By Chris DeMarco, Staff Writer

There were certain aspects of each city that were used in making this list. The criteria used in ranking the top sports cities were based on: greatness of each professional team, the dedication of the fans, how the city related to each team and collegiate prestige. The number of championships each team won had only little influence on how each city ranked.

1. New York
Pro teams: Yankees, Mets, Knicks, Rangers, Islanders, Giants, Jets and Red Bulls; 43 combined championships.

College(s): St. John’s, Manhattan

New York, by far, has the most team championships, with the Yankees claiming 27 of them. New York is the city with the greatest team of all sports: the Yankees. They have two teams represented in baseball, basketball and football. No other city has that distinction. New York is the biggest media market in the country, and everything a prominent athlete does in this city becomes headline news. New York has fans almost everywhere. You can see a Yankee fan almost anywhere you go. Besides having the most championships, the city has probably the most loyal and passionate fans. The combination of the most championships and a loyal fanbase makes New York the top sports city in America by far.

2. Boston
Pro teams: Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins, Patriots and Revolution; 32 combined championships.

College(s): Northeastern, Boston College, Boston University and Harvard

The city lives and dies with its sports teams. Boston’s fans are so passionate about their Red Sox that they are called the Red Sox Nation (compared to New York’s Evil Empire). The Celtics have won the most NBA championships — one more than the Los Angeles Lakers. The Red Sox have been one of the most consistent teams of the last decade with two World Series championships, while the Patriots had their own dynasty, winning three Super Bowls in a four-year period. Boston fans are one of the most passionate groups of fans next to the likes of Philadelphia and New York fans. Plus, Boston is one of the few cities that sees all of their professional teams make the playoffs almost regularly.

3. Philadelphia
Pro teams: Phillies, Flyers, 76ers and Eagles; seven combined championships.

College(s): Villanova, Drexel, St. Joseph’s, Pennsylvania, Temple and La Salle

The City of Brotherly Love probably has the most passionate fans out of the entire list, but certain things tend to hurt the city’s overall perception as a top-tier sports town. Out of all the cities listed, Philadelphia has the fewest championship titles. Besides the lack of titles, the fans are rightfully known for booing and throwing snowballs at Santa, throwing batteries at J.D. Drew and even having a courtroom and jail in Veterans Stadium. All of this shows just how passionate they are. They care about their teams so much that they would do anything possible to stick up for them. It took the city’s teams 25 years to win another title, with the Phillies’ Worls Series win in 2008, and the fans rejoiced for days. The city also boasts several elite college athletic programs, while some cities do not even have one. Overall, the fans are by far the best in sports and their teams are
always competitive.

4. Chicago
Pro teams: Cubs, White Sox, Blackhawks, Bulls, Bears and Fire; 15 combined championships.

College(s): Northwestern

Chicago has been home to both celebrations and heartbreak. The city idolizes people like Michael Jordan and Mike Ditka for leading the Bulls and Bears, respectively, to the promise land. They have had two baseball teams that seem to be ultimately cursed, until the White Sox won the World Series in 2005 while the beloved Cubs continue to wait for their shot. The city also has one of the original six NHL in the Blackhawks. The city is even fortunate enough to have “The Super Fans,” which was a very popular Saturday Night Live skit in the late 1980s. The fans live and die with their teams, but also sometimes forget they have another team besides the Cubs playing baseball.

5. Los Angeles
Pro teams: Angels, Dodgers, Kings, Clippers, Lakers, Sparks and Galaxy; 27 combined championships.

College(s): USC, UCLA

Los Angeles has two of the greatest teams in their respective sports in the Lakers and Dodgers. The city also has two premier colleges, with top-tier athletic departments that have won over 100 combined championships. Most Los Angeles sports teams’ fanbase is made up of celebrities and the rest of the city’s fans are not overwhelmingly enthusiastic about their teams, besides the Lakers, Dodgers and Angels. Plus, even the enthusiastic fans do not compare to the other cities on the list.