Los Angeles, Baltimore, Philadelphia, or Boston?

With sports fans across the nation paying premium prices to watch their favorite teams live, a new report reveals 2023’s Best Sports Cities to help fans get the most bang for their buck while enjoying games they love.

“With inflation driving the average NFL ticket price to nearly $400 this year, fans are paying even more to have the best experience while cheering on their favorite team. Luckily with some planning and self-discipline, you can still enjoy a live game without breaking the bank,” said Cassandra Happe, WalletHub analyst.

Los Angeles Ranks

Los Angeles is the best large city in the country for sports fans, according to a new report by the personal-finance website WalletHub, which compared 397 cities across more than 50 key metrics to help sports fans find the best places to enjoy their favorite sports without breaking the bank. The report also ranked Green Bay, WI, as the best midsize city for sports and Clemson, SC, as the best small sports city.

“Los Angeles is the best sports city overall, especially for basketball and soccer fans. This city is home to two NBA teams, the Lakers and the Clippers, which have a combined 37 division titles since 1949 and 17 league championships since 1946,” said Cassandra Happe, WalletHub analyst. “Since 2002, LA’s MLS teams, the LA Galaxy and Los Angeles FC, have won their conference championship 10 times and the MLS championship on six occasions. With such outstanding records, it is no wonder that Los Angeles topped the list of sports cities. There’s a lot to cheer for.”

Here are the Rankings:

Best Midsize Sports Cities
1. Green Bay, WI
2. Buffalo, NY
3. Glendale, AZ
4. Salt Lake City, UT
5. Ann Arbor, MI
6. Durham, NC
7. Baton Rouge, LA
8. Tallahassee, FL
9. South Bend, IN
10. Fargo, ND


Best Small Sports Cities
1. Clemson, SC
2. Tuscaloosa, AL
3. West Point, NY
4. Fayette, MS
5. State College, PA
6. Stillwater, OK
7. Buies Creek, NC
8. Morgantown, WV
9. Princeton, NJ
10. Stanford, CA


For the cities with a midsize population, Green Bay, WI, had the highest rating, thanks to the success of the Green Bay Packers in the NFL. In the small cities category, Clemson, SC, took the top spot with their highly accessible Memorial Stadium and some of the most engaged college football fans in the country. “When people think of sports cities, it can be easy to place one city above the other because they have a strong professional team making headlines,” Happe said. “While professional sports may attract a bigger audience, there are strong fan bases nationwide for semi-professional and college teams across various sports, too. Clemson is a great example of a city with a strong fan base that provides an exceptional fan experience despite lacking a professional sports team.”

The overall fan experience and cost can play a big role in how Americans decide to catch the action from their favorite teams. Technology has given sports fans more options for watching the game and engaging with other fans worldwide, yet serious fans still prefer to catch the action live. “Fans are always searching for ways to enhance their gameday experience, which is spurring sports venues to improve their facilities to keep fans coming back for more,” Happe said. “These enhancements come with a price for fans, though. With inflation driving the average NFL ticket price to nearly $400 this year, fans are paying even more to have the best experience while cheering on their favorite team. Luckily with some planning and self-discipline, you can still enjoy a live game without breaking the bank.”

Tips for Saving Money on Gameday

  • Look for Promotions and Deals: Sports venues frequently offer promotions, such as discounted tickets, family packages, or group rates. Keep an eye on their websites and social media for these deals. You may also want to consider using a resale platform like StubHub or SeatGeek to find discounted tickets from season ticket holders who can’t attend the game.
  • Tailgate or Pre-Game: Tailgating can be a fun and cost-effective way to enjoy a meal and drinks before the game; just be sure to check the venue’s tailgating policies. Some venues offer discounts on concessions and merchandise during the first hour or two after the gates open. You can also stop by a nearby restaurant for a bite and a drink at a lower price before you head into the stadium.
  • Plan Your Parking: If you must drive to the game, explore nearby parking options that might be cheaper than the official parking lots. If the sports venue is accessible by public transportation, it can be more affordable and convenient than paying for parking.
  • Stay Hydrated: Buying bottled water or soft drinks at the venue can be expensive. Bring your reusable water bottle and refill it at water fountains, if allowed under the stadium’s policies.
  • Limit Merchandise Purchases: Sports merchandise can be expensive. If you want to buy team gear, consider shopping at stores or online retailers that offer discounts or promotions.
  • Check for Special Event Nights: Some teams have special theme nights or promotions that offer discounted tickets, food, or merchandise. Check the team’s schedule for these events and try to score tickets for the games that offer the best value for you, considering your gameday experience priorities.

For the full report, visit here.

Source: WalletHub