Twelve Sports Fan Bases That Make A Difference

Fans make a difference, whether through apathy or by being true to the word “fan”-atic. Even the non-sports fan has heard of die-hard fan bases like the Cubs true believers or the infamous Black Hole of the Raiders nation. But it makes you wonder how much it matters - and more importantly - whose fans are the best?

12 Fan Bases Who Make a Difference to Their Team-1

Below is a list of fan groups that have elevated their teams to new heights by their loyalty, although in no particular order, with a short explanation as to why they’re here. We chose teams not based on their fame or winning records, but largely because of the way their fans support their team.


Toronto Maple Leafs

Toronto fans were heartbroken (again) this past year as they were knocked out of the playoffs by the Bruins. That Stanley Cup would have been the first since the 1967 expansion and the team continues to fight for the title with fans that have made them one of the most valuable in hockey.


Manchester City F.C.

Manchester City F.C. has, for most of its existence, been overshadowed by its more famous crosstown rival, Manchester United F.C., that it triumphantly defeated for the British Premier League cup title. The average fan has been a supporter for 21 years, which is the second longest of any team.


Real Madrid F.C.

Real Madrid has earned their place on this list as they are not only one of the most successful teams in all of sports but, according to Forbes, the most valuable sports team in the world with a valuation of $3.44 million. The team generates more annual revenue than any other sports team in the world. Much of their fan base exists outside of Spain, however, which allows them to afford the best players in all of football and accounts for their success.


Green Bay Packers

Lambeau Stadium has one of the most die-hard fan groups in all football, perhaps because it’s the only non-profit, community-owned major league professional sports team in the USA. They are also one of the oldest and most successful teams in the NFL.


Michigan Wolverines Football

The Wolverines have the most all time wins and the highest winning percentage in college football history but that’s not all. Their fan base is famous for its fanaticism as well as its dedication and willingness to withstand the frigid Michigan winters for their team. This is evidenced by attendance numbers at Michigan Stadium which average higher attendance levels than the average NFL game.

12 Fan Bases Who Make a Difference to Their Team-2


Detroit Red Wings

The Detroit Red Wings were the perfect team to hate at several times in the history of the NHL but love them or hate them, they’re one of the most popular teams in the NHL internationally. Longevity is a factor as part of the reason that they’ve won the most Stanley Cups for an American team is that they were one of the original six teams in the league and their fans have stuck with them.


Pittsburgh Steelers

Steelers fans are so famous for their dedication that there was even a top-forty billboard hit that was about them, the lyrics of which were almost entirely the teams colors repeated over and over: black and yellow. The fans, like their team, are afraid of no one.


Philadelphia Phillies

The Phillies are the oldest continuous, one name, one city franchise in all American sports. Since 1883 their fans have been cheering for them and for good reason in recent years, they won five straight division titles from 2007 and their fans raised $10 million to fund research for Lou Gehrig’s Disease.


Montreal Canadiens

The Canadiens were founded in 1909 and are the longest continuously operating franchise in hockey and predate the NHL. They’re the only team of the four major sports to be located in Quebec which makes them rather popular there.


Duke Blue Devils Basketball

The Blue Devils are the fourth winningest team in college basketball and hold the best tournament winning percentage at .750. It’s easy to see why they’re adored by fans and hated by rivals.


Kentucky Wildcats Basketball

With both the most-all-time wins and highest winning percentage in all of college basketball, the Kentucky Wildcats are perennial contenders for national championships. They also rank first in home game attendance, which really speaks for itself.


Alabama Crimson Tide Football

The Crimson Tide has claimed 13 national championships and holds the record for NCAA bowl appearances. Their stadium is the seventh largest non-racing stadium in the world and seats a full 101,821.


Most of these teams have not only seen success in their respective sports but have legions of fans that have held on through their wins and losses alike. Franchises old enough to have multiple generations of fans that have built families that can’t even remember a time when they weren’t fans. It’s often a long tradition of success that creates a hardcore base of fans which will then perpetuate the tradition of success with their patronage. Here's to these legendary fans. 

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