How much does where you live matter as a sports fan? The short answer is: It depends.
If you're an Alabama football fan, there's no better place to live than Tuscaloosa. If you're a Red Sox fan, there's no worse place to live than New York City.
But what if you were a free agent, so to speak? What if you loved sports, but didn't have a specific affiliation to any team? You're moving to a new city. What city would have the most to offer you as a sports fan? What city would give you the best overall experience?
That is what we're here to find out. We took 25 of the best writers from Bleacher Report and beyond to objectively look at their cities and come up with a ranking. To get a better understanding of the categories and grading criteria, click here.
Cleveland comes in at No. 18.
Cleveland is the only city in America that can be described as “the little engine that could.” No other American city has experienced a longer championship drought in major sports, yet the fans never stop believing and never stop supporting.
That’s just the way Cleveland is built. Finally, it looks as though the “Mistake on the Lake” is back on the upswing and ready to get its tiny engine powered over the hill.
LeBron James made the popular decision this time and decided to return to northeast Ohio. The Browns drafted Johnny Manziel, and the Indians are in the thick of the postseason hunt. Let’s not forget the city’s recent resurgence in downtown development and the fact it was just awarded the 2016 Republican National Convention.
Things are looking up on the North Coast.
Yes, the city which has endured so much heartache may finally be in position to deliver some of that medicine to others. So what makes Cleveland rank No. 18 among America’s best sport cities? Let’s take a look at all of the determining factors.