The New England Patriots are the best team in the NFL. But do they have the best fans? According to a recent study, the answer is … almost.
As it has done for the past several years, Emory Sports Analytics has attempted to rank the best fan bases in the NFL in terms of “fan equity.” Using data such as team performance, ticket prices, median incomes and market populations, fan equity essentially quantifies the willingness of a fan base to financially support its NFL team (click here for a complete explanation of the study’s methodology).
According to Emory’s study, released Wednesday, the Dallas Cowboys have the “best” fans in the league, with the Patriots right behind them in second. Here’s the top 10:
1. Dallas Cowboys
2. New England Patriots
3. New York Giants
4. Baltimore Ravens
5. New York Jets
6. Chicago Bears
7. Green Bay Packers
8. New Orleans Saints
9. Indianapolis Colts
10. San Francisco 49ers
The study points out its analysis is just through the 2014-15 season, so it doesn’t cover the Deflategate scandal that has rocked New England this offseason. Yet the study focuses more on fans’ financial support than on public perception, so the authors believe the saga’s impact will be minimal.
This marks the third year in a row Cowboys and Patriots fans have finished first and second in the study, respectively. Yet a strong fan base isn’t always tied to team success, as the lowly Jets have the fifth-best fans in the study while the Seattle Seahawks, who have been to back-to-back Super Bowls, rank 26th.
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images