Power Ranking the MLB Fanbases, Spring Training Edition

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Power Ranking the MLB Fanbases, Spring Training Edition
The Boston Red Sox have sold out 793 straight home games. That's a North American professional sports record. Sue Beyery/The Express-Times

Above all else, MLB teams strive to cultivate huge, passionate fanbases. These 2013 power rankings weigh quantity of supporters just as heavily as their intensity.

Clubs understandably put an emphasis on their number of supporters. More people means a greater demand for merchandise and rising profits.

The overall strength of a fanbase is determined by other qualities, too.

The best ones always have optimistic expectations, either improvement from one season to the next or—at the very least—sustained excellence. It's a "chicken or the egg" phenomenon, as you'll notice that most highly ranked teams in this slideshow have enjoyed recent triumphs on the field.

We'll gauge confidence using Bleacher Report polls. Articles from our "Season Preview" and "Preseason Evaluation" series asked readers to predict how the standings would look come season's end. Voters' sentiments revealed a lot, as did the varying sizes of the samples.

Beyond that, home attendance stats speak volumes about commitment. Major league stadiums have unqiue seating capacities, so focusing on raw totals wouldn't be helpful. Instead, each slide specifies a rank (first through 30th) based on what percentage of seats were filled last summer.

And thirdly, diehard fans with team colors running through their veins felt the urge to campaign for spots in the MLB Fan Cave. Earlier this year, their peers could show support through unlimited voting. We can see which fanbases rallied behind their candidates by categorizing the 30 finalists by team.

With spring training in full swing, here is how they compare.

*All B/R voting totals current as of Feb. 21.

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