MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A recent study done by two professors at Emory University has ranked all the fan bases in the NFL.
The top fan base isn’t all that surprising, but where the Vikings land in their Purple Pride might be considered disappointing locally. The 2015 NFL Fan Equity Ranking, done by Mike Lewis and Manish Tripathi, cited the fan base of the Dallas Cowboys, widely considered “America’s Team,” as the best fans in the NFL.READ MORE: St. Paul School Board Chair Jeanelle Foster Recovering From COVID
The Cowboys’ history speaks for itself; football dominates Texas and a flashy billion-dollar stadium all help the cause.
The study was based on 15 years worth of data, including team performance, ticket prices, market populations, median incomes, win-loss records and other factors. It also included a model for box office revenue and which teams over and underperformed the predictions.
Not only is the Vikings’ fan base not in the top 10 according to this study, they’re not in the top half of the NFL. Their Fan Equity Ranking came in at No. 18. They are also third in the NFC North Division, behind the Green Bay Packers (7th) and the Chicago Bears (8th).
The top fan bases after the Cowboys include the Patriots, Giants, Ravens and Jets. The Raiders, Browns and Dolphins fan bases are the three worst in the NFL.
So why is the Vikings fan base considered below average in this study? Well, there are plenty of factors. First, it’s expensive to go to an NFL game, and the Metrodome wasn’t exactly a gem for a football stadium. You can’t blame fans for preferring to watch the Purple from their living room couch with their own nachos and beer. Parking for Vikings fans in Minneapolis can be a mess, food and drinks from concessions hit the wallet hard and there’s always this risk that your seat is next to a loud, obnoxious and inebriated fan.READ MORE: What Is Proper Fall Clean-Up Etiquette? And What Methods Are Best For Your Lawn?
Not far behind: The Vikings lead the way when it comes to breaking the hearts of Minnesota sports fans. They are 0-4 in the Super Bowl, had the painful loss in the 1998 NFC title game to the Falcons and an even more painful loss in the 2010 NFC title game against the Saints.
Minnesota sports fans tend to be bandwagon jumpers, and Vikings fans are the worst of the worst. Ask most and they’ll say they are still not over the last two NFC title game losses. They probably never will be until the Vikings get to a Super Bowl.
There’s also been the debacle with Adrian Peterson and his child abuse case in 2014. There’s never been a more polarizing situation for Vikings fans than what transpired last season. Companies pulled their sponsorships from the Vikings when he wasn’t immediately suspended, and many fans wanted him gone from Minnesota if not the NFL.
All that said, the Vikings fan base is like most others in that all the disappointment and legal issues can be forgotten by winning. That, and the excitement is building as the construction of the team’s new $1 billion U.S. Bank Stadium pushes forward. The brand new, state-of-the-art facility will be ready for the 2016 season.
So while Vikings fans may not like to hear that their fan base is below average by Fan Equity Ranking, the numbers don’t lie. Randy Moss, a former Viking, said it best: “The truth hurts. That’s why people don’t like to hear the truth.”MORE NEWS: Online Learning Apps Helping Kids Catch Up From Pandemic-Compromised School Year