January 2009 Issue
In a sports-crazed state, it should come as no surprise that the No. 1 sports city in the country is right here in Ohio.
According to research conducted over the past year by Scarborough Sports Marketing, Columbus is the best sports city in the United States.
The results of the survey indicate that 66 percent of adults in Columbus say they are avid sports fans. Scarborough’s measurements include fan enthusiasm, sports viewing and listening, and leisure activities. The New York-based firm gauges local and national consumer and lifestyle information by surveying more than 220,000 adults over 18 years of age in 81 of the largest media markets.
“Columbus is a very sports-minded city,” says Linda Shetina Logan, executive director of the Greater Columbus Sports Commission. “We’re an interesting mix –– we’re a huge college town, but also a professional-sports city.”
Columbus is best known for its avid support of Ohio State University. But the city’s also home to the Columbus Blue Jackets of the National Hockey League and the Columbus Crew, which won the Major League Soccer championship in November.
The Columbus Clippers have a longstanding tradition of minor league baseball and will be the Triple-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians this year. The Columbus Destroyers play in the Arena Football League. The city also hosts World Cup soccer tournaments and many high school contests, including the boys and girls state basketball championships.
“There’s something for everyone here,” Logan says.
Columbus beat Boston (which finished at No. 2 with 64 percent) and Buffalo and Pittsburgh (which tied for third place at 63 percent). The Cleveland/Akron market tied for fourth place, and Dayton, Toledo and Cincinnati tied for fifth, sixth and ninth place respectively.
“[The results] validate things those of us who live here already know –– what a great destination Columbus is and what a great sports city it is,” Logan says.