Best SEC cities for sports fans


We’re officially 34 days until college football returns to wreak havoc on our work schedule and in our lives.

So, maybe you’re already planning on taking road trips to away games for 2013, but you can’t decide which game or city to visit.

Thankfully, Movoto Real Estate office has a passion for football and real estate and ranked the best SEC cities for sports fans.

Movoto has very specific criteria used to form the list, and you can read all about them here. And the blog explains that, ‘each SEC city received a score from 1 to 14 across 10 criteria. We then took the average score across all 10 criteria. The winner, in this case the best SEC city for sports fans, was the city with the lowest average score.’

So, how did the rankings shake out?

1. Tuscaloosa (Alabama)
2. Starkville (Mississippi State)
3. Baton Rouge (LSU)
4. Oxford (Ole Miss)
4. College Station (Texas A&M)
6. Columbia (Missouri)
7. Athens (Georgia)
8. Gainesville (Florida)
9. Knoxville (Tennessee)
10. Auburn (Auburn)
11. Fayetteville (Arkansas)
12. Columbia (South Carolina)
13. Lexington (Kentucky)
14. Nashville (Vanderbilt)

Movoto’s criteria were based on the following:

  • Tailgating
  • Sports bars per capita
  • Sports radio stations per capita
  • Total conference titles (football, basketball, baseball)
  • Total national championships (football, basketball, baseball)
  • Total number of students vs. a city’s population
  • Wins over rival(football)
  • Wins over rival (basketball)
  • Average fan attendance vs. arena capacity (football)
  • Average fan attendance vs. arena capacity (basketball)

Here are the results broken down in a chart:


This obviously wasn’t a list of the top party schools.

Photo Credit: Spruce Derden‚ÄìUSA TODAY Sports



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  • Um……Starkville and Nashville? Maybe they had a cross-up in the finish.

  • 3 words smashed together as one…. StarkFreakingVegas

  • I wish there was a field for baseball attendance also…. We would be outright #1 in that cat.

    • No kidding! I wonder if you guys will ever have a football team as good as your baseball team?

      • Consider it mission impossible….

        Unless the Bama dynasty crumbles, I don’t see another school within the SEC replicating their football success. Bama football is major league, only a few other schools are AAA, and the rest make up AA and A leagues. Men vs boys most of the time.

  • apparently buttmunch MADGator you didnt watch the college world series? nobody loves their team more than us dawgs in starkville.

  • Seriously??? Ridden through Starkville on game day and hardly a crowd at all. This is more like a ranking of somebody’s favorite teams

  • Movoto is not far off on this assessment, Columbia, Missouri is a great town. Close to Lake Ozark, Rocheport wine country, scenic Big Muddy, Missouri,Kansas,and Texas trail head, some good live music most weekends. Mark Twain Naitonal Forest trails close by., Devils Den State Park, fair lodging, major interstate, stadium has mostly good seats. Fans have the best southern hospitality to visitors in the SEC.

  • For Winner Over Rivals in Football category, how the hell is Alabama 5th? They lead the series between every single SEC school… by a landslide. And their rivals? Come on… Tennessee and Auburn haven’t even been relevant for years. Our rivals are based on whoever can beat us these days. Our newest one being A&M. And you don’t want to be our rival… ask LSU how that has ended up for them lately.

  • Dude obviously hasn’t been to KnoxVegas.

  • Starkville?! Seriously?! Starkvegas my @ss! Starkville is a hole! There is nothing there but MSU. I can see Tuscaloosa, Baton Rouge, Oxford, College Station, Knoxville, and Athens being at or near the top. Been to Gainesville…it’s a nice town, but the campus appearance is nothing to write home about, and the town itself isn’t any better than Fayetteville. never been to either Columbias, or Lexington, but Nashville is a cool city with lots to do, so I am not sure why it wouldn’t be higher. Auburn is ok too. No way Starkville is the 2nd best city for sports fans. This poll is total garbage! …as is Starkville.

  • how is UGA a 1 in wins over football rivals? we own the all time record in all of our rivals. This list doesn’t make any sense

  • I’m trying to fiure out why baseball and basketball were included? Doesn’t the article begin with saying “We’re officially under 50 days until college football returns to wreak havoc on our work schedule and in our lives.”? I love baseball but when it comes to sports in the South there are no other sports between Aug and Jan. Tuscaloosa, Knoxville, Oxford and Columbia are my favorites. Gainesville simply sucks and Auburn is not much better but both are better than Athens!

  • The poll is meant to get people talking and apparently relates to all sports, not just football. I think if it were just football knoxville, athens, oxford, and baton rouge would be too obvious. I get it that nashville and starkville have baseball and lexington and gainesville have basketball and there is nothing to do in tuscaloosa other thatn go to a football game in the fall.

  • Maybe Movoto Real Estate firm should stick with something they know about, like selling homes.

    • I spent the past year living in Auburn (Creekside), had a “slam piece” in Tuscaloosa I would go see quite a bit (she was a cheerleader), I live in Atlanta now and spend quite a bit of time in Athens for my job. I’d like to believe that out of everyone, I’ve spent more time in several of the areas in the south on this list and I’d just like to start by saying, Knoxville – you’re garbage and everyone here agrees on that. Starkville is getting a lot of love, but let’s be honest, if you got on a cruise ENTIRELY made up of SEC girls from all the schools (As I did out of New Orleans last March during UK’s title run – Google it – Carnival Triumph) and told girls you’re from Starkvilly, they literally run the other way. No one from Starkville gets laid outside of Starkville. Lastly, Auburn is completely a dumpster fire. People live in barns. Barns. If you’d like to talk to me further on the matter, I live in a high-rise over looking Atlanta. I don’t talk to “barn people”, my year there will be viewed as “charity”.

      Overall, I agree with the list for the most part. Tuscaloosa and Athens are both choice. Oxford is great for a visit or two and the Grove is sick. Baton Rouge was my worst visit ever due to hostile fans and a burning when I pee problem in the morning, but I could see the passion. I would beg most of you all to give one try here though… Take a roadtrip in the fall to Kentucky, specifically October. Make sure you google, “Keeneland” and go on a day when there is a Keeneland meet in the morning and a night game to follow. It still rivals any single all sports day that I’ve ever had in my life. Betting horses, sorority girls, SEC football, more sorority girls, two keys, and more sorority girls.

  • Glad to see Starkville get some deserved attention. A lot of people have preconceived notions about college towns from years ago.. Starkville has become a great location for any college sports fan.

  • Anything you’ve heard about Stark is a LIE if you have never been to there keep your mouth shut the worst football fans are obviously UK as by the list I won’t count Mizzou since its their 2nd year in the SEC, but Stark has the some of the most loyal fans ever and some of the best place to hang out as a college student.

  • I’m a huge State fan, but I don’t how we got 2nd either…KY is last in wins over basketball rivals?? and im assuming the student population is the ratio between students/total population, because when schools out, Starkville is a slow place.

  • I understand that, in such a scientific process as this, you establish your methodology and then allow the results to speak for themselves. However, when your results say that 2 + 2 = 5…

    Starkville? And conference and national titles were two of the criteria????

    Do you know how many MS State students it takes to change a light bulb?
    None. Starkville looks better in the dark.

  • Oxford is a great sports town. Everyone that has every been there will tell you that. It is a great place to live also. There isn’t one bad thing about it. It’s not a big place. But everything there is all about college sports. And the best thing about Oxford is the women. Remember Ole Miss still redshirts Ms. Americans.

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