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Baseball: One more reason it’s a good day to be a baseball fan

Ken Stickney, The Advertiser, June 3, 2015


Fans receive autographs from former UL baseball players during fan day in February at M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field. Lafayette was ranked No. 55 among best cities for baseball fans.(Photo: Paul Kieu, The Daily Advertiser)

Credit WalletHub, the personal finance website, with this: Their newly released study recognized Lafayette as a national player when it comes to being a good baseball town.

In its study of 272 U.S. metro areas, the Hub City ranked No. 55 as a good town for baseball fans. The rankings were based upon 11 key metrics for professional and Divison I college towns, including performance level of city teams, average ticket prices, stadium access and more.

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette, headed for Baton Rouge this weekend for an NCAA Super Regional matchup with LSU, drives the traffic for baseball in this city. Its baseball town ranking was 26 places behind that of Baton Rouge and, curiously, 15 spots behind Hammond, which ranked No. 40.

Lafayette was ranked No. 24 for “Teams and Performances” and No. 112 for “Costs and Fan Engagement.” Baton Rouge ranked No. 5 and No. 94 in those categories; Hammond, No. 51 and No. 62.

Among Louisiana cites, Thibodaux ranked No. 95; Natchitoches, No. 113; Monroe, 137; Grambling, No. 141; Ruston, No. 162.

While Lafayette trails the major league cities and some major college towns like No. 12 Chapel Hill, N.C.; No. 16 Starkville, Mississippi; No. 20 Clemson, South Carolina; and No. 25 Gainesville, Florida; it is within striking distance of Big 10 towns like No. 48 Champaign, Illinois; No. 49 Bloomington, Indiana; and No. 54 College Park, Maryland.

Lafayette is ahead of other major college towns like No. 61 Manhattan, Kansas; No. 64 Blacksburg, Virginia; No. 66 East Lansing and No. 77 Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

UL is in the midst of a $9.8 million project for improvements for 40-year-old M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field, which will include better stadium seating, club level seats and private boxes, a modern clubhouse, expansion of Lourdes Park and new fan amenities.

Meanwhile, let WalletHub explain rankings like this: Cullowhee, N.C., home of Western Carolina, ranked No. 7 overall, 14 spots ahead of Boston and 30 places ahead of New York City.

Best Cities for Baseball Fans, 2015

1. St. Louis, Missouri

2. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

3. Cincinnati, Ohio

4. Atlanta, Georgia

5. Cleveland, Ohio

Worst Cities for Baseball Fans, 2015

272. Providence, R.I.

271. San Jose, California

270. Jersey City, N.J.

269. Fort Wayne, Indiana

268. Evanston, Illinois

Source: WalletHub