Washington, D.C. Named The Best City For Sports Travel

Hotels.com and SeatGeek rank the best sports towns based on popularity and affordability

DALLAS – March 12, 2015 –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.

The most expensive city for sports travel was New York, where consumers paid an average of $124 for a ticket and $271 for a hotel room in 2014 for a total of $395. Miami and Boston also experienced average combined ticket and hotel prices over $300.

Best American Cities for Sports Travel***
City Sports Popularity* (points) Average 
Ticket Price*
(points)
Travel Popularity** (points) Average Hotel Price** (points) Total Score
(out of 100)
1. Washington, DC #4 (22) $51 (23) #8 (20) $160 (8) 73
2. Detroit, Mich. #5 (21) $62 (19) #27 (11) $119 (21) 72
3. Los Angeles, Calif. #1 (25) $71 (15) #4 (24) $164 (7) 71
4. Tampa, Fla. #21 (5) $57 (21) #25 (12) $109 (24) 62
5. St. Louis, Mo. #9 (17) $60 (20) #37 (6) $130 (16) 59
6. Phoenix, Ariz. #17 (9) $66 (17) #28 (10) $112 (23) 59
7. Denver, Colo. #13 (13) $72 (14) #14 (17) $136 (14) 58
8. San Francisco, Calif. #3 (23) $82 (11) #7 (21) $216 (2) 57
9. Augusta, Ga. #12 (14) $68 (16) NA $96 (25) 56
10. Chicago, Ill. #6 (20) $91 (6) #6 (22) $164 (6) 54
11. Dallas, Texas #7 (19) $89 (7) #20 (13) $133 (15) 54
12. New York, N.Y. #2 (24) $124 (3) #2 (25) $271 (1) 53
13. Philadelphia, Pa. #10 (16) $74 (13) #17 (15) $151 (9) 53
14. Cincinnati, Ohio #18 (8) $48 (24) NA (1) $120 (20) 53
15.Pittsburgh, Pa. #11 (15) $57 (22) #48 (5) $149 (10) 52
16. Houston, Texas #22 (4) $85 (8) #9 (19) $128 (18) 49
17. San Diego, Calif. #23 (3) $83 (9) #5 (23) $143 (11) 46
18. Milwaukee, Wis. #25 (1) $44 (25) NA (1) $121 (19) 46
19. Boston, Mass. #8 (18) $106 (5) #12 (18) $205 (3) 44
20. Minneapolis, Minn. #14 (12) $65 (18) NA (1) $139 (12) 43
21. Kansas City, Mo. #15 (11) $136 (1) #31 (9) $114 (22) 43
22. Baltimore, Md. #19 (7) $80 (12) #33 (7) $138 (13) 39
23. Indianapolis, Ind. #24 (2) $83 (10) #32 (8) $128 (17) 37
24. Miami, Fla. #16 (10) $125 (2) #15 (16) $199 (4) 32
25. Seattle, Wash. #20 (6) $109 (4) #18 (14) $183 (5) 29

Sports fans can learn more by checking out the Best American Cities for Sports Travel. For more information about sports travel and other hotel trends, visit www.hotel-price-index.com and follow us on Twitter @hotelsdotcom with #SportsTravel.

 

*According to full year 2014 data from SeatGeek across all sporting events. Sports popularity is based on the total number of sports events tickets sold.
**According to the 2014 Hotels.com Hotel Price Index
***Rankings compiled based on a weighted value of 1 to 25 that was assigned to each city within each category

About the HPI™

The HPI is a biannual report that looks at hotel prices in cities all around the world. The data is based on bookings made through the Hotels.com website and the prices listed are the actual prices paid – not advertised rates.

About Hotels.com (www.hotels.com)

Hotels.com L.P. operates Hotels.com, a leading online accommodation booking website with approximately 435,000 properties around the world, ranging from international chains and all-inclusive resorts to local favorites and bed & breakfasts, together with all the information needed to book the perfect stay. Special apps for mobile phones and tablets can also be downloaded enabling customers to book on the go with access to 20,000 last minute deals.

© 2015 Hotels.com, LP. Hotels.com, The Obvious Choice, Hotel Price Index, HPI and the Hotels.com logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Hotels.com, LP in the U.S. and/or other countries. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners. CST # 2083949-50

About SeatGeek

SeatGeek (http://www.seatgeek.com) is the leading ticket search engine that enables fans to quickly and easily discover the best deals for sports, concert, and theater events. The company’s interactive stadium maps, Deal Score™ and forecasting technology provides fans with the buying intelligence needed to find the best prices from trusted secondary ticket markets and alerts them of the ideal time to purchase tickets. Founded in 2009, SeatGeek is a venture-backed company based in New York City.

Press contacts:

Taylor L. Cole, APR
Hotels.com North America
Phone: (469) 335-8442
Email: taycole@hotels.com
Twitter: @TravelwithTLC