Travel

Football Town USA: The 10 Best US Cities for Football Fans

When you think of the best football town in America, you probably think of cities with winning teams, right? Maybe Seattle, or Boston (sorry, Foxboro), or Columbus, Ohio.

But what if you factored in more than just wins and losses, like fan enthusiasm, ticket prices, and Richard Sherman's sweet dreads. And then, what if you combined college AND pro football cities into one giant, seemingly futile attempt to compare apples and oranges. 

Well, that is exactly what the data crunchers at WalletHub have done, ranking 142 US cities with at least one college or pro football team by 11 different criteria -- number of stadiums, sports bars per capita, fan friendliness -- to determine the absolute BEST city to live in if you're a dude who invited Kirk Herbstreit to your wedding, despite having never met.

So, what is the best city? Well, it's none other than Green Bay, WI, of course -- home of the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay Phoenix!!! Oh wait, they don’t have football, sorry. Home of the Green Bay Packers! Yea, unlike the end of the NFC Championship game, this one was not at all surprising. In addition to the Packers' 13 titles, Lambeau Field is apparently one of the NFL's most accessible stadiums. 

Number two, however, might stir a little Big 10 debate. East Lansing, MI bested Columbus (38), Ann Arbor (29), and the rest of conference -- not to mention Chicago (36) -- thanks to some of the country's most passionate fans, according to the report. And Pittsburgh, PA, with both the Steelers and Pitt Panthers, rounded out the top 3 thanks in large part to Heinz Field (home to both teams) ranking 5th in accessibility. 

As for worst towns, well, who really cares, right? The concept of comparing Amherst, MA or Laramie, WY to the likes of Green Bay and Pittsburgh is kinda silly. That said, you can see where your city lands on the interactive map below:

Here are the 10 best cities:

10. Minneapolis, MN
9. Boston, MA
8. Cincinnati, OH
7. Dallas, TX
6. San Francisco, CA
5. Tuscaloosa, AL
4. Denver, CO
3. Pittsburgh, PA
2. East Lansing, MI
1. Green Bay, WI

And the 10 worst cities: ​

10. El Paso, TX
9. Norfolk, VA
8. Lexington, KY
7. Winston-Salem, NC
6. Albuquerque, NM
5. Colorado Springs, CO
4. Akron, OH
3. Mobile, AL
2. Tulsa, OK
1. Las Vegas, NV

Head here for the full ranking.


Chloe Pantazi is an editorial assistant on Thrillist's travel team. Yes, that's a British accent. No, she doesn't watch Doctor Who. Follow her on Twitter at @ChloePantazi.