Super Bowl in Vegas: The best and worst cities for football. Tampa Bay is ranked 22nd by WalletHub


For many people, football is far more than just a game: it’s a sacred American tradition. They get extremely invested, roaring in approval when their team scores a touchdown or crying out in disappointment when they fumble their way to failure. The popularity of football compared to other sports isn’t even close – every one of the 50 most-watched sporting events last year was an NFL game.

Certain cities provide a better football experience than others, though. With Super Bowl LVIII upon us, WalletHub compared more than 240 U.S. cities with at least one college or professional football team across 21 key metrics. Our data set ranges from the number of NFL and college football teams to stadium capacity to fan engagement.

For fun and interesting facts about the biggest sporting event of the year, check out WalletHub’s Super Bowl LVIII By The Numbers infographic.

cassandra happe

“Football fans are intensely loyal to their favorite teams, especially when a team comes from their hometown. Deciding the best football cities ultimately comes down to a combination of how successful the cities’ teams are, how easy it is for spectators to enjoy games, and how dedicated the local fanbase is.”

CASSANDRA HAPPE, WALLETHUB ANALYSTTable of ContentsMain FindingsIn-Depth Look at the Best Cities for Football FansRanking by City SizeAsk the ExpertsMethodology

Main Findings


Pittsburgh, PA1
Dallas, TX2
Green Bay, WI3
Los Angeles, CA4
Boston, MA5
New York, NY6
Miami, FL7
New Orleans, LA8
San Francisco, CA9
Kansas City, MO10
Cincinnati, OH11
Indianapolis, IN12
Philadelphia, PA13
Buffalo, NY14
Seattle, WA15
Glendale, AZ16
Baltimore, MD17
Minneapolis, MN18
Washington, DC19
Denver, CO20
Las Vegas, NV21
Tampa, FL22
Atlanta, GA23
Nashville, TN24
Cleveland, OH25
Houston, TX26
Detroit, MI27
Chicago, IL28
Charlotte, NC29
Tuscaloosa, AL30
Clemson, SC31
Jacksonville, FL32
Fayette, MS33
State College, PA34
Fargo, ND35
Tallahassee, FL36
Stillwater, OK37
West Point, NY38
Athens, GA39
Ann Arbor, MI40
Brookings, SD41
Boone, NC42
Grambling, LA43
Baton Rouge, LA44
Oxford, MS45
Norman, OK46
Hamilton, NY47
Morgantown, WV48
San Diego, CA49
Statesboro, GA50
Hanover, NH51
Princeton, NJ52
Starkville, MS53
Provo, UT54
Martin, TN55
Greenville, SC56
Cedar Falls, IA57
Stanford, CA58
Richmond, KY59
Kingston, RI60
Itta Bena, MS61
Buies Creek, NC62
Harrisonburg, VA63
Huntington, WV64
Missoula, MT65
Jacksonville, AL66
Cullowhee, NC67
Ypsilanti, MI68
Boiling Springs, NC69
Cambridge, MA70
Williamsburg, VA71
Troy, AL72
West Long Branch, NJ73
Loretto, PA74
Worcester, MA75
New Haven, CT76
Jackson, MS77
Carbondale, IL78
Boise, ID79
Manhattan, KS80
Columbus, OH81
Conway, SC82
Laramie, WY83
Newark, DE84
Cheney, WA85
Lewisburg, PA86
Youngstown, OH87
Colorado Springs, CO88
Durham, NC89
Durham, NH90
Oxford, OH91
Bozeman, MT92
Mount Pleasant, MI93
Toledo, OH94
Orangeburg, SC95
Huntsville, TX96
College Park, MD97
Birmingham, AL98
Fresno, CA99
Athens, OH100
San Antonio, TX101
Morehead, KY102
Richmond, VA103
Ogden, UT104
Iowa City, IA105
South Bend, IN106
University Park, TX107
Dayton, OH108
Kennesaw, GA109
Cape Girardeau, MO110
Moscow, ID111
Elon, NC112
Murfreesboro, TN113
Hammond, LA114
Fairfield, CT115
St. Paul, MN116
Stony Brook, NY117
Corvallis, OR118
Sacramento, CA119
Poughkeepsie, NY120
DeKalb, IL121
Davis, CA122
East Lansing, MI122
Thibodaux, LA124
Bowling Green, KY125
Stephenville, TX126
Ithaca, NY127
Berkeley, CA128
Lynchburg, VA129
Ruston, LA130
Winston-Salem, NC131
Chattanooga, TN132
North Andover, MA133
Bowling Green, OH134
Prairie View, TX135
West Lafayette, IN136
Albany, NY137
Macon, GA138
Lafayette, LA139
Nacogdoches, TX140
San Jose, CA141
Syracuse, NY142
Vermillion, SD143
Easton, PA144
Conway, AR145
Normal, IL146
Muncie, IN147
Des Moines, IA148
Charleston, IL149
Grand Forks, ND150
Norfolk, VA151
Lexington, KY152
Jonesboro, AR153
Smithfield, RI154
Las Cruces, NM155
Hampton, VA156
Monroe, LA157
Clarksville, TN158
Murray, KY158
Albuquerque, NM160
Denton, TX161
Mobile, AL162
Chapel Hill, NC163
Natchitoches, LA164
Tulsa, OK165
Flagstaff, AZ166
Portland, OR167
Logan, UT168
Abilene, TX169
East Hartford, CT170
Greenville, NC171
Kalamazoo, MI172
El Paso, TX173
Orono, ME174
Charlottesville, VA175
Kent, OH176
Lexington, VA177
Champaign, IL178
St. Charles, MO179
Austin, TX180
Fort Worth, TX181
Providence, RI182
Fayetteville, AR183
Memphis, TN184
Lincoln, NE185
Reno, NV185
Cedar City, UT187
Ames, IA188
Orlando, FL189
Blacksburg, VA190
Columbia, MO191
Johnson City, TN192
New Britain, CT193
Bethlehem, PA194
Towson, MD195
Amherst, MA196
Pullman, WA196
Eugene, OR198
Salt Lake City, UT199
Evanston, IL200
Annapolis, MD201
Tucson, AZ202
Lubbock, TX203
Tempe, AZ204
Springfield, MO205
Hattiesburg, MS206
Huntsville, AL207
Terre Haute, IN208
San Marcos, TX209
Commerce, TX210
Greensboro, NC211
Auburn, AL212
Boca Raton, FL213
San Luis Obispo, CA214
Raleigh, NC215
Cookeville, TN216
Daytona Beach, FL217
Spartanburg, SC218
Montgomery, AL219
Boulder, CO220
Lake Charles, LA221
Clinton, SC222
Gainesville, FL223
Lawrence, KS224
Macomb, IL225
North Charleston, SC226
St. George, UT227
Dover, DE228
Akron, OH229
DeLand, FL230
Knoxville, TN231
Greeley, CO232
Madison, WI233
Pocatello, ID234
Honolulu, HI235
Florence, AL236
Beaumont, TX237
Columbia, SC238
College Station, TX239
Piscatawayship, NJ240
Louisville, KY241
Davidson, NC242
Charleston, SC243
Pine Bluff, AR244
Fort Collins, CO245
Waco, TX246
Bloomington, IN247
Valparaiso, IN248
Easton, MA249


