Where do MLB Fans Live? Mapping Baseball Fandom Across the U.S.
After a long winter, the 2019 MLB season – and the chance to experience live baseball – is finally here.
By analyzing the behavior of MLB shoppers on SeatGeek, we were able to map “MLB Fandom” across the country. See below for an interactive map of the most popular team in every U.S. county, and a breakdown of the most interesting stories that it surfaces.
Team with the most U.S. counties: Atlanta Braves
The Atlanta Braves are the team with the most shopped-for tickets in 515 counties, making them the clear MLB winner by a wide margin. The Braves dominate the Southeastern United States, controlling most or all of Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina, along with significant chunks of Tennessee, North Carolina, and Florida. In all, the Braves are represented in nine states, more than any other team. Notably, of those nine states, only two — Georgia (the Braves) and Florida (the Rays and Marlins) — have MLB teams.
Behind the Braves in the rankings are the Texas Rangers, the top team in 287 counties. The Rangers are the number one team in their home state of Texas, as well as nearly every county in Oklahoma, and also do battle with their in-state rivals the Houston Astros in Louisiana, where the Rangers add another 30 counties. The St. Louis Cardinals come in third, the favorite team of ticket shoppers in 286 counties.
Team with the most out-of-state counties: Atlanta Braves
The Braves again come out on top, and the aforementioned popularity across the Southeast means that 360 of the team’s 515 total counties are in states outside of Georgia — a bigger number than any other team.
Behind the Braves are the Kansas City Royals, who, at 6:1, have the highest ratio of out-of-state counties to in-state counties. The team plays in Missouri, where it holds 34 counties, but Royals fandom extends west into Kansas, north into Iowa and Nebraska, and south into Oklahoma and Arkansas.
Third on this list is another Missouri-based team, the St. Louis Cardinals. The top team in their home state, the Cardinals also control large swaths of Illinois and Arkansas, along with portions of five additional states.
Team that covers the greatest land area: Seattle Mariners
The favorite team in 168 counties, the Mariners are ninth in the ranking of teams by number of counties. But these 168 counties cover more than 800,000 square miles, nearly a quarter of the country, making the Mariners the nation’s leading team by land area.
This is due in large part to the Mariners’ complete control of Alaska, the country’s largest state and closer to Seattle than any other baseball city. Within the continental United States, the Mariners are the top team in much of the Pacific Northwest, including Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Montana.
Behind the Mariners are the Rockies, with fandom that covers nearly 400,000 square miles across Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, and Montana. The Rangers, with large coverage of the country’s second-largest state of Texas, are third at roughly 340,000 square miles.
Team with the most California counties: San Francisco Giants
California, home to more MLB teams than any other state (five), can be a battleground for baseball fans. In reality, however, it is a four-team race out West, as the Anaheim Angels — along with the Chicago White Sox — are one of two teams that did not rank as the most popular in a single county.
The San Francisco Giants are currently the most popular team in California, with 45 of the state’s 58 total counties.
San Francisco’s rivals to the south, the Los Angeles Dodgers, rank second in-state with 11 counties across the majority of southern California. The Oakland A’s and San Diego Padres control one county apiece, each in their home territory (Alameda County for the A’s, San Diego county for the Padres).
State with the most teams: Pennsylvania
Though it is home to only two teams, no state is the site of fiercer competition than Pennsylvania, which has its allegiance split across seven different teams. The Philadelphia Phillies and Pittsburgh Pirates hold 26 Pennsylvania counties apiece, with strongholds on their respective sides of the state (Phillies to the east, Pirates to the west). The Orioles, Indians, Yankees, Blue Jays, and Nationals split the remainder of the state.
Ohio is a close second, with fandom split across five unique teams: the Pirates in the east on the Pennsylvania border, the Indians surrounding Cleveland, the Tigers on the Michigan border, the Cubs in the west, and the Reds across the central and southern parts of the state. California, Iowa, Michigan, and New York are all split across four teams each.
Fandom can be fickle, and when it comes to America’s pastime, allegiance does not always follow state lines. Explore the interactive map above to find out which teams MLB fans in your state and county are supporting. And to plan your schedule for the season, find MLB tickets here.
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