Looks like Josh Hamilton’s wrong after all about DFW not being a “true baseball town.”
The numbers crunchers over at WalletHub.com put Arlington in the top 10 on their list of “Best Baseball Cities” in 2016, coming in at No. 6.
New York tops the list, followed in order by St. Louis, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Boston. Where’s Chicago and Cleveland, home cities of this year’s World Series contenders, you ask? Tenth and 14th, respectively.
Based on what? Twenty-five key indicators of baseball-fan friendliness, according to WalletHub.com, ranging from "performance level of team(s)" to "average ticket price for a game" to "stadium accessibility." It should be noted that the rankings include minor league and college baseball towns.
That said, Arlington ranks 5th for cheapest average game ticket ($24); 4th for most accessible stadium; and 3rd for most engaged fans (behind Boston and St. Louis). Houston ranks among the worst in stadium accessibility and fan engagement, and its average game ticket is among the most expensive ($37).
The data used in the rankings came from the U.S. Census Bureau, Team Marketing Report, ESPN, MLB, Minor League Baseball, The Harris Poll, The National Collegiate Athletic Association and each team’s website.
Regarding Josh’s “not a baseball town” comment as he left the Rangers and joined the Anaheim Angels in 2013, we defer to former Rangers manager Ron Washington’s comment at the time: “There were 3.5 million fans that came through the turnstiles. That answers it right there.”