets in a will.
That is the epitome of Green Bay fandom, in no other city does a team so properly represent its fans.
Packers’ fans are the best in sports, and season tickets sure seem like they would be worth the wait.