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Bleacher Bum
03-26-00, 09:16 PM
According to a study by Scarborough Sports Marketing, Cleveland has the highest concentration of avid Major League Baseball fans in the country at 36%. Cleveland beat out St. Louis (31%) and Atlanta (25%). As part of a wider survey on sports, adults were asked to rank their interest in baseball. Among the three choices was a "high level of interest," or avidity, in the national pastime.

Scarborough posed the avidity question in its mail and phone surveys of more than 170,000 people in the top 64 markets, including all cities with at least one team in one of the four major professional sports - baseball, basketball, football and hockey. Data was compiled from August 1998 to September 1999.

On the national scale, avid baseball fans tend to be male (63%) and married (58%). Forty percent of the pool are ages 35-54 and 67% own their own residence. Numbers specific to Cleveland, however, indicate more women tend to be intense about the game than men (51.6% to 48.4%). In Cleveland, 60.4% of the fanatical are married, 43% are 35-54 and 71.8% own their own residence.

The national average of avid-fan concentration, both genders, is 15%. Major-league baseball cities with the lowest percentage of avid fans are Detroit (6%) and Minneapolis (8%). Lowest-ranking cities without a major-league baseball team are Salt Lake City, Utah (4%), Lexington, Ky. (5%) and Grand Rapids, Mich. (6%).

The case studies of Detroit and Minneapolis shed light on the role a new stadium plays in generating fanaticism. Both cities have clamored for new facilities; Detroit got its wish and will open Comerica Park this spring.

Although Scarborough has measured local marketing information for 25 years, it did not compile a baseball avidity study until this year.

[list]

<LI> 1. - Cleveland
<LI> 2. - St. louis
<LI> 3. - Atlanta
<LI> 4. - San Diego
<LI> 5. - New York
<LI> 6. - Baltimore
<LI> 7. - Seattle
<LI> 8. - Hartford
<LI> 9. - Denver
<LI>10. - Boston

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