Pittsburgh, with the Super Bowl-winning Steelers and Stanley Cup-winning Penguins leading the way in 2009, is No. 1 in Sporting News’ 16th annual Best Sports Cities rankings.
The Steel City dethroned 2008’s No. 1 Boston, which had finished atop the list three of the past five years but dropped to third, behind No. 2 Philadelphia, on the 2009 list. Rounding out the top 10 are No. 4 Chicago and No. 5 Los Angeles, No. 6 New York, No. 7 Phoenix, No. 8 Miami, No. 9 Dallas-Fort Worth and No. 10 Detroit.
“It’s been quite a year in Pittsburgh. Sports fans in Western Pennsylvania have had a lot to be proud of these last 12 months,” Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said, acknowledging the honor. “Pittsburgh truly is the City of Champions once again.”
This year’s list features 399 cities and towns in the United States and Canada, ranked based on a variety of factors, including each city’s number of teams and their regular-season won-lost records, playoff berths, bowl appearances and tournament bids, championships, applicable power ratings, attendance, fan fervor and more.
“Whether it’s the CEO of U.S. Steel or the guy running the body shop on he other side of the street, Pittsburgh’s people share a common bond with their sports teams,” Pitt football coach and Pittsburgh native Dave Wannstedt says.
Sporting News began its Best Sports City rankings in 1993. Past winners:
1993—Chicago Note: There was no Best Sports City in 1996 as the ratings were expanded and refined.