Forbes Ranks “Most Loyal” Fans

Forbes has once again delved into the sporting world and is now trying to prove (or disprove) fan loyalty in Major League Baseball.  The methodology is a little cumbersome and it does not include expansion teams.  (You have to be truly loyal to be one of the 10,000 Marlin fans that show up each night)

One thing that angered me about the article is that it does not list all the MLB teams included in the study.  They only show the Top Ten Most Loyal and the Top Ten Least Loyal fan bases.  Unfortunately, or fortunately for the latter, the Reds are not listed among either group.  Based purely on national perception and the way certain teams are covered, some of the results may surprise you.

Shysterball wrote:

Maybe I’m just too taken with the popular stereotypes of certain fan bases, but I will say I was surprised with many of the rankings on both lists. So surprised, in fact, that I can’t help but wonder if there’s some monster flaw in the way they calculated it all.

I would agree, but local support is much different than what the national media would have you believe by perpetuating stereotypes (Cubs fans at Wrigley for instance).  The media is looking for story lines to get people interested, fans are only interested in wins and losses.

The Forbes approach may need to be tweaked to include nuances while eliminating fluctuations in the measurements.  If a star free agent is signed, one could argue that could be a reason that a team sees a swell in attendance while at the same time fire sales at the trade deadline would show a decline.  Although the article does give the example of Alex Rodriguez and the Texas Rangers.

Plus, if 10,000 people show up at a Marlins game on average for several years, the study concludes that this is more “loyalty” than if a team averages 35,000 one year and then 20,000 the next.

Hat tip to Shysterball. (Great daily read, by the way)

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