Sports fans are some of the most passionate and dedicated fans in the world. They live and breathe their team, and will do anything to support them. From painting their faces to sleeping outside the stadium, they will do whatever it takes to show their team spirit.
If that resonates with you — maybe you're always the friend who goes all-out for the tailgate or perhaps you've always wanted to be — you might be interested in the best cities for sports fans.
Whether you're considering moving to one of these places in the future or you just want to catch your team on the road, these cities have energetic, adrenaline-fueled environments perfect for sports fans. In some cases, it's the history and tradition of the hometown team or an especially spirited atmosphere at an iconic stadium.
In others, it's the notoriously passionate fans themselves. Here are eight of the best cities for sports fans, in no particular order.
Psst...Before we dive in, have you seen The Wander Club's Baseball Stadium Tokens and Football Stadium Tokens? Just like you've always been able to document your travels and adventures around the world, now your stadium visits can be included!
8 of the Best Cities for Sports Fans
Boston is arguably one of the best cities for sports fans, for a variety of reasons. First, the city is home to some of the most iconic sports teams in the world, including the Boston Red Sox, the Boston Celtics, the Boston Bruins, and the New England Patriots.
Second, Boston is a passionate, lively city in general, and it's no different when it comes to sports — fans here are truly diehard. If you don't totally believe that, make sure to be in town during a rivalry or playoff game!
Next, Boston is also home to some of the most intense sports rivalries in the world. The long-standing Red Sox-Yankees rivalry comes to mind immediately, but the other professional teams all have particularly interesting rivalries, also. Plus, we can't overlook the fact that the Patriots are one of the winningest — and therefore, most hated — teams in sports.
The city has a rich sports history overall, including minor league and college sports. In fact, Boston has a whopping 35 colleges and universities, a huge number for a fairly small town size-wise!
St. Louis, Missouri
There are plenty of reasons to recognize St. Louis as one of the best US cities for sports fans. First and foremost, the city is home to some of the most successful teams in the country.
The Cardinals are one of the most successful franchises in baseball (the team has won 11 World Series championships, if anyone's counting), and the Blues are perennial Stanley Cup contenders. Plus, the St. Louis Rams NFL team only left the city in recent years, but was considered "the greatest show on turf" for many years and won a Super Bowl.
But there's more to St. Louis than just the Big Two. The city also has a rich, long-standing history in sports. It's been home to some of the greatest athletes of all time, including baseball legends Stan Musial, Bob Gibson, Cy Young, and Yogi Berra, and football great Kurt Warner.
Whether you're a diehard fan of the Cardinals or the Blues, or you're just a casual fan of sports in general, St. Louis is a great place to be. There's something for everyone, and the city always has a great atmosphere on game days.
Photo courtesy of Visit Denver
Coloradoans are typically pretty dang proud of their home state, and it turns out that transfers over to their sports teams, too. Denver, in particular, is one of the best cities for sports fans in the country.
Whether it’s the Broncos, the Rockies, the Nuggets, or the Avalanche, and regardless of what's happening with the weather, the city always comes out to support its teams.
And if you don't live somewhere cold and you're thinking that it must be miserable to watch a Broncos game in the snow, you might be surprised. Most diehard fans will tell you that's actually one of the best, most exciting environments. When you think about it, anyone who stays through wild weather must be especially dedicated, creating a unique environment.
In addition to Denver's well-known major league teams, there are also several minor league, collegiate, and more niche teams to root for. There's an MLS soccer team, professional lacrosse team, and minor league rugby and ultimate frisbee teams (yep, it's absolutely a thing!).
There are plenty of reasons to love Milwaukee, Wisconsin – and being a sports fan is just one of them! Here are some of the top reasons why Milwaukee is one of the best cities for sports fans:
There’s a team for everyone. Milwaukee is home to professional teams in several major sports (and even though the NFL's Packers technically play in Green Bay, about two hours away, most Milwaukeeans root for them), including the most well-known, the Bucks (NFL) and Brewers (baseball).
Also, fun fact: the Green Bay Packers actually won one of its titles playing in Milwaukee, because the team's home stadium at the time was smaller.