Best Football Cities for Fans

Overall RankCityTotal ScorePro Football RankCollege Football Rank
1Pittsburgh, PA62.22112
2Dallas, TX54.712240
3Green Bay, WI52.284240
4Los Angeles, CA51.77535
5Boston, MA51.533197
6New York, NY47.03931
7Miami, FL46.151044
8New Orleans, LA45.418116
9San Francisco, CA44.486240
10Kansas City, MO44.097240
11Cincinnati, OH43.5811132
12Indianapolis, IN42.612114
13Philadelphia, PA41.662011
14Buffalo, NY4113202
15Seattle, WA39.7717137
16Glendale, AZ39.2814240
17Baltimore, MD38.9115231
18Minneapolis, MN38.8916217
19Washington, DC37.4622128
20Denver, CO37.2518240
21Las Vegas, NV36.9919220
22Tampa, FL36.2921235
23Atlanta, GA35.2825120
24Nashville, TN34.8424175
25Cleveland, OH33.2323240
26Houston, TX31.893029
27Detroit, MI31.8826240
28Chicago, IL30.9727240
29Charlotte, NC30.0428232
30Tuscaloosa, AL29.74311

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Note: With the exception of “Total Score,” all of the columns in the table above depict the relative rank of that city, where a rank of 1 represents the best conditions for that metric category.

