Every team likes to tell its fans that they’re “the best in the world,” but it’s just as meaningless as the sign on your local greasy spoon that says, “World Famous Chicken Parm,” or something like that. But when you think about what one wants out of a fanbase, one thing stands above all else — they have to show up at the games in force. That’s the only way they make their presence felt, and the only way they could hope to actually make a difference in the outcome.
A new research study by Smart Asset attempted to quantify which fanbase in the NBA is the most die-hard, which they took to mean the fanbase which most consistently fills up their home arenas, no matter how expensive tickets are or how bad their team is. The Knicks are rarely any good and always expensive, and the Knicks fanbase is massive and rabid, so it’s no surprise that they take the top spot.
Just like the Knicks, the Lakers are both expensive and bad, but they show up in droves anyway out in LA, even if the Clippers are playing. Since the study looks at attendance numbers over the last ten years, plenty of pre-Chris Paul futility is factored into their rankings. More surprising is the team at the bottom of the rankings:
It’s the Detroit Pistons with the least die-hard fans, according to Smart Asset. Now, a factor the study didn’t take into account is the location of stadiums, which may play a part in the Pistons’ terrible ranking here. Madison Square Garden and the Staples Center are both downtown, with MSG sitting right on top of a major transportation hub in Penn Station, whereas the Pistons play at the Palace at Auburn Hills, which is in, you know, Auburn Hills and not Detroit.
A representative from Smart Asset told us that factoring in stadium location “might favor cities with better public transportation systems rather than reflect more die-hard fans.” But we feel you, Pistons fans. When you move downtown to join the Red Wings, we’ll check back in on you here.
(Via Smart Asset)