Photo by Ron Cogswell on Flickr.com

With Game 3 of the World Series between the Houston Astros and Philadelphia Phillies set for Monday night, there’s no better time to celebrate America’s pastime — baseball.

And Charleston is one of the best places in the country for the sport, according to a new study. The WalletHub study shows that the Holy City is the sixth-best midsize city for baseball fans in 2022 out of 93 cities.

Sixth? Not first, especially after the Charleston RiverDogs captured its second-in-a-row league championship? Charleston’s fans might just beg to differ.

“We hear constantly from the minor league players, coaches and staffs that come through Charleston that the Holy City is one of the most supportive fan bases in the country, and the crowds at Riley Park are second to none,” said Ben Abzug, senior vice president of the RiverDogs franchise.

“There’s nothing like the electric atmosphere of a sold-out Friday Fireworks Night at The Joe,” he said. “And, seeing the community get behind the RiverDogs in the playoffs during the past two championship-winning seasons is indicative of the support and love this community has for baseball.”

The study — titled 2022’s Best Baseball Cities — analyzed and ranked all of the large, midsize and small cities in the United States that have at least one Major League Baseball (MLB), Minor League Baseball (MiLB) or college baseball (NCAA) team. Among 31 key metrics that were examined included the team performance level, the minimum season ticket prices, the fan engagement and more.

The minor-league RiverDogs, a franchise of the Tampa Bay Rays, ranked fifth in terms of the performance level for MiLB teams. The team also ranked 41st for its fan engagement, as well as 38th for its minimum season ticket price.

For the Lowcountry’s college teams, such as those at the College of Charleston, the Citadel and Charleston Southern, Charleston ranked 93rd for college baseball fan engagement, 115th for the team’s performance level and 138th for the minimum season ticket price, the study said

Out of the 332 overall baseball cities that were examined, Charleston ranked as the 35th best city in America for baseball fans, according to the study. The number one overall U.S. city for baseball fans was New York, followed by St. Louis and Los Angeles to round out the top three.

As for midsize cities — which are cities that have a population between 100,000 to 300,000 people —  the best baseball city was found to be St. Petersburg, Fla. Also included in the top three were South Bend, Ind., and Durham, N.C..

Notably, the study found Jersey City, N.J., to be the lowest ranked midsize baseball city in the U.S., as well as the worst-ranked overall city for baseball fans in America, placing 332nd.

Monday’s World Series game starts at 8:03 p.m. in Philadelphia.



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