NFL TeamsBest-Performing

  • 1. Kansas City, MO
  • 2. Dallas, TX
  • 3. Buffalo, NY
  • 4. San Francisco, CA
  • 5. Philadelphia, PA
NFL Teams


  • T-25. Washington, DC
  • T-25. Glendale, AZ
  • 27. New York, NY
  • 28. Houston, TX
  • 29. Chicago, IL
  • 30. Charlotte, NC

Best City vs. Worst City: 3x DifferenceKansas City, MO vs. Charlotte, NCCollege Football (FBS & FCS) TeamsBest-Performing

  • 1. Athens, GA
  • 2. Ann Arbor, MI
  • 3. Brookings, SD
  • 4. Tuscaloosa, AL
  • 5. Columbus, OH
College Football (FBS & FCS) Teams


  • T-234. Greeley, CO
  • T-234. Spartanburg, SC
  • 236. Akron, OH
  • 237. Pocatello, ID
  • 238. Amherst, MA
  • 239. Macomb, IL

Best City vs. Worst City: 16x DifferenceAthens, GA vs. Macomb, ILShow More

In-Depth Look at the Best Cities for Football Fans

Pittsburgh, PA

The best city for football fans is Pittsburgh, in large part due to the presence of its NFL team, the Steelers. The Steelers have won six Super Bowls, tied for the most wins with the New England Patriots. Football fans in the city can watch games at Acrisure Stadium, which has a large capacity at over 68,000 seats and also hosts the NCAA team the Pittsburgh Panthers.

When it comes to the NFL specifically, the Pittsburgh Steelers have some of the most engaged football fans in the country in terms of social media likes and followers per capita. Pittsburgh has some of the most loyal fans, too, measured by ticket revenues, social media engagement, and the home team’s ability to outperform its payroll investments.

Pittsburgh doesn’t have an overly stellar performance when it comes to NCAA football, but the dominance of its NFL team secures it the number one spot.

Dallas, TX

Dallas is the second-best city for football fans because it hosts the most valuable football franchise in the entire country – the Dallas Cowboys, worth a staggering $9 billion dollars. That value isn’t just for show, either. The Cowboys have the second-highest number of Super Bowl wins, at 5, tied with the San Francisco 49ers. Dallas has the highest number of NFC East division championship wins, too.

As evidenced by their high value, the Dallas Cowboys are one of the most popular teams in terms of ticket sales and fan engagement.

Green Bay, WI

The third-best city for football fans is Green Bay, WI, home of the NFL team the Packers. Green Bay’s Lambeau Field stadium is one of the largest in the country, able to seat a whopping 81,441 fans, many of whom will be wearing the iconic “cheesehead” hats that honor one of the state’s biggest culinary contributions.

The Green Bay Packers have won four super bowl titles, which ties them for the third-most wins with the New York Giants. Although there are other cities that have more wins, Green Bay gets pushed up in the rankings by the support of its fans, who rank among the most engaged and second-most loyal in the country.

