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Study: DFW Cities Rank Among the Best and Worst for Baseball Fans

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Silhouette of a baseball fan cheering in a baseball stadium. | Image by Adam Kaz

Dallas ranked No. 315 out of 322 large cities for baseball fans in the United States, while Arlington ranked No. 17, according to a new study done by WalletHub.

WalletHub found that out of all the large cities surveyed with their parameters, Dallas was the ninth-worst. These are similar results to their 2019 study.

“There haven’t been any changes since then,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Its college baseball team has only won two regular-season division titles and ranks low for fan engagement. The team also changed its coach in the past ten seasons, and has a small stadium capacity.”

WalletHub’s 2021 Best Baseball Cities found that at No. 277, Fort Worth outranked Dallas.

“Fort Worth’s college baseball team has won 15 regular season division titles and scored higher in terms of fan engagement,” Gonzalez told Dallas Express. “The team has also had the same coach for the past ten seasons and has a slightly bigger stadium capacity.”

At No. 17, Arlington ranked the highest on the list among Northern Texas cities.

“The most important thing that makes Arlington more of a baseball city than Fort Worth and Dallas is the fact that it has a baseball team in the Major League, the Texas Rangers,” Gonzalez said in an interview. “Fan engagement and stadium capacity are other factors that contributed to Arlington’s ranking. In terms of college baseball, Arlington scored points for having the same coach the past ten seasons.”

New York snagged the top spot because it has two baseball teams, the Mets and the Yankees.

“Other factors derive from this, and they include 29 championship wins, 25 regular-season division titles, 13 hall of fame head coaches, and an almost $4 billion franchise value,” Gonzalez said. “New York also ranks first in terms of its popularity index and has more than 80% attendance.”

To catch up with New York, Dallas would need to acquire a major and minor league team.

“Dallas would also need a lot more college baseball teams as New York currently has six,” Gonzalez said.

According to the study, Prairie View ranked at No. 134 which was higher than Frisco and Dallas in terms of college baseball fan engagement.

“Prairie View also has a bigger college baseball stadium capacity than the other two cities,” Gonzalez said.

Arlington, where the Texas Rangers are based, ranked third nationwide for fan engagement due to its 42% performance level, calculated with the number of victories divided by the number of games played in the past three seasons. Winning games will not only increase fan engagement but could also attract new fans, according to Gonzalez.

“Since the Rangers are a very popular team, they can have a positive impact on the state’s economy,” she said. “Their games can attract baseball fans from all over the country, which contributes to tourism revenue.”

Baseball fans express their enthusiasm primarily by attending games. The study quantified fan engagement by accounting for the number of Twitter followers plus the number of Facebook likes per capita.

“We also looked at attendance as a share of stadium capacity and popularity rank,” Gonzalez added. “Popularity was determined by regional sports network viewership numbers.”

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