Which sports and teams have the most passionate fanbase?
Supporting a sports team is a key aspect of our identities, with fanbases providing a shared culture and community for their local area and beyond. Fanbases also give fans the ability to share the highs and lows of each season with each other. But which teams and sports have the most dedicated fanbase?
The team at OLBG has taken a closer look at the data to find out, analyzing a number of factors including overall attendance, the average attendance per game, the average capacity attendance per game, the average ticket resale price, and the number of Instagram followers.
The teams with the most passionate fans
Coming top of the ranking is Golden State Warriors fans, with the basketball team scoring 8.4 out of 10 in the supporter index. Warriors fans had the highest overall attendance percentage, at a whopping 104%. Dubs fans are also the keenest to keep up with the latest news from their team on social media with the Golden State Warriors having 21.7 million followers on Instagram, which is more than double second place and just over half the population of their home state.
Next up are New England Patriots supporters scoring 7.8 in the supporter index and making them the most passionate NFL fans. Patriots fans are willing to shell out $247 on the resale market for tickets to see their favorite team, more than six times the price of the cheapest tickets in the supporter index. This makes Patriots fans the most financially dedicated to supporting their team
In third are supporters of one of the most successful teams in the NBA, as Los Angeles Lakers fans have a supporter index score of 7.6. With ticket resale prices and percentage attendance both ranking in the top 10, these fans are amongst the most passionate in the supporter index.
The sports with the most passionate fans
NFL fans take the title of the most passionate supporters of the sports analyzed, scoring 6.7 in the supporter index. Football supporters have the highest attendance per game with an average of 67,190 fans cheering from the stands, over double that of Baseball. The average resale value of football tickets across the league was also the highest with dedicated fans willing to pay $110 to see their favorite team play in person.
Following in second is Basketball fans, scoring 5.3 in our supporter index. NBA supporters were the most likely to show support for their teams on social media, as NBA teams had an average of over 3.7 million followers on Instagram.
Fans of America’s favorite pastime came third in the supporter index, with a score of 4. Major League Baseball had the highest total attendance over a season, with an average of 2,321,658 fans cheering on their chosen team.
The fans with the highest attendance over a season
Taking the top spot are Los Angeles Dodgers fans, with a total of over 3.8 million fans flocking to see the Dodgers play both home and away games according to the most recent season data available. The Dodgers have a large fanbase thanks to their historical ties to the entertainment industry and the team boasts many celebrity fans which brings in more casual fans of the sport.
In second are New York Yankees supporters, with a total of 3,482,855 fans cheering from the sidelines. With 27 World Series titles under their belt, it's no wonder fans flock to see these titans of the sport face off against their competitors.
Rounding out the top three are the fans of yet another baseball team, the St. Louis Cardinals with 3,403,587 loyal fans attending their games over the season. Cardinals supporters have proved their loyalty to the team as the team has drawn more than 3 million fans over 16 consecutive seasons.
The fans with the highest attendance per game
Dallas Cowboys supporters rank first for the highest attendance, with an average of more than 80,000 fans per game showing their support in person. Despite winning their last Super Bowl 25 years ago, fans remain loyal to the squad nicknamed America’s team, making them one of the most dedicated fan bases in football history.
Taking second place are fans of the Denver Broncos, just under 7,000 fans per game behind The Cowboys with an average of 73,169 supporters filling the seats of Empower Field. It’s no wonder the fans are so dedicated as the Broncos are one of only five teams to win back-to-back Super Bowls.
In third place are the supporters of The New York Giants, with an average attendance of 71,052 per game. Fans of one of the oldest teams in the NFL come in droves to see the team famous for defeating the Tom Brady-led New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, twice.
The fans with the highest percent attendance
Fans of the Golden State Warriors have the highest capacity percentage per game on the list, with 104%, the only basketball team in the top 5 for this factor. Golden State Warriors fans are so committed to seeing their team play in person that the team has sold out their 18,064 capacity an eye-watering 400 consecutive games, with the streak beginning in 2012.
In second place are the first NHL supporters to grace the top three of the factors analyzed, Chicago Blackhawks fans, with the Blackhawks having an average attendance capacity percentage of 102% for their home and away games combined. Fans of the Blackhawks are so dedicated to seeing their team play, the team only recently ended its 535 game consecutive sellout streak last year, after 11 seasons.
The second NHL fanbase on the list, fans of The Minnesota Wild take third place. Minnesota Wild fans are so dedicated games sell out the Xcel Energy Center to 101% of its capacity on average, which is over 20,554 seats each game.
The fans willing to pay the most for tickets
New England Patriots fans are the most financially dedicated fans, with supporters willing to pay up to $247 for Patriots tickets. This is not surprising for a team that holds the joint record for the most Superbowl wins, making them one of the most dominant teams in the sport.
Taking second are Kansas City Chiefs fans with fans willing to shell out just under $200 for a resale ticket to the Chiefs games. Chiefs supporters are some of the most vocal in their support in the NFL, setting the record for the loudest fans, twice.
Chicago Bears Fans round out the top 3 paying $193 for a resale ticket. The Bears’ fans flock to Soldier Field thanks to the Bear’s reputation as having one of the most successful teams, by league title wins, with 19 wins and a Super Bowl victory under their belts.
The most supportive fans on social media
Taking the top spot for the most dedicated fans on social media are The Golden State Warriors with an immense 21.7 million on Instagram alone, making them the most followed sports team outside of Europe. Most of The Golden State Warriors fans on the platform are international, with Indian fans making up the most followers outside of the US.
In second place for the most supportive fans on social media are Cleveland Cavaliers fans. The Cavs are the second NBA team on the list with 11.4 million Instagram followers, slightly less than half of the Warrior’s fanbase.
Taking third are supporters of the Chicago Bulls, with 7.6 million followers on Instagram. Fans flock to the Bulls’ social media for the latest highlights, fixtures, and important updates from the team.
We analyzed each team from the NFL, NBA NHL, and MLB on the following five factors, giving a normalized score out of ten for each factor, before taking an average score across all five.
Total attendance over a season
The total number of fans attending fans that attended the games over the most recent full season according to ESPN.
Average attendance per game
The average number of fans attending each game in the most recent full season for each sport, according to ESPN.
Capacity Percentage per game
The percentage of fans normally accommodated at each game measured against the venue capacity according to ESPN.
Average ticket resale price
The average price of a ticket on the secondary market, according to Seat Geek.
The number of followers for each team as of March 4th, 2022.
Note: For MLB and NBA games, the 2018-19 season was used due to the reduced number of games played in the following seasons as a result of COVID restrictions.
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