Ranking by City Size

Large City
Midsize City
Small City
1Pittsburgh, PA
1Green Bay, WI
1Tuscaloosa, AL
2Dallas, TX
2Buffalo, NY
2Clemson, SC
3Los Angeles, CA
3Glendale, AZ
3Fayette, MS
4Boston, MA
4Fargo, ND
4State College, PA
5New York, NY
5Tallahassee, FL
5Stillwater, OK
6Miami, FL
6Athens, GA
6West Point, NY
7New Orleans, LA
7Ann Arbor, MI
7Brookings, SD
8San Francisco, CA
8Baton Rouge, LA
8Boone, NC
9Kansas City, MO
9Norman, OK
9Grambling, LA
10Cincinnati, OH
10Provo, UT
10Oxford, MS
11Indianapolis, IN
11Cambridge, MA
11Hamilton, NY
12Philadelphia, PA
12Worcester, MA
12Morgantown, WV
13Seattle, WA
13New Haven, CT
13Statesboro, GA
14Baltimore, MD
14Jackson, MS
14Hanover, NH
15Minneapolis, MN
15Boise, ID
15Princeton, NJ
16Washington, DC
16Durham, NC
16Starkville, MS
17Denver, CO
17Toledo, OH
17Martin, TN
18Las Vegas, NV
18Birmingham, AL
18Greenville, SC
19Tampa, FL
19Richmond, VA
19Cedar Falls, IA
20Atlanta, GA
20South Bend, IN
20Stanford, CA
21Nashville, TN
21Dayton, OH
21Richmond, KY
22Cleveland, OH
22Murfreesboro, TN
22Kingston, RI
23Houston, TX
23Berkeley, CA
23Itta Bena, MS
24Detroit, MI
24Winston-Salem, NC
24Buies Creek, NC
25Chicago, IL
25Chattanooga, TN
25Harrisonburg, VA
26Charlotte, NC
26Macon, GA
26Huntington, WV
27Jacksonville, FL
27Lafayette, LA
27Missoula, MT
28San Diego, CA
28Syracuse, NY
28Jacksonville, AL
29Columbus, OH
29Des Moines, IA
29Cullowhee, NC
30Colorado Springs, CO
30Norfolk, VA
30Ypsilanti, MI
31Fresno, CA
31Las Cruces, NM
31Boiling Springs, NC
32San Antonio, TX
32Hampton, VA
32Williamsburg, VA
33St. Paul, MN
33Clarksville, TN
33Troy, AL
34Sacramento, CA
34Denton, TX
34West Long Branch, NJ
35San Jose, CA
35Mobile, AL
35Loretto, PA
36Lexington, KY
36Abilene, TX
36Carbondale, IL
37Albuquerque, NM
37Providence, RI
37Manhattan, KS
38Tulsa, OK
38Reno, NV
38Conway, SC
39Portland, OR
38Lincoln, NE
39Laramie, WY
40El Paso, TX
40Columbia, MO
40Newark, DE
41Austin, TX
41Eugene, OR
41Cheney, WA
42Fort Worth, TX
42Salt Lake City, UT
42Lewisburg, PA
43Memphis, TN
43Lubbock, TX
43Youngstown, OH
44Orlando, FL
44Tempe, AZ
44Durham, NH
45Tucson, AZ
45Springfield, MO
45Oxford, OH
46Raleigh, NC
46Huntsville, AL
46Bozeman, MT
47Honolulu, HI
47Greensboro, NC
47Mount Pleasant, MI
48Louisville, KY
48Montgomery, AL
48Orangeburg, SC
49Boulder, CO
49Huntsville, TX
50Gainesville, FL
50College Park, MD
51North Charleston, SC
51Athens, OH
52Akron, OH
52Morehead, KY
53Knoxville, TN
53Ogden, UT
54Greeley, CO
54Iowa City, IA
55Madison, WI
55University Park, TX
56Beaumont, TX
56Kennesaw, GA
57Columbia, SC
57Cape Girardeau, MO
58College Station, TX
58Moscow, ID
59Charleston, SC
59Elon, NC
60Fort Collins, CO
60Hammond, LA
61Waco, TX
61Fairfield, CT
62Stony Brook, NY
63Corvallis, OR
64Poughkeepsie, NY
65DeKalb, IL
66East Lansing, MI
66Davis, CA
68Thibodaux, LA
69Bowling Green, KY
70Stephenville, TX
71Ithaca, NY
72Lynchburg, VA
73Ruston, LA
74North Andover, MA
75Bowling Green, OH
76Prairie View, TX
77West Lafayette, IN
78Albany, NY
79Nacogdoches, TX
80Vermillion, SD
81Easton, PA
82Conway, AR
83Normal, IL
84Muncie, IN
85Charleston, IL
86Grand Forks, ND
87Jonesboro, AR
88Smithfield, RI
89Monroe, LA
90Murray, KY
91Chapel Hill, NC
92Natchitoches, LA
93Flagstaff, AZ
94Logan, UT
95East Hartford, CT
96Greenville, NC
97Kalamazoo, MI
98Orono, ME
99Charlottesville, VA
100Kent, OH
101Lexington, VA
102Champaign, IL
103St. Charles, MO
104Fayetteville, AR
105Cedar City, UT
106Ames, IA
107Blacksburg, VA
108Johnson City, TN
109New Britain, CT
110Bethlehem, PA
111Towson, MD
112Pullman, WA
112Amherst, MA
114Evanston, IL
115Annapolis, MD
116Hattiesburg, MS
117Terre Haute, IN
118San Marcos, TX
119Commerce, TX
120Auburn, AL
121Boca Raton, FL
122San Luis Obispo, CA
123Cookeville, TN
124Daytona Beach, FL
125Spartanburg, SC
126Lake Charles, LA
127Clinton, SC
128Lawrence, KS
129Macomb, IL
130St. George, UT
131Dover, DE
132DeLand, FL
133Pocatello, ID
134Florence, AL
135Piscatawayship, NJ
136Davidson, NC
137Pine Bluff, AR
138Bloomington, IN
139Valparaiso, IN
140Easton, MA

Download data

Ask the Experts

Certain qualities make a city a good environment for football fans. For more insight, we asked a panel of experts to weigh in with their thoughts on the following key questions:

