Press "Enter" to skip to content

MLS Season Opener: Los Angeles Ranked Best City for Soccer Fans

Soccer is the fastest-growing major professional sport in the United States and fans are flocking to the “beautiful game” in record numbers because of it.

Major League Soccer (MLS) is expanding at a rapid rate and drew over 10 million spectators in 2022, setting a new record. Individual records were also shattered last season as expansion team Charlotte FC broke the league record for largest standalone attendance for a single match when 73,019 fans watched the club’s inaugural game against five-time MLS Cup champion LA Galaxy on March 5, 2022.

That record is expected to be broken again this season, when the same LA Galaxy club faces inner-city rival LAFC at the Rose Bowl on July 4, in the 19th edition of the famed El Trafico competition between the two teams.

MLS’s newest expansion team, Saint Louis City SC, is off to a perfect start to their inaugural season, defeating Charlotte FC 3-1 in their first-ever home game in front of a sellout crowd of 22,243 at City Park.

“This is a community with soccer at its heart, and that doesn’t happen everywhere in MLS,” said MLS commissioner Don Garber about the city of St. Louis. “We built a fan following and supporter culture in many cities across this country that had to learn about the game. In this city we delivered the game and next generation of what MLS is and can be.”

Garber is correct. Soccer fandom has begun to spread across the country and America is gaining newfound respect and admiration for the game both on a domestic and international level.

As MLS has successfully expanded into new markets like St. Louis, Charlotte, Austin, Miami, Nashville, Cincinnati, Orlando, and Atlanta in recent years, it begged the question: which city has the best soccer fans in the United States?

Personal finance website, WalletHub, crunched the numbers for us and found out. They compared nearly 300 U.S. cities with at least one college or professional soccer team across five divisions comprising 52 different key metrics. Some of those data metrics ranged from the price of season tickets to individual fan experience, to championship wins.

Before we get into the results of WalletHub’s study, it’s important to note that much of the credit in soccer’s growth and acceptance in America is due in large part to the success of the U.S. Women’s National Team. As the men’s team has struggled in international competitions over the last few decades, the women’s team has thrived, becoming the most successful team in international women’s soccer history winning four Women’s World Cup titles, four Olympic gold medals, and nine CONCACAF championships over the last 30 years.

Now for the results:

Our very own city of Angels, Los Angeles, was selected as the best soccer city in America over nearly 300 other cities in the study. L.A. finished over five points higher in their total score ranking of 56.87 than second-place Seattle, and more than six points higher than third-place Portland.

As one of just two cities in the country that have two different MLS teams, Los Angeles has a total of six MLS Cup championships between the LA Galaxy and LAFC. The latter is the reigning MLS cup champions and are among the favorites to hoist the trophy again this season.

Both teams, located just 12 miles apart, regularly sell out their stadiums and have some of the most loyal and ardent supporter groups in the country. Their decorated history, superstar players, franchise value, and popularity were just many of the reasons Los Angeles was selected as the best city for soccer in the United States.

The list of the top 20 best soccer cities in America is below:

Top 20 Cities for Soccer Fans
1. Los Angeles, CA11. Columbus, OH
2. Seattle, WA12. Chicago, IL
3. Portland, OR13. Boston, MA
4. Orlando, FL14. Miami, FL
5. Kansas City, MO15. Houston, TX
6. Washington, DC16. Philadelphia, PA
7. New York, NY17. Cary, NC
8. Atlanta, GA18. Denver, CO
9. Salt Lake City, UT19. Dallas, TX
10. St. Paul, MN20. San Jose, CA
Source: WalletHub

In order to determine the best cities for soccer fans in the country, WalletHub compiled a list of 294 cities across five divisions: MLS, NWSL, USL, and both Men’s and Women’s college soccer. Their methodology was comprised of 52 different, yet relevant metrics, which were given a weighted point system. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale.

In order to determine the weight for each division, WalletHub surveyed the top performing teams in each division based on Facebook likes and social media popularity. They then determined each city’s weighted average across all metrics and calculated their overall score to determine the rankings. They also ranked the cities based on population size as well.

For a full list of all the 294 best soccer cities in America, including by population size, check out WalletHub’s full study here.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

Source: NBC Los Angeles

Be First to Comment

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    %d bloggers like this: