I was thinking about the comment, occasionally thrown in an off hand manner, that Pittsburgh is not a "baseball town". The inference is that Pittsburgh is in fact a football town, but that wasn't the part that interested me. I wondered which towns were the baseball towns. I have a good friend in St Louis who deeply believes that he lives in the number one baseball town in America. The Yankees and the Mets drew almost six million fans between them. Ken Burns obviously thinks baseball exists only in the American League and almost only in New York and Boston. I decided to take the SMSA (standard metropolitan statistical area) for each US (sorry Toronto) city with a major league team and divide that population by their 2011 attendance. The number of people who paid for a ticket as a percentage of all those who live in the area is one reasonable way to judge a baseball town. At least I think it is. If you care to see the list, it is after the jump.
Twenty five SMSA's have teams (Oakland & SF, for instance are in the same SMSA). Where there are two teams in a SMSA I added the attendance figures together. I am using ball game attenders per thousand people in the general population.
The twenty-fifth best baseball city in America is...Miami, with 273 attenders per thousand. If you were surprised, I don't know what to say.
The next to worst baseball city in America, with 319 attenders per person is New York City. Take that Big Apple. Six million tickets divided by over eighteen million people is not all that stellar.
Here are the rest:
Houston 348 (just ahead of DC)
San Diego 692
Kansas City 847
St Louis 1100
San Francisco 1122
And, I am sorry to report. the number one baseball city in America, where everybody went to almost two games apiece...Milwaukee, Wisconsin 1974. I still hate 'em.