Emory University’s Michael Lewis released his NFL Fandom Report of 2019 on Monday, which saw the New Orleans Saints fall three spots year over year.
Per the article, Lewis said, “The Saints are the relative newcomer in the top ten. Like the Patriots, it will be interesting to see how Saints fandom responds when Drew Brees retires.”
My approach to evaluating fan bases uses data on attendance, revenues, social media following and road attendance to develop statistical models of fan interest (more details here). The key is that the models are used to determine which city’s fans are more willing to spend or follow their teams after controlling for factors like market size and short-term changes in winning and losing.
In 2017, the Saints came in at 6th, and followed that up with a 7th overall ranking in 2018. Meanwhile, New Orleans came in ahead of the Falcons (13th), Panthers (16th), and Buccaneers (23rd). The Rams ranked worst.