The Pittsburgh Steelers’ trophy room can add a new accolade to its collection.
Pittsburgh has been named the best NFL city in America, according to a new study that ranked all 30 NFL cities, based on a mix of team and city data, ahead of the start of the season on Sept. 7. The report also singled out Jacksonville, Florida, as the worst NFL city.
The findings come from Real Estate Witch, a data-oriented education platform for home buyers and sellers, which regularly releases city-based rankings on various topics.
Pittsburgh’s first-place ranking was attributed to a nine-decade franchise history, six Super Bowl trophies, and the local game-day experience, including the central location of the stadium and the high number of bars nearby, according to the report’s author.
“Pittsburgh had high scores in most of the metrics we used to make the rankings,” said Matt Brannon, data analyst for Real Estate Witch. “On-the-field success was one part of the equation, but we also wanted to factor in the local atmosphere and passion for the game.”
Brannon said the report used metrics like team performance, attendance, ticket costs, fan enthusiasm, and Google search activity for football terms. Green Bay, Wisconsin, finished second after Pittsburgh, followed by Dallas, Boston, and Denver.
The top 10 best NFL cities:
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- Green Bay, Wisconsin
- Dallas, Texas
- Boston, Massachusetts
- Denver, Colorado
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Kansas City, Missouri
- New York, New York
- San Francisco, California
- Minneapolis, Minnesota
Steelers fans probably aren’t surprised to see their city at the top of this list. Since the team arrived in Pittsburgh, it has been one of the most successful franchises, winning six Super Bowls — tied with the New England Patriots for the most in the league.
The franchise has won 661 games total, which is 36% more than the average NFL franchise, and hasn’t had a losing season since 2003. Longevity also played a role in Pittsburgh’s ranking. The Steelers have called the city home for 90 years, much longer than the average team’s tenure of 58 years.
Pittsburgh also scored well in metrics related to the fan experience. Acrisure Stadium is just 1.1 miles from the city center and has 112 bars within a 1-mile radius, making for a lively game-day environment.
2. Green Bay
With a long football tradition that includes such icons as Vince Lombardi and Brett Favre, Green Bay is, by far, the smallest city to host an NFL franchise. Still, the fan base makes up for it with sheer enthusiasm. The Packers are the only NFL team without private ownership — the team is a publicly-owned, non-profit corporation, which means it’s literally owned by the fans.
The Packers are the longest-tenured NFL team with 104 seasons in Green Bay, and their 790 regular-season wins are the most in the league. Green Bay is also tied for the most playoff appearances at 35 and has won four Super Bowls.
Last year, Lambeau Field had the third-highest attendance of any stadium at 76,180. To put that in perspective, the entire population of Green Bay is about 106,000.
Football is a core part of the Texas identity, and no city embodies the state’s football scene like Dallas. The city has claimed five Super Bowls, including three in the 1990s with a star-studded roster that featured Troy Aikman and Emmitt Smith. The Cowboys are also tied with the Packers for the most playoff appearances of any team with 35.
Despite a lack of Super Bowl appearances since the 1990s, Dallas fans remain enthusiastic about seeing their team. In 2022, Dallas had the best home attendance figures in the NFL, averaging 93,465 fans per game.
Long considered an NFL laughingstock, the New England Patriots have been the dominant NFL franchise of the past few decades, racking up a league-leading 11 Super Bowl appearances. Led by Bill Belichick and formerly Tom Brady, they’ve won six of those 11 Super Bowls — tied with the Steelers for most championships in the league.
Real Estate Witch’s report also cited a 2023 analysis from Emory University professor Mike Lewis, which found the Patriots to have the most passionate fan base in the NFL, based on ticket sales and a large social media presence.
The city might have ranked even higher but was hurt by its stadium being far from downtown Boston, sitting 22 miles away in Foxborough.
Although the Broncos are in a bit of a slump — the team hasn’t finished above .500 since 2016 — they’ve historically been one of the NFL’s flagship franchises. Even with recent struggles, Denver has racked up eight Super Bowl appearances, tied for second most in the NFL.
Plus, Denver’s stadium is just 1.6 miles from the city center, making game days convenient for the Broncos fans trying to see a game. And those tickets are in high demand: The Broncos boast the longest streak of home sellouts in the NFL, dating back to 1970. As the city continues to grow,