The Strongest Big Four Fan Bases in 2013

As we look back at the world of professional sports in 2013, TicketCity’s newest study ranks the big four fan bases that had the biggest impact last year.  Using an algorithm based on  social media metrics, game attendance and ticket demand we’ve identified the MLB, NBA, NHL and NFL fan bases that were the most active and most vocal in 2013, whether they were at the game or supporting their team on social media.

The data used in the study is based on the 2013 season, with data for NHL accounting for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons. To control for factors that influence ticket prices, including total number of games played & stadium size, average ticket price was scored based on the league average.

Without further ado, here are the Top 10 Strongest Big Four Fan Bases in 2013.  The full ranking of every team can be found here.  Do you agree with where your favorite team stacked up? Do the Lakers really belong at the top? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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As Pacers Head Home for NBA Playoff Games 3 & 4, Ticket Prices Fall

Leading to Game 3, median ticket price for the Pacers/Knicks has dropped by nearly 70% from the most expensive ticket in the league for Games 1 & 2 to the least expensive for Game 3, with a starting price of just $45.

Ranked 26th in attendance but #3 in the conference, starting point guard George Hill made a plea to Pacers fans in March after an incredibly poor at-home showing against the Lakers. Looking for a comeback in Game 3 against the Knicks, who are notorious for traveling well, Pacers fans may consider taking advantage of the cheapest playoff tickets in the league.

Spurs Swan Song?

The Spurs big 3

The Spurs big 3

This basketball counts and every game you see will be the best basketball you’ve seen all year.

82 games can stretch out a season and even stretch out a style of play. The NBA really forms into shape during this time of year because now everything matters.

There will be defense, there will be passion and the rest times are over. Players will play harder and coaches will coach harder but the theatre will be off the hook.

 

Best opening series – Golden State Warriors and Denver Nuggets

Being an Oakland native I grew up with the most apathetic fan base in the NBA. Golden State was the franchise that other players went through on their way to greatness.

They have had short periods of success including 1990 when Run TMC was the high-scoring trio of basketball teammates consisting of Tim Hardaway, Mitch Richmond and Chris Mullin.

Golden State was coached by Denver’s current head coach George Karl for a short time and most Warrior fans wish George Karl had never left.

Both teams are really fun to watch and will fill up the scoop in high scoring action. These teams will trade punches and I fully expect this series to go six or seven games.

The series could hinge on the fact that in early April, it was announced that small forward Danilo Gallinari sustained an ACL injury and would be gone for the year. He averaged 16 points and 5 rebounds per game before his injury and Denver does not have a replacement for that scoring.

 

Best storyline – Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets

How’s this for drama?

James Hardin plays against his former team in the first round of the playoffs. Hardin was the Thunder’s 3rd leading scorer in 2011/2012 at almost 17 points per game but could not get paid a max contract with star power on the roster like Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.

While everyone in Houston is happy with Hardin’s almost 26 points per game for the Rockets he has made everyone better around him.

Oklahoma City has moved on like a steamroller but Hardin was worth a lot more than his 17 points per game last year. He was Mr. Big Shot and Mr. Clutch.

Can he be Mr. Big Shot and Mr. Clutch when it matters most? I’ll be in the arena for at least one of these games. They love each other in the media but nobody will want to win more than each of those guys individually.

 

Last go around – San Antonio Spurs

Think back to the movie ‘Major League’ when Tom Berringer, Wesley Snipes and Charlie Sheen’s roles are in the restaurant and they toast to “One last good year in the sun”.

That is the San Antonio Spurs right now. They may have the best game day coach in the NBA in Gregg Popovich but their age has shown the last three years late in the season.

Popovich has rested his team, brought in young firepower but the meat of the Spurs will still come from Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker.

While Duncan has been a rock star of a basketball player in 2012/2013 Ginobili and Parker can’t walk over a crack in the sidewalk without getting hurt.

Sure the Lakers do not have Kobe Bryant but they are gaining momentum and player better down the stretch. The spurs seem to be going in the wrong direction. I’m staying with the Spurs right now but if Parker is limited or doesn’t play, all bets are off and this series could go either way.

Watch the Miami Heat make history this week

The defending World Champs are on tour this week with stops in Chicago, New Orleans & San Antonio. Nationally known sports reporter and on-air host Chip Brown discusses why all NBA fans should attend at least one Heat game this season to see the team making history every time they step on the court.

Spurs, Heat, Thunder and… Pacers??

If there is one sport that I go hot and cold on it is the National Basketball Association. The NBA has a few seasons rolled into one. With 70% of the season gone, now we will see some serious basketball with real defense and a desire to win as slotting begins to take place for the playoffs.

The San Antonio Spurs are the Association’s best team right now with the best record followed closely by the defending champion Miami Heat. If those two teams are playing the best coming into the home stretch for the 2012/2013 season the team closest to them has to be the Indiana Pacers.

The Pacers just got their best player Danny Granger back from injury and they are trying to play him into shape. While they are being given a lot of national love they are an anomaly of a team. They win 82% of their home games while winning 42% of their road games. While they have played a lot better as of late even on the road, they play in the east and will eventually have to knock off the Lebron James, Chris Bosh, Dwayne Wade and the Miami Heat.

I don’t believe that I’m out of bounds with the statement that everyone is trying to put together a formula to beat the Miami Heat four times over the course of two weeks. With the Miami Heat having home court advantage, the Pacers 42% road win percentage comes into play.

As much as David Stern and the NBA would like you to think the NBA playoffs are wide open and any one of the eight teams from each conference that makes the playoffs could win the championship, nothing could be further from the truth.

The chase for Miami has three contenders from the west. There is the talented and high octane scoring machine (even without James Harden) in the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Los Angeles Clippers than have been historically the doormats of the NBA and the San Antonio Spurs that have a great mix of skilled veterans with experience and young energy. If there is a team that could challenge outside of that group (and you can open-hand slap me for this later) is will be the other team from Los Angeles in the Lakers. They have the talent, lack the coaching, developing the chemistry and have the Black Mamba (Kobe Bryant) as the front man.

The eastern conference goes through Miami and with all due respect to the Indiana Pacers and even the New York Knicks, the team that will threaten to beat the Heat four times in two weeks will not come from the East.

The Miami Heat are Goliath right now and while the Spurs, Thunder and Clippers could all put together a formula to see if they are David the road will be anything but easy.

Shaquille O’Neal’s words from his Lakers days still hold true for Lebron, Dwayne and Chris, “We the champions until we ain’t the champions no more.”

We might have to get used to that sentence.