Toledo, Ohio recently topped the list of the top five minor league sports cities according to”Livability”.
“If there’s one thing you need to know about Toledoans, it’s that they show up for their beloved Mud Hens”, detailed “Livability” on their website.
“The Toledo Mud Hens, a minor league baseball team in the International League and an affiliate of the nearby Detroit Tigers, have a long history in the city, going back to 1883.”
“Their quirky moniker comes from the American Coots birds (AKA mud hens) that used to surround their original stadium, which was located near a marsh.”
“The team didn’t stick to that swampy stadium location, but the name remained”, the article continued.
In 2005 and 2006, the Mud Hens won the Governors’ Cup championship, and in 2018 they finished first in the International League West but ultimately lost out to the Durham Bulls in the semifinals.
“Not only do the Mud Hens routinely pack the summer stands with fans at their Fifth Third Field in downtown Toledo, but they can also claim a lot of responsibility for giving the downtown revitalization some much-needed momentum”, the article stated.
“In 2002, nearly 50 years after they had left the city for a park in the nearby suburbs, they came back — with fans welