Sports

New Study Says Miami Is One of the Best Cities for Basketball Fans

With the Miami Heat heading into a pivotal Game 2 matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks tonight in the first round of the NBA playoffs, Heat fans are on edge, hoping the team can make a deep playoff run just as it did last year. Saturday's crushing last-second 109-107 overtime loss to the Bucks was a gut-wrenching way to start the postseason, but for seasoned Heat fans, this time of year is all about nail-biting moments.

According to a new study released by the travel site WalletHub, being treated to annual NBA playoff action and spoiled by well-performing teams is only one reason Miami is a great place to be an NBA fan. The study found Miami to be the sixth-best city for basketball fans, trailing only Los Angeles, Boston, Salt Lake City, Philadelphia, and San Francisco.
Source: WalletHub
To determine the best and worst cities for basketball fans, WalletHub compared 292 of the most populated cities across two divisional categories, NBA and NCAA. The study used 21 metrics — factoring everything from performance to social-media presence and stadium accessibility — to determine the rankings.

Miami's strong finish is almost solely based on the Heat, as the city finished fifth for NBA fans but 95th for NCAA fans. The Hurricanes — traditionally an average-at-best basketball program — aren't exactly helping here.

Miami ranked first amongst all basketball cities in the study's Most Engaged NBA Fans category, a clear sign that #HeatTwitter is pulling its weight in making Miami a great place to be a basketball fan. The study also took into account ticket prices at Heat games and, of course, how well the Heat has performed over the years, which surely helped the cause.


So there you have it. As you tune in for tonight's Game 2, remember that no matter what happens, Miami is one of the best places for a fan in the entire league. Playoff basketball is a usual treat for Miami, unlike in New York, where Knicks fans are currently throwing a celebration for themselves just for making the postseason. 
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Ryan Yousefi is a freelance writer for Miami New Times, a lover of sports, and an expert consumer of craft beer and pho. Hanley Ramirez once stole a baseball from him and to this day still owes him $10.
Contact: Ryan Yousefi