Despite Atlanta United shattering virtually every attendance record for every sport except the NFL, Atlanta is still only the nation’s 9th best city for soccer according to a credit score website.
In determining the best cities for soccer fans, WalletHub compared 292 of the most populated U.S. cities across six divisions, including Major League Soccer, the National Women’s Soccer League, the North American Soccer League, the United Soccer League, and divisions I for men and women in college soccer.
Los Angeles came in at No. 1, followed by Orlando, Fla.; Seattle; Portland, Ore.; and New York.
While WalletHub credited the U.S. Women's National Team's 2015 FIFA World Cup victory as part of American soccer's surging popularity, it did note Atlanta United broke average per-game home attendance records for every major sport except the NFL.
"Whether it’s poised to become Major League Soccer’s most valuable team, however, remains to be seen," the survey said. "The average MLS team was worth $223 million in 2017, up from $185 million in 2016."
Atlanta did come in at No. 2 for most engaged fans, with Orlando at No. 1. Back in May, Orlando fans threw trash at Atlanta United players
Atlanta United was also No. 2, behind Dallas, as the best-performing MLS team. Atlanta also had one of the highest minimum season-ticket prices for an MLS team. Mercedes-Benz Stadium is MLS' fourth-largest stadium, behind Salt Lake City, Orlando, and Piscataway, N.J.
On Wednesday, FIFA announced the United States, Mexico and Canada will host the 2026 World Cup, and Atlanta is reportedly on a short list of possible host cities.
The U.S. previously hosted in 1994 and the potential for a highly lucrative tournament, plus the existing stadiums and infrastructure, likely played a major role in swaying voters.
WalletHub looked at data ranging from minimum season-ticket prices to stadium accessibility to number of championship wins. Check out the full report here.
Here’s a look at the top 10:
- Los Angeles
- Orlando, Fla.
- Portland, Ore.
- New York
- Salt Lake City
- Washington, DC
- Kansas City, Mo.