Though last year seemed an all-time low for football in Miami, a new study says this is one of the best cities in the country to be a fan of the sport. We're skeptical, but we're also listening. I guess you could say we're skeptically listening.
The study — done by WalletHub — considered 21 significant factors, such as average ticket prices and stadium accessibility, to determine the top towns for NFL fans. Somehow, some way, Miami took home sixth place in said formula, beating out places like Philadelphia, Kansas City, and Los Angeles.
The only other South Florida city to make the list was Boca Raton, clocking in at #180. WalletHub pulled data from sources including the U.S. Census Bureau, Team Marketing Report, ESPN, NCAA, Pro Football Hall of Fame, Sports Reference, Forbes, Facebook, Twitter, Sports Analytics Research from Mike Lewis, and each team’s website.
Again, none of this makes much sense to us, but it's apparently based on simple math.
This follows a Miami Hurricanes season that ended with a 7-6 record, including a 35-3 thumping at the hands of the Wisconsin Badgers in the Pinstripe Bowl. Then there was the semiforced retirement of head coach Mark Richt. And how about the Dolphins campaign that pissed away a 3-0 start and extended a playoff-winless streak to 17 seasons?
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One didn't expect Miami-brand football to get any positive mentions this offseason. Things seem pretty bad to us. Maybe we should check again? Yup. Just checked. Still bad.
According to WalletHub, though, Miami is doing just great football-wise. It seems the city is home to one of the most recognizable college football brands and one of the most storied NFL franchises. When you take a 30,000-foot look at the state of football around the country, the organization contends the city is pretty well off.
Other area cities such as Fort Lauderdale, Coral Gables, and Miami Beach didn't fare as well. Boca, the only other South Florida city mentioned, at 180th best ranked just above Honolulu, Hawaii. Elsewhere in Florida, Tallahassee (FSU/FAMU), Jacksonville (Jaguars), and Orlando (UCF) made the list.
So there you have it. As you prepare for this Sunday's Super Bowl, cheer up, Miami football fans. It could be worse. You could be Ocala. Folks up there can't decide if they support the Gators, Seminoles, Bucs, or Jags. At least we know who we are and what hurts us down here.