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Columbus is one of the BEST Minor League Baseball towns

September 28, 2016

Columbus is a city that loves to be on the top of any of those “Best” lists. And it’s done it again. Columbus has been ranked as one of the top minor league baseball towns in the country. With along history of baseball, it’s not hard to tell why.
This is SmartAsset’s third annual ranking of America’s Best Minor League Baseball Towns. See the 2015 ranking here.

Study Specifics

To create our list of the best minor league baseball towns in the country, we ranked 158 cities and towns using two scores: a quality of life score and a game day experience score. Each score was developed using the same nine metrics that we considered in the 2015 edition of our study.
Our quality of life score is based on the unemployment rate, property crime rate and violent crime rate in each town. We also looked at average discretionary income and the concentration of dining and entertainment establishments. To calculate our game day experience score, we focused on team records (aka the percentage of wins), minor league classes, stadium rankings and average attendance rates. (Read our full methodology below.)

Key Findings

  • The East Coast dominates. Four of the top 10 minor league baseball towns are located off the coast of the Atlantic.
  • Tennessee tanks. Nashville ranks third in our analysis this year. But three other Tennessee towns ranked at the bottom of the list. Kingsport, Greeneville and Elizabethton had some of the lowest game day experience and quality of life scores in our study.

minor league baseball 2 map The Best Minor League Baseball Towns of 2016

Columbus, Ohio (Columbus Clippers)
Columbus, Ohio and Allentown, Pennsylvania tied for the highest game day experience scores in our study. But Columbus pulled ahead in other factors. The Clippers’ regular season record for 2016 was nearly identical to their record for 2015. This year they won 82 games, which is more than most minor league teams.
One player that fans must’ve enjoyed watching was Yandy Diaz. The new outfielder and third baseman was named the International League Rookie of the Year. He ended the season with a .462 batting average.

minor league baseball 1 table The Best Minor League Baseball Towns of 2016


SmartAsset decided that the best towns for minor league baseball would provide fans with a great game day experience and a high quality of life. So we developed a game day experience score and a quality of life score by ranking 158 cities and towns across the following nine metrics:
Game Day Experience Factors:

  • Each team’s percentage of wins during the 2016 season
  • Stadium rankings (using the 2015 ranking from the Stadium Journey website)
  • Average attendance rates (attendance averages divided by stadium capacity)
  • Each team’s minor league class (the ones in the AAA category are the best, followed by the AA, High A, Low A, Class A Short and Rookie teams)

Quality of Life Factors:

  • Property crime rate (the number of property crimes per 100,000 people)
  • Violent crime rate (violent crimes per 100,000 residents)
  • Unemployment rate
  • Median discretionary income (median annual household income minus annual housing costs)
  • Dining and entertainment businesses per 10,000 people

We used the same factors that we considered in our 2015 analysis. This year, we excluded the Hartford, Connecticut Yard Goats since their stadium was under construction and they didn’t play any home games in 2016. One additional note: Since the Columbia, South Carolina Fireflies played in a new stadium this past season (meaning that it wasn’t included in the Stadium Journey ranking), we gave them an average ranking overall.
Once we ranked each team and town according to each factor, we averaged those rankings and created separate indexes for our game day experience score and our quality of life score. Then we averaged the scores from both indexes, giving equal weight to each one.
See the Full Article Here!