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Upcoming Events

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“Awash with Color:…

Feb 11 - May 21, 2016
Join us at the Historic New Orleans Collection for the new exhibition… more

18th Annual Dr.…

Feb 11 - Mar 31, 2016
Join us for the opening reception for the 18th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King… more

Crescent City…

Feb 11 - 11, 2016
Enjoy Live Music! more

David Hansen's Garden…

Feb 11, 2016
Since 2006, Hansen's Garden District Jazz Trio has performed every night at… more

Heart of the House

Feb 11, 2016 - Jan 08, 2026
In The Voodoo Garden, All Ages. Heart of the House puts the spotlight on House… more

Ogden After Hours…

Feb 11 - 11, 2016
Join us for Jazz-based cellist, singer, composer, and improviser Helen Gillet.… more

Patriot, Planter,…

Feb 11 - Mar 20, 2016
NOMA will present the first exhibition to focus on the works of Pierre-Joseph… more

The Foundation…

Feb 11 - 28, 2016
*Opening Reception: January 15, 2016 - 6pm-10pm The Foundation Gallery will be… more

The Historic New…

Feb 11 - May 7, 2016
In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of World War I, The Historic New… more

The Music of the…

Feb 11 - 13, 2016
The Rolling Stones are one of the most iconic bands of the last 50 years. Their… more

The Photography of…

Feb 11 - Mar 1, 2016
The Photography of Modernist Cuisine: The Exhibition, a collection of over 50… more

Tim Youd: 100 Novels

Feb 11 - 21, 2016
Los Angeles-based contemporary artist Tim Youd will visit NOMA to perform the… more

Tom Hook

Feb 11 - 25, 2016
TOM HOOK- SOLO at the Fountain Lounge in the Roosevelt Hotel more

Amanda Ducorbier

Feb 12 - 27, 2016
AMANDA DUCORBIER - TRIO at the Fountain Lounge in the Roosevelt Hotel more

Antoine Diel at the…

Feb 12 - 26, 2016
ANTOINE DIEL - TRIO at the Fountain Lounge in the Roosevelt Hotel more

Chris Brown…

Feb 12 - 12, 2016
Chris Brown returns to the Smoothie King Center on Feb. 12! for his Valentines… more

Mahalia Jackson…

Feb 12 - 12, 2016
Peppa Pig, star of Entertainment One's (eOne) top-rated TV series, airing daily… more

Backyard Grooves

Feb 13, 2016 - Jan 10, 2026
In The Voodoo Garden, All Ages.   more

Cooking Demonstration…

Feb 13 - 13, 2016
The Southern Food and Beverage Museum (SoFAB) is pleased to announce that Erik… more

Critter Cinema,…

Feb 13 - 13, 2016
Join us for  Critter Cinema, sponsored by the Louisiana SPCA.  Great… more

“Awash with Color:…

Feb 11 - May 21, 2016
Join us at the Historic New Orleans Collection for the new exhibition… more

Best Football Cities

For Immediate Release
Media Contact:
Bert Sperling
Sperling's BestPlaces
bert@bestplaces.net

Best Footbal Cities
New Orleans is "America's #1 Football City", hometown to the greatest number of pro football players since 1920, and in the modern era 

Portland, Oregon - January 31, 2013
It may not be our national pastime, but football is probably the most-followed sport in America. It's certainly got the biggest single game - pigskin fanatic or not, chances are you'll be watching the Super Bowl this Sunday.


Cities that can lay claim to the title of Super Bowl Champion change every year, but are there cities where football excellence has been consistent for decades?


We wondered too, and thought about what it means to be a great football town. We decided it's more than wins and losses, championships, stadium attendance, or merchandise sales.


Heck, maybe there isn't even an NFL team in town. We think that it's where there are touch games in the street, an old tire to throw to in every yard, and families spend their entire weekend at the Pop Warner field.


We realized that every NFL player actually represents thousands of families with their football-playing kids who once dreamed of going pro.


So to find the best football cities, we counted the home towns for every single NFL player who played since 1920. Then we took those raw figures and factored in area population to come up with a per-capita rate of NFL player production. The result is the Top American Football Cities of All Time. (note - we focused on the 50 largest metro areas, home to over half of all U.S. residents)


Here's our Top Ten Best Football Cities:
NFL Players per 10 Million Population Total Pros Since 1920
1. New Orleans, LA 26.81 235
2. Birmingham, AL 21.61 162
3. Pittsburgh, PA 20.71 475
4. Jacksonville, FL 20.68 115
5. Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, FL 20.48 417
6. Houston, TX 19.80 420
7. Memphis, TN 18.98 145
8. Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX 18.24 423
9. Virginia Beach, VA 16.80 137
10. Cleveland, OH 15.93 273
(note: these are metropolitan areas, which include the primary cities and the surrounding suburbs, and the per-capita rate is number of players per 10 million total population over the span of the study.)

Football City, USA is none other than New Orleans, where the big game is being played this year between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers.


Not surprisingly then, we find local players on the two teams in this year's Super Bowl. Ravens safeties Ed Reed and Dawan Landry are from New Orleans' St. Charles parish.. Ravens linebacker Edgar Jones is from Monroe, LA; not one of the 50-largest metros but an area that nonetheless boasts a whopping 38.5 NFL players per 10 million population.


Forty-Niners Frank Gore, Isaac Bruce, and Ricky Jean-Francois are from the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale area, which comes in at #5 on our list. Electric Niner receivers Michael Crabtree and Ted Ginn, Jr. are from Dallas (#9) and Cleveland (#10), respectively.


Have you ever noticed how people from the South seem to think their area is the football capital of the world? Well, they might have a point - there's only one non-Southern city on the Top 10 list.


It's interesting to note that at #49 of the top 50 is the New York area. The Big Apple actually boasts the second greatest number of total pro players (843), but on a per-capita basis (6.23) it slips greatly. Sunny Los Angeles has the most overall NFL players since 1920, with 913, which is good for a per-capita rate of 13 players per 10 million population. Providence, RI brings up the rear at #50 with a total of 50 pro players since 1920 for a 4.22 per-capita rate.

The Modern Era (1990 to the present)
All-time stats are interesting, but what about the current generation? Do the all-time trends hold up in recent times? Turns out they do, and New Orleans is even more clearly Football City, USA when we look at NFL players produced since 1990.


The Big Easy has produced 111 pro players in that time period, for a whopping rate of 42.17 per 10 million population. The rest of the Modern Era list looks similar to the All-Time list, with Atlanta, GA and Richmond, VA bumping Pittsburgh and Dallas out of the top 10.


The New England towns of Providence, RI (#50) and Boston, MA (#49) bring up the rear in per-capita production since 1990 (amongst largest 50 metro areas).


As you're watching the Super Bowl this year, think about these results and pay attention to the unlikely heroes that emerge from the shadows to take their place in history. There's a good chance they'll be from one of the cities on this list.

ABOUT BERT SPERLING
Bert Sperling has been helping people find their own "Best Place" to live, work and retire for more than 30 years. His firm, Sperling's BestPlaces, puts facts in the hands of the public so they can make better decisions about best places to live, work, retire, play, or relocate. His bestselling books, Cities Ranked and Rated and Best Places to Raise Your Family, are published by John Wiley & Sons. More information about Bert and his work is available atwww.bertsperling.com.