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Chicago tops Sporting News’ annual Best Sports Cities list

by Staff Writer / Chicago Blackhawks
October 6 – Chicago, with the Stanley Cup-winning Blackhawks and fast-rising Bulls leading the way, is No. 1 in Sporting News’ 17th annual Best Sports Cities rankings.

The Windy City dethroned 2009’s No. 1 Pittsburgh, a first-time winner in 2009 and No. 12 in 2010's rankings. Rounding out the top 10 are No. 2 Boston, No 3. Los Angeles, No. 4 Philadelphia, No. 5 Dallas/Fort Worth, No. 6 New York, No. 7 Phoenix/Tempe, No. 8 Atlanta, No. 9 Denver/Boulder, No. 10 Detroit/Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti.

Legendary Bears linebacker and Chicago native, Dick Butkus on what makes Chicago the Best Sports City: "The Bears have had some down years, but they always sell tickets. You go to a Blackhawks game, whether they’re good or bad, the fans are there. The Bulls sucked for a while until Michael Jordan came, but we still had the team and the people would go. ... And Cubs fans ... are they nuts? Why do they go there? I’ll tell you why, because they represent their city. ...There’s plenty to do in Chicago, too. The people there don’t have to go through the hassle of attending games, but they always do anyway."

This year's list is based on the 12 months from summer 2009 to summer 2010 and features 402 cities and towns in the United States and Canada. The rankings are based on a variety of factors, including each city’s number of teams and their regular-season won-lost records, postseason appearances, bowl appearances and tournament bids, championships, applicable power ratings, attendance, fan fervor and more.

Sporting News began its Best Sports City rankings in 1993. Past winners:
2003—Anaheim/Los Angeles
2001—New York
2000—St. Louis
1999—New York

Note: There was no Best Sports City in 1996 as the ratings were expanded and refined.

The new Sporting News Magazine, featuring Blackhawks Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews and Bull Joakim Noah on the cover, hits newsstands later this week and can be purchased at all Barnes & Noble, Borders and Hudson Retail outlets. The full list and more coverage can be found on and in Sporting News Today. Log on to for a subscription.
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