DALLAS - To help fans make travel plans around their favorite teams or sporting events in 2015, the experts at Hotels.com and SeatGeek have ranked the Best American Cities for Sports Travel.
Hotels.com analyzed the 25 most popular sports cities based on total tickets purchased in 2014 according to leading ticket search engine SeatGeek. Using a weighted scale, Hotels.com and SeatGeek rated each city in the categories of: sports popularity (based on number of tickets sold); average ticket price; destination popularity (based on the 2014 Hotels.com Hotel Price Index); and average hotel price paid (also based on the HPI).
According to the study, Washington, D.C. ranked the highest due to its affordable ticket prices and its popularity in both sports and travel. With professional teams in each of the four major sports, professional soccer clubs and six major college programs in the surrounding area, D.C. had the fourth most ticket sales in 2014 with an average ticket price of $51. The nation's capital was also the eighth most popular domestic travel destination with an average hotel price paid of $160 per night.
"While places like New York and Boston have rich sports histories and some of the most famous stadiums in the country, they both ranked lower in our study due to higher average ticket prices and hotel rates paid by consumers in 2014," said Taylor L. Cole, APR, Hotels.com travel expert. "If you're planning to watch your favorite team on the road this year, Washington, D.C. offers the best of both worlds when it comes to sports travel."
Detroit, which many consider the best sports town in the U.S.1, ranked second for sports travel as it continues to become a more popular domestic destination (ranked 27th). Los Angeles, which saw the highest number of ticket purchases for sporting events in 2014, finished third. Tampa, Fla. and St. Louis rounded out the top five, with both cities ranking highly in average ticket price and average hotel price paid.
"You might think it's always difficult to score an affordable ticket to see winning teams play, but you'd be surprised," said Connor Gregoire, an analyst at SeatGeek. "The top five cities in the rankings have all seen their baseball clubs qualify for the postseason in the last two years and are home to numerous other successful professional and college teams, but none are even among the top 10 most expensive cities by average ticket price."
The study also found that the most affordable destination for sports travel was Augusta, Ga. – home to the biggest and most prestigious golf tournament in the nation – where fans on average could purchase a ticket to an event ($68) and a hotel room ($96) for a total of $164. Milwaukee ($165 total), Tampa ($166 total) and Cincinnati ($168 total) were also among the most affordable destinations. - See more at: http://www.traveldailynews.com/news/article/65183/washington-d-c-named-the-best#.dpuf
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