SBD/April 25, 2014/Franchises

Facebook Preferences Give Glimpse Into Geography Of Where MLB Fans Live

An examination of public preferences on Facebook has granted an "unprecedented look at the geography of baseball fandom, going down not only to the county level, as Facebook did in a nationwide map it released a few weeks ago, but also to ZIP codes," according to data cited by Giratikanon, Katz, Leonhardt & Quealy of the N.Y. TIMES. The study "generated 14 maps detailing baseball’s biggest rivalries, highlighting the borders and offering suggested names for those lines." The maps "were created using estimates of team support based on how many Facebook users 'liked' each team in a ZIP code." The study "applied an algorithm to smooth the data and fill in gaps where data was missing." The study shows that Hartford "has declared for the Yankees." It is "still a border town, but it's a border town the way El Paso is -- clearly on the Yankee side." The Yankees "are the preferred team everywhere" in N.Y, and "nearly everywhere in the U.S. over the Mets" (in more than 98% of ZIP codes nationwide). The Cubs "have always been the better-loved of Chicago’s two teams," but the White Sox -- "unlike the Mets or the A’s -- do have a patch of their own territory." Among all the "second-favorite teams," the Angels "have done perhaps the best job of carving out a niche of fans." But the Dodgers "are still the clear favorite in Southern California." The line in Missouri that represents where most fans support the Cardinals over the Royals "is well west of the halfway point between the two cities." While the Orioles "have held onto many Maryland suburbs, the Nats now dominate Washington and much of the Virginia suburbs." In parts of the DC region, the Orioles "aren’t even the second-favorite team; the Yankees or the Red Sox are" (NYTIMES.com, 4/24).
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