By Barry Janoff
January 6, 2014: Are fans of the Los Angeles Lakers more loyal than fans of the New York Knicks, Miami Heat, New England Patriots and Dallas Cowboys, and twice as loyal to their team than fans of the Detroit Red Wings, Carolina Panthers, Philadelphia Flyers and Indianapolis Colts are to their respective teams?
The answer is yes, at least according to the just-released ranking of "The Strongest Big Four Fan Bases in 2013" from TicketCity.
The first such annual ranking from online ticket broker TicketCity includes MLB, NBA, NHL and NFL fan bases, and ranks them by fans who are the "most active and most vocal whether they're at the game or supporting their team on social media."
Of the 50 teams on the list, the Lakers are the only franchise to record a perfect 100 score. The Top Ten also includes (in order); the Knicks, Heat, Patriots, Cowboys, Chicago Bears, Boston Red Sox, Green Bay Packers, Winnipeg Jets and Toronto Maple Leafs.
In the Top 50, there are 20 NFL teams, 14 NHL teams, nine NBA teams and seven teams from MLB.
According to TicketCity, fan engagement is evaluated on social media activity, highest average stadium/arena capacity filled, average ticket prices and average secondary ticket prices (by league).
The data is based on the 2013 season, with statistics for NHL accounting for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons, per TicketCity.
The Lakers came in at No. 1 based on having the most Twitter followers (more than 3.5 million) and most Facebook likes (more than 17.4 million) among all the teams evaluated.
The Knicks came in No. 2 largely based on having the largest average media ticket price ($129) among all the teams evaluated and more than 4 million Facebook likes.
The Heat ranked third, according to TicketCity, with more than 2 million Twitter followers and more than 9.1 million Facebook likes.
The Top Five listed according to "highest average stadium/arena capacity filled" are the Cowboys (which filled AT&T Stadium to more than 109% of capacity), Dallas Mavericks (108.3%), Packers (106.8%), Chicago Bulls (106.7%) and the Los Angeles Clippers (106.1%).
The Top Five teams per Twitter followers are the Lakers, Heat (2 million-plus), Boston Celtics (1.3 million), Bulls (1.24 million) and the New York Yankees (1 million).
The Top Five teams per Facebook likes are the Lakers, Bulls (10.2 million), Heat (9.2 million), Celtics (7.2 million) and Yankees (6.6 million).
The teams with the highest average media ticket prices (per league)are the Knicks, Boston Red Sox ($48), Winnepeg Jets ($151) and Chicago Bears (4215).
See the full TicketCity list here.
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