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Detroit Ranks Third in WalletHub’s Best US Cities for Hockey Fans

Detroit trails only Boston and Pittsburgh in WalletHub’s Annual Report of Best Hockey Cities for Fans.



Little Caesars Arena - Detroit Red Wings

The Detroit Red Wings may have missed the playoffs for the last six seasons. But their fans haven’t missed watching or supporting their Red Wings during the lean stretch of a rebuild.

WalletHub recently released their report for the top hockey cities for fans. From the report:

In order to determine the best cities for hockey fans, WalletHub compared 72 U.S. cities across two divisional categories, NHL (Division I Men’s) and NCAA (Division I Men’s). For our sample, we chose cities with at least one college or professional hockey team.

WalletHub then measured these cities over 21 different metrics. The results, and the cities that made the report were certainly big and small.

Detroit at #3 while other Michigan Cities Make the List

In spite of a brutal showing by the Red Wings since 2018, Detroit’s passion for hockey has not waned according to the report. Trailing only Boston (#1), and Pittsburgh (#2), Detroit was joined by other Michigan towns like Ann Arbor (#26), Houghton (#27), East Lansing (#34), and Big Rapids (#36). Other towns like Sault St. Marie (#41), Marquette (#61) and Kalamazoo (#70) round out the bottom half.

It’s hardly shocking that Michigan is well represented, especially in three college towns known for their strong support of programs in Michigan (Ann Arbor), Michigan State (East Lansing), and Western Michigan (Kalamazoo).

New York, Massachusetts, and Minnesota are also chock full of hockey crazed towns. The list is heavily populated with both large and small places in all three states.

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An Interesting Look At Ranking US Cities for Hockey Fans

Some of the metrics used to measure certainly are unique. One such metric, average ticket price, places Detroit at 21st whereas Sunrise (home of the Panthers) has the lowest price.

But the point system certainly favors Detroit. Nearly 10 of the 80 points awarded go for Stanley Cup wins, which of course benefits the Red Wings well. Fan engagement, meanwhile, blends the number of Twitter followers with the number of Facebook likes “per capita” according to the site.


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Some other metrics include attendance, number of coaches in the past ten seasons, and franchise value. The metrics for college teams were different.

So savvy fans online, 11 Stanley Cups and some other key metrics helps propel Detroit to #3.

Subjective for sure. But for a town that’s certainly seen struggles across all four major sports, the passion is still there for its hockey team.