The Green Bay Packers are building for the future. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers will now share locker room space with freshly-drafted QB Jordan Love. It’s potentially a sign that the organization isn’t going to invest in getting another ring with Rodgers, who remains one of the best QBs to ever do it. So how will the fans cope?
Probably fairly well. Don’t misunderstand; if Rodgers bolts for the wrong team, the fandom will be up in arms. But they won’t disavow their own team. They’re one of the most dedicated fan bases in sports, and Forbes Magazine has some informal research backing that up.
The Forbes study that proves Cheeseheads are still on top
Forbes knows that even with the pandemic, sports are still on all of our minds. We’re voraciously consuming any sports-adjacent content we can fill up our eyes and ears with. It’s the perfect time to break down which fan bases have remained utterly active and dedicated. Nobody — NASCAR and UFC fans aside — are guaranteed to see their teams play for the time being.
Engagement with the upcoming season up in the air isn’t a problem for Green Bay’s fans. They easily topped the list, via the fairly informal metrics used.
Forbes looked at TV ratings, game attendance, merch sales, and social media engagement levels for their survey. They found that football teams engendered the most dedicated fans, while baseball and hockey fans were a bit more relaxed in their affection.
They go out of their way to note one of the most crucial measures of dedication: season tickets. 99% of Green Bay Packers season ticket holders renew for next year. And an eye-popping 137,000 more cheeseheads are right behind them on the longest waiting list in the league. Money, time, dedication, all common among the Packers faithful.
Why Green Bay Packers fans edge out the notoriously fanatical Saints nation
No NFL fan would be surprised to see Packers fans in the top rankings of a list like this. But many would take umbrage at the idea that the New Orleans Saints didn’t get the top spot.
Their fans are visibly dedicated, regularly costumed and covered in team colored paint. They make the Superdome shake in person. They blanket TV mics in a din of excitement, supporting their team even during the most uneventful games.
Forbes notes a specific stat, which may be the key to understanding this ranking quirk. They say that a whopping 75% of New Orleans residents identify as fans of the Saints. That’s enormous, nearly unprecedented — except for the Packers. 81% of Green Bay’s residents are all in for the Packers.
Now, this might be somewhat of a shaky way to measure fan dedication, considering the massive population difference between the two cities. The most recent United States census data puts New Orleans at over three times more people than Green Bay. Still, this study is not an attempt to measure which team has the most fans, but which are the most dedicated, so we’ll have to concede here.
The unique connection the Green Bay Packers organization has with its fans
There are several unique factors that push Packers fans to be more dedicated than most. The first is the most obvious: a long record of success, including winning the Super Bowl four times, according to Sports Illustrated. They also won the pre-Super Bowl NFL League Championship 11 times, engendering generational fanaticism that few teams in sports can enjoy.
The strange nature of Lambeau Field, and Green Bay itself, also breeds a particular sort of dedication. The low temperatures give the home team a noted advantage against visitors. When conditions are at their worst, fans are promised a better chance of attending a winning game, encouraging them to show up in droves in even the most inhospitable conditions.
Finally, the fact that fans technically own the team engenders a whole different level of support. Other teams can’t compare to the feeling Packers faithful feel when their certificate of stock ownership arrives. Literally, they can’t, because the NFL banned the practice for any successive teams as soon as the Packers made their unprecedented fan-friendly reorganization.