Are Pirates Fans Loyal?

Forbes released their “Most Loyal Fans in Baseball” list on Tuesday. It’s the 21st annual edition of the list, which is based on the Sports Fan Loyalty Index. You can read up on the Index here.

Here’s their top five:

1. New York Yankees

2. Philadelphia Phillies

3. San Francisco Giants

4. St. Louis Cardinals

5. Atlanta Braves

Here’s their bottom five:

26. New York Mets

27. Seattle Mariners

28. Pittsburgh Pirates

29. Kansas City Royals

30. Houston Astros

Entering last season, Bucco fans ranked 30th out of 30. With a somewhat successful and support-filled 2012, we’ve moved up to 28th.

In our opinion, it all depends on how you define “loyal.” It seems that the index takes into account entertainment and authenticity besides just winning, but there has been such a limited amount of that over the last 20 years in the Steel City. It’s difficult to support a product so terrible, but there are still plenty of Pirates fans out there. Sure, the team ranks last on the Pittsburgh totem pole after the Steelers and Penguins, but the number of people who still go to games, watch on TV, post on message boards, reads blogs, etc. is incredible considering all the losing. Tons and tons of people still love the Buccos despite the poor decisions and mediocrity.

We can understand why the index ranks Pirates fans so low, but any other fan base would struggle with “loyalty” if their team set a record for consecutive losing seasons.

Some Twitter reactions…

https://twitter.com/BPalermo1/status/316736070077276160

Let us know if you agree or disagree with Forbes’ list.

Photo: RJ Schmidt/Creative Commons

5 Readers Commented

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  1. Jonathan Dodd on March 26, 2013

    Wow, this pissed me off last year (or a similar study, at least) and it does again. I’d like to see what fans of any team look like after 20 losing seasons, and then we can see who’s loyal. Like you said, the Pirates have fallen a long way in this city and have a ways to go to be considered a top baseball town, but when the Miami Marlins were ranked highly a year ago based on Ozzie Guillen and their new stadium, I knew the study was flawed.

    • From Forbes to Federal on March 27, 2013

      Yeah, the study definitely seems flawed; as Matthew Miller @flyguy4_0 pointed out to us on Twitter, it seems to favor the popular teams. Miami gained so much popularity last offseason due to new branding and big moves, but that doesn’t mean they have loyal fans. Now that the Marlins are struggling to draw crowds (going as far as buy one, get one tickets on Opening Day) again, it’ll be interesting to see how that “loyalty” ranks.

  2. burgh_fan on March 27, 2013

    Very interesting question. As a whole I agree that Pirates fans are not a loyal bunch. However the core of the Pirates fan base is more loyal than any in professional sports in my opinion. SO I guess it depends on which group you are talking about.

    • From Forbes to Federal on March 27, 2013

      Agree with this assessment 100%. The diehards, who’ve stuck with the franchise through thick and thin, are some of the best fans in sports.

      • Jo on August 20, 2013

        @fromforbestofederal:disqus they aren’t loyal. They are the worst fans in sports. They just sit back and not care when the Pirates give a product equivalent to that of rhino dung for 20 years, and then WHADDYA KNOW?!?! A WINNING SEASON AND FANS GALORE!!!!!!! Pittsburgh=Bandwagonburgh. This city is full of chumps who are the biggest bandwagon fans in the country. Same with the Penguins a few years ago. Would be the same with the Steelers except the Steelers ACTUALLY WIN, so we don’t know if they are loyal or not. The Pirates all need demoted and Hurdle needs canned. Period.

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