Dallas might be home to an NBA team in the hunt for home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs and a No. 6 seed in the men’s NCAA tournament, but according to a study by WalletHub, we’re only the 35th best city in the country for basketball fans.
The website looked at a variety of metrics for the 300 most populated U.S. cities, including number of NBA and NCAA Division I teams, team winning percentages, ticket prices, stadium accessibility (stadium capacity divided by city population), divisional and overall championships, number of sports bars per capita, team Twitter mentions and Facebook followers, franchise value, attendance, and TV viewership rates.
Apparently, all of that added up to put Storrs, Connecticut (home of University of Connecticut), and Chapel Hill, North Carolina, in the top two spots.
There is a town in Texas sitting at No. 3 — it’s just that it’s San Antonio, home to the Spurs, a team valued $150 million less than the Mavs’ $1.15 billion. Sure, there’s that whole “highest winning percentage in major pro sports since 1997” thing, but the Mavs have sold out every game since December 15, 2001, the longest streak in major pro sports.
One might think that the Spurs should have that streak because it’s the only pro team in San Antonio, but maybe having to compete with three other major pro teams has some sort of rising-tide effect for the Mavs. Or maybe people in San Antonio really like going to see Trinity’s basketball team.
Elsewhere in the state, Houston is No. 23, Nacogdoches is No. 52, Waco is No. 58 and Austin is No. 125 — which is probably pretty accurate because the Longhorns are headed for another NCAA tournament flameout against Butler, and nobody really seems to care.
If Nacogdoches seems out of place, remember that the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks are a No. 12 seed in the NCAA tournament. They play No. 5 Utah March 19 at 6:27 pm.
No. 6 SMU squares off with No. 11 UCLA on March 19 at 2:10 pm. No. 11 UT plays No. 6 Butler at 1:45 pm. Trinity went 5-20 and did not make the tournament.