Dallas is eight overall on WalletHub’s list of 2021’s best sports cities.

The researchers at the personal finance outfit compared 392 cities across more than 50 key metrics related to the five largest sports in the U.S.: football, basketball, baseball, hockey and soccer.

In football, we rank No. 2 of all those cities, which is mind-blowing when you consider that the last time the Cowboys won a Super Bowl, having a cell phone was out of the ordinary, Facebook’s future founder was 12 and Ezekiel Elliot wasn’t even born.

Dallas did not rank in the top 10 in any other major sport. But that football score held more weight in the study. We ranked 16 in basketball, 315 in baseball (guess Josh Hamilton was right), 15 in hockey and 24 in soccer.

In the U.S., 59% of all adults claim to be sports fans, according to WalletHub. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted sporting events across the U.S. in 2020, though, which led to a ratings plunge. However, things returned to somewhat normal in 2021. The Mavericks implemented vaccine mandates only to shift gears later on. The mask requirements are still part of the protocol in most venues.

Notwithstanding, the sports industry nationwide is expected to grow from a value of $71.1 billion in 2018 to $83.1 billion in 2023, with money coming from ticket and merchandise sales, media rights and sponsorship fees. That’s not mentioning the lucrative fantasy-sports market in North America with more than 60 million players. And eSports, or competitive video games, is expected to cross $1 billion in global market value in 2021.

Here’s sports administration expert Mark R. Lyberger explaining what makes a good sports city.

“Sports organizations must understand everything they can about communities, consumers and their respective consumption behaviors,” he says. “A demographic melting pot that exists in cities such as Atlanta, Charlotte, or Dallas may have a broader set of identification or attractiveness factors than cities such as Chicago, New York, or Philadelphia. The more a team understands the value constructs and social factors (culture, social class, reference groups, and family) that collectively represent a community, the more likely they are to develop identity and affiliations.”

Another expert noted that hosting major events, like the Super Bowl, Final Four, NBA All-Star game, PGA/LPGA events, NCAA Championships, a major bowl game or FBS Championship game, Olympic Trials, etc. and doing so consistently can be a boon both financially and morally.

Dallas does, hands down, have the best sports radio station, KTCK, The Ticket, whose hosts at varies times over the years have graced The Advocate’s pages. (Y’all remember when Lake Highlands High School’s girls basketball team played the guys from The Ticket at SMU? We do. It was glorious.)

Here’s the top 10. The rest including methodology is over here.

1 Boston, MA 52.13 3 2 5 1 21
2 Los Angeles, CA 50.87 8 1 2 23 1
3 New York, NY 48.12 5 14 1 4 9
4 Pittsburgh, PA 42.09 1 94 13 3 29
5 Philadelphia, PA 40.13 15 4 12 14 20
6 Denver, CO 37.98 11 20 20 6 23
7 Washington, DC 37.73 19 9 24 13 8
8 Dallas, TX 37.39 2 16 315 15 24
9 Chicago, IL 36.86 26 18 6 9 14
10 Miami, FL 36.29 6 6 28 450 11


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