The Top Ten Best Fanbases In Pro Sports Right Now

Ian ZymarakisSenior Analyst IMay 22, 2008

Since I recently wrote an article about the top-10 worst fans in sports, I thought it was only right that I did a piece on the 10 best fanbases.

Here is that list:

10. Dallas Mavericks Fans

The Mavericks have boasted the best attendance/capacity percentage out of any team in the NBA every season since 2002-03.

The entrance of owner Mark Cuban brought a brand new fan base that showed as much compassion and intensity as the team's owner had—this season, reaching an astonishing 105.7 percent capacity for each home game.

The American Airlines Center is one of the loudest arenas in the NBA, if not the loudest.

9. Buffalo Sabres Fans

A surprise entrant onto the list, Sabres fans are some of the most loyal in the NHL, many of whom come from Canada nightly to watch the Sabres' home games.

This season, the Sabres finished second in the NHL in both total home attendance average and percent capacity (109.4).

All this for a team that missed the playoffs this past season and didn't play that great hockey until after the midway point.

8. Toronto FC Fans

For a sport that still doesn't have a huge viewing popularity in the United States, it has definitely found a home in Canada. In just its second season in the MLS, Toronto FC has been a financial success thus far, selling out every game they've hosted. 

Toronto FC had to cap its season ticket sales this season at 16,000, which is an MLS-high. The sea of red at BMO Field is something that needs to be seen; the fans in Toronto are very loyal to their team and gives the stadium a feel of an English Premier League game.

Fans rain red streamers and other things down on the opposing players whenever they head over to take a corner kick.

Even without a big-name player on the team, Toronto FC has been, huge financially—and a big asset to the MLS.

7. Montreal Canadiens Fans

One of the original six teams in the NHL, the Habs to this day have arguably the biggest following of any NHL team. The Bell Centre, where the Canadiens play, has the largest seating capacity in the entire NHL—and, good or bad, Canadiens fans go to games.

The Canadiens had the largest average home attendance this season, with 100 percent capacity.

Fans seem to live and die based on how the Canadiens perform and follow the team almost religiously.

I guess that's what happens when you play in a hockey haven, as many see it.

6. Washington Redskins Fans

The largest stadium in the NFL also boasts one of the largest capacity percentages of any team in the NFL.

This past season, the Redskins were first in the NFL by averaging just under 89,000 fans per home game and second with a 110 percent capacity.

The most loyal Redskin fans are the Hogettes—some of the best fans in pro sports, even though they're men wearing dresses.

Good or bad, Redskins fans are always there in full force, supporting their team.

5. Boston Red Sox Fans

Love their fans or hate their fans...while many people around the country feel there are too many Sox bandwagoners, nobody can deny how much loyalty comes with a diehard Red Sox fan.

They do play in one of the smallest stadiums in baseball, but Red Sox fans pack Fenway Park to the max and then some. In 2007, the Red Sox averaged 101.4 percent capacity each home game.

For the 86 years that Red Sox fans didn't see a World Series title, they would always say, "our time will come eventually," and it finally did.

Maybe it was a return on being so loyal, even through all those years that the "curse" might've kept the Red Sox and their fans from reaching the top of the mountain.

4. Calgary Flames Fans

When teams make the playoffs they typically hand out t-shirts to every fan coming to the game so the entire arena is sporting the same color.

In Calgary, it isn't just the playoffs that brings a one-colored fan unity throughout the arena.

The thing that is amazing is, instead of red t-shirts, almost every fan at the arena, during every game, has a red Flames jersey.

Calgary Flames fan support is so strong that, even with teams like the Maple Leafs and Canadiens and Sabres and their loyal fans, I give the Flames fans the top spot among NHL fans and Canadian fans in general.

Last season, the Flames ranked first in the NHL with an amazing 112.4 percent capacity.

Good or bad, Flames fans will always be out in full force—with their red Flames jersies, no less.

3. Green Bay Packers Fans

If you're looking to get season tickets for the Green Bay Packers, you'll end up in a waiting list so long you may die with plenty of names still ahead of you.

The Packers, with all their rich football history, have one of the biggest and best fan bases in all of sports. Even in a small town like Green Bay, fans come out in droves.

The most amazing thing is how the Packers always sell out, even if the weather outside is 10 degrees.

Last season, the Packers ranked first in the NFL with a 116.5 percent capacity, which is hard to even fathom.

Even with the retirement of town hero Brett Favre, Packers fans will continue to come out and support this team.

You know the fans are loyal when they are willing to pay yearly to be on a waiting list for season tickets they will most likely never receive.

2. Chicago Cubs Fans 

The lovable losers in sports, Chicago Cubs fans have gone 100 years without a World Series title, and that stretch could go on a lot longer before the Cubs finally win one.

The fans, however, are some of, if not the, most loyal fans in sports.

Each year they come into opening day saying "this is our year," and, more often than not, it turns out that it isn't their year, after all.

Even with that, the Cubs have one of the best attendance figures in pro sports. In 2007, the Cubs finished second in the MLB with a 97.7 percent capacity.

That is amazing, especially given a large portion of Cubs home games are during the day—a work or school day, no less.

No Cubs fan can be accused of jumping on the bandwagon because they haven't won anything since the year the Ford Model-T was put on the market.

Keep being loyal, Cubs fans: One day a championship will come, and, when it does, the rest of the sports world will salute you all rather then hiss or boo.

1. Manchester United Fans

When one thinks of loyal fans, not many here in the United States even consider fans across the Atlantic, who are soccer hooligans.

But on this list, they get recognized.

With that said, the No. 1 sports fans right now, in my eyes, are fans of the Manchester United Football Club—or soccer team, for us Americans.

Manchester United fans travel in droves to matches seemingly eveywhere. A great example is yesterday's Champions League final in Moscow, which saw an absurd amount of Man U fans that were there.

Manchester United fans are so loyal, they would fight to the death, it seems, on behalf of their team.

Old Trafford remains a sports landmark, and is always filled to capacity when a Manchester United game is taking place.

Don't think Man U fans are the best? Don't say that to an actual Man U fan in England, or you could be in a world of trouble.

A great example is from the movie "Euro Trip," which shows a group of Man U fans on a bus arrive in Paris, spot a man in a France jersey, and then chase him through the streets.

To me, that is what a Manchester United fan is—and that is why they are the No. 1 fans in sports right now.


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