Yeah, things like jobs and real estate values are important, but you know what really matters? The strength of your football team.
Yes, for some people, there is no greater motivator to move to a city than whether or not there’s an NFL team to root for, and the chances of them actually ending up in the Super Bowl. Now that the new NFL season has started, we’re taking a look at the best places to live for football fans.
We used WalletHub’s study of the Best and Worst Cities for Football Fans, which compared more than the 240 U.S. cities with at least one professional football team (or college, but that didn’t rate on our list) across 21 key metrics, as our base. Then we weaved in some additional info about each of the top 4 cities on their list. Is one of these cities a touchdown? Depends on what you’re looking for.
No. 1 Pittsburgh
WalletHub has Pittsburgh at the top of their list. The city came in third for their best-performing team metric, was fourth for most accessible stadium, and tied (with Green Bay) for most engaged fans. “The six Super Bowl titles for the Steelers are the most for any NFL franchise,” said CheatSheet. A list of the team’s greatest players includes a fair share of the NFL’s best all-time players. Throw in the devoted fans,” and it’s no wonder Pittsburgh leads the pack.
So is this a great place to move? Livability thinks so. They ranked the city No. 8 on their new list of the Top 100 Best Places to Live in America. “The Burgh scored high in the study’s economy category, as well as infrastructure,” said CBS Pittsburgh. “Editors also say that Pittsburgh has seen an influx of young people and tech companies in recent years…with local universities including Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh driving innovation and nurturing talent. Editors also talked about Pittsburgh’s climate, home values, brewers, dream jobs and weather.”
No. 2 Boston
Not surprisingly, Boston is at the top of WalletHub’s best-performing NFL city list, and is ranked No. 3 for the most engaged NFL fans. “Boston College and Boston University play football within the city limits, and Harvard plays just across the Charles River in Cambridge,” said CheatSheet. “But college football isn’t why Boston makes the list. It has a little something to do with the New England Patriots and their five Super Bowl titles. Those [six] championships and the legions of fans who live and die with the Patriots will keep Boston high on the list of top football towns for a long time to come.”
U.S. News & World Report has Boston ranked No. 27 on its national list of Best Places to Live and No. 25 in Best Places to Retire. “Boston often feels like a small town with all the perks of city life,” they said. “The metro area features a diverse culinary scene, access to the cultural institutions, and proximity to world-class schools, employers and health care. It is historic but ever-evolving. It is on the cutting edge of medicine and technology, but traditional in its love of pastimes.”
The downside? “Boston is a notoriously expensive metro area. If you are looking to purchase a home in Boston, prices can vary drastically based on the neighborhood, though they tend to be higher than the national median.”
No. 3 Green Bay
This city has fervent fans, as evidenced by their No. 1 ranking (in a tie) for most engaged fans in the WalletHub study. Green Bay also ranked first for most accessible stadium. “The Green Bay Packers are the No. 1 reason people in northern Wisconsin leave the house in autumn and early winter,” said CheatSheet. “OK, that might be stretching the truth, but not by much. At least the team gives Packers fans something worth watching. Their top quarterbacks are among the best to ever play the game. The team has four Super Bowl titles, and it’s always a contender to win another one.”
Green Bay’s median household income is a bit higher than the state and U.S. median, but rising home prices have taken a bite out of affordability. Prices are up in the hot Green Bay market by more than 15% over last year, and many homes get multiple offers and sell for over asking price. Still, the average sales price is only $190,000—significantly more attainable than homes in other parts of the country.
No. 4 Dallas
Dallas has five Super Bowl titles and a loud and proud legion of fans across the country and around the world. WalletHub has the city ranked as the No. 4 best-performing NFL team. “They’re called America’s Team for a reason, and the Super Bowls have something to do with it,” said CheatSheet. “They’ve been better at crushing fans’ dreams recently, but their legacy of success makes Dallas a great football city.
Dallas has been growing at a rapid rate for several years and shows no sign of slowing. The job market is strong, and, while home prices have risen alongside population gains, transplants from places like New York, California, Seattle, or Chicago will be surprised at the relative affordability. And the cost of living is also lower than those, and so many other, populous areas.