Milwaukee's fans are also incredibly passionate (another cold, snowy city — anyone else recognizing a pattern here?). Regardless of the weather, they’re always ready to support their teams, flooding the streets en route to the city's top-notch stadiums. You can actually feel the energy and excitement in the air whenever a game is happening.
Finally, Milwaukee has a very strong beer and food culture (brats and cheese curds, anyone?), and what pairs better with watching sports than beer and food?
It's impossible to discuss the best cities for sports fans without mentioning Atlanta. The city is one of only 14 in the country that has four professional sports teams: the Braves (MLB), the Falcons (NFL), the Hawks (NBA), and the United (MLS).
Taking it a step even further, Atlanta has also hosted the Olympics and the Super Bowl. Talk about a haven for sports lovers! Oh, we almost forgot one: the College Football Hall of Fame is also in Atlanta.
One interesting thing about sports culture in ATL is that it's not necessarily easy to root for the home team. Historically, the only thing you can consistently count on from Atlanta teams is that they'll surprise and disappoint you. This brand of loyalty doesn't come easy, but it does make for fiercely loyal fans.
It's also no secret that Southerners love their food, convivial drinks, and generally just getting together, so Atlanta also has arguably one of the best tailgating environments in the country. Plus, Southerners are extra hospitable by default, which means you're essentially always invited.
Welcome to Miami, one of the best cities for sports fans! Whether you’re a diehard football fan or just enjoy going to live sporting events in general, Miami has something for everyone, any time of year.
Like Atlanta, Miami is home to a LOT of professional sports organizations. There's the Miami Dolphins (love 'em or hate 'em) NFL team, the Miami Marlins baseball team, the NBA's Miami Heat, the Florida Panthers NHL team (yep, hockey in Florida), and an MLS team, Inter Miami CF.
Plus, the University of Miami Hurricanes have a strong, loyal following in college sports as well. Especially when it comes to football — the team is one of the all-time top as far as producing NFL players, behind only USC.
Even thinking outside the typical "box" of professional sports, Miami is home to NASCAR and IndyCar racing at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. So quite literally, no matter what your sport of choice is, Miami is one of the best cities for sports fans. And with warm weather year-round, you can enjoy watching your favorite teams outdoors!
Much like some of the other best cities for sports fans, Chicagoans don't have it easy. It hasn't always been easy to be a Chicago sports fan, and that remains true even today. However, few cities in the US can match The Windy City when it comes to sports.
Whether you’re a fan of the Cubs, the White Sox, the Bears, the Bulls, the Blackhawks, or any of the other great teams in the city, there’s no doubt that Chicago is a great place to be a sports fan.
Although the teams aren't necessarily always winning (in fact, some Chicago teams hold the unfortunate honor of having some of the longest losing streaks in professional sports), there's always a game of some sort to watch. The city's stadiums and arenas are among the most iconic in the world (we're looking at you, Wrigley) and for the truly terrible weather days, there are plenty of bars.
Finally, perhaps the biggest reason why Chicago is one of the best cities for sports fans is because of the Blackhawks' rivalry with the Detroit Red Wings. One of the most famous and long-standing rivalries in sports, these teams have hated each other for nearly 100 years, since 1926. Since then, they've faced off in a staggering 16 Stanley Cups.
Buffalo, New York
There's a theory that all the Great Lakes cities (think Cleveland, Chicago, Milwaukee, Rochester, and Toronto) are fantastic sports cities. There's that cold-weather theory popping up again. In any case, Buffalo is certainly no exception.
Situated on the shores of Lake Erie, Buffalo is indeed a Great Lakes city. And a very, very cold city. And a city that seriously gets behind its sports teams, which includes the Buffalo Bills football team and the Buffalo Sabres NHL hockey team. The city also has a minor league baseball team, the Buffalo Bisons. Side note: we love some good irony.
Like so many other great sports cities, Buffalo has had its fair share of ups and downs. While the Bills had a wildly successful run in the 1990s and is performing well in more recent years, it also had many, many years of, well, not much of anything.
The Bills went to the Super Bowl four consecutive times from 1990-1993, but lost every single time. Then, they didn't make a single post-season game appearance until 2016. In fact, the team holds the NFL record for the longest playoff drought in history. In spite of that, Buffalo still ranks consistently on lists of the best sports cities, specifically for "fan enthusiasm."