  1. What are the biggest challenges facing professional football today?
  2. How can the game be adapted to better ensure the long term health and safety of players?
  3. What are some strategies for fans to enjoy watching football (at home, in a bar, at the stadium) without breaking the bank?
  4. Is having a professional football team an economic drain or benefit for cities?
  5. Does hosting the Super Bowl economically help or hurt the host city?
Heather J. Gibson

Heather J. Gibson
Ph.D. – Professor and Undergraduate Coordinator, Department of Tourism, Hospitality and Event Management – University of Florida

Dr. Matthew J. Robinson

Dr. Matthew J. Robinson
Director of Community Engagement Initiative, Professor of Sport Management – University of Delaware

Dexter J. Davis

Dexter J. Davis
Ed.D. – Professor of Sport Business, College of Business and Global Affairs – University of Tennessee at Martin

Jason C. Pappas

Jason C. Pappas
Ed.D. – Teaching Professor & Experiential Learning Coordinator, Department of Sport Management – Florida State University


In order to determine the best and worst cities for football fans, WalletHub compared 249 U.S. cities based on 21 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most favorable conditions for football fans.

For our sample, we chose cities with at least one professional football team (NFL) or at least one college football team (NCAA, including FBS and FCS). We then grouped the cities by division — “Pro Football” and “College Football” — and assigned weights to each divisional category based on its popularity among fans.

Finally, we determined each city’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the resulting scores to rank-order our sample. For our “Ranking by City Size,” we categorized each city according to the following population-size guidelines:

  • Large cities: More than 300,000 people
  • Midsize cities: 100,000 to 300,000 people
  • Small cities: Fewer than 100,000 people

Pro Football – Total Points = 75

  • Number of NFL Teams: Full Weight (~8.82 Points)
  • Performance Level of NFL Team: Full Weight (~8.82 Points)
    Note: This metric was calculated using the past three seasons’ averages and the following formula: Number of Wins / Total Number of Games Played.
  • Number of NFL Championships Wins: Full Weight (~8.82 Points)
  • Number of NFL Division Championship Wins: Half Weight (~4.41 Points)
  • Number of Hall-of-Fame Head Coaches: Half Weight (~4.41 Points)
  • Franchise Value: Half Weight (~4.41 Points)
    Note: This metric measures the team(s) estimated value in millions of dollars.
  • Average Ticket Price for an NFL Game: Full Weight (~8.82 Points)
  • NFL Fan Engagement: Full Weight (~8.82 Points)
    Note: This metric measures the number of Twitter followers and Facebook “Likes” (on each team’s official accounts) per capita.
  • Number of Coaches in Past 10 Seasons: Half Weight (~4.41 Points)
    Note: “Past 10 Seasons” include seasons 2014-2015 to 2023-2024.
  • NFL Stadium Capacity: Half Weight (~4.41 Points)
    Note: This metric was calculated using the following formula: Stadium Capacity / Total City Population.
  • Attendance: Half Weight (~4.41 Points)
    Note: This metric was calculated using the following formula: Average Home-Fan Attendance / Stadium Capacity.
  • Popularity Index: Half Weight (~4.41 Points)

College Football – Total Points = 25

  • Number of College Football (FBS & FCS) Teams: Full Weight (~3.57 Points)
  • Performance Level of College Football (FBS & FCS) Team(s): Full Weight (~3.57 Points)
    Note: This metric was calculated using the past three seasons’ averages and the following formula: Number of Wins / Total Number of Games Played.
  • Number of College Football (FBS & FCS) Championship Wins: Full Weight (~3.57 Points)
  • Number of College Football (FBS & FCS) Conference Championship Wins: Half Weight (~1.79 Points)
  • Number of Hall-of-Fame Head Coaches: Half Weight (~1.79 Points)
  • Minimum Season-Ticket Price for College Football (FBS & FCS) Game: Full Weight (~3.57 Points)
  • College Football Fan Engagement: Full Weight (~3.57 Points)
    Note: This metric measures the number of Twitter followers and Facebook “Likes” (on each team’s official accounts) per capita.
  • Number of Coaches in Past 10 Seasons: Half Weight (~1.79 Points)
    Note: “Past 10 Seasons” include seasons 2014–2015 to 2023–2024.
  • College Football (FBS & FCS) Stadium Capacity: Half Weight (~1.79 Points)
    Note: This metric was calculated using the following formula: Stadium Capacity / Total City Population.

Sources: Data used to create this ranking were collected as of January 15, 2024 from the U.S. Census Bureau, Team Marketing Report, ESPN, NCAA, Pro Football Hall of Fame, Sports Reference, Forbes, The Athletic, Fanalytics, each team’s website and social media accounts.

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