Atlanta is a baseball town after all – and one of the best in America – according to a new study by WalletHub.
The personal-finance website released its 2016 Best Baseball Cities list on Tuesday, and our city ranks No. 4 out of 361 cities in the U.S., behind only New York City, St. Louis and Los Angeles.
The list was compiled using 25 metrics, including performance level of Major League Baseball teams (of which Atlanta ranked No. 15), average ticket price of an MLB game (No. 2) and MLB fan engagement (No. 4).
But the study also looked at each city’s minor league teams, as well as the college baseball teams in the area. Atlanta did not rank well in most of those metrics, but the MLB rankings were weighted for 70 percent of the overall score, while college baseball teams got 20 percent and squads in the minors only got 10 percent.
I’d guess that the 2017 list will have Atlanta a few spots lower, as SunTrust Park tickets will likely be slightly more expensive than Turner Field tickets, and the capacity of the new stadium is more than 8,000 seats fewer than the old one. In fact, SunTrust Park will be the 11th-smallest MLB stadium, in terms of capacity, when it opens, so that’ll hurt Atlanta’s 2017 rating, if WalletHub performs the same study again.
With a score of 46.46, Atlanta edged out Boston for the fourth spot by just 0.03 points. Atlanta finished nearly 4 points ahead of San Francisco. The two World Series cities, Chicago and Cleveland, rank 10th and 14th, respectively.
To see the full study, click here.Follow @Sean_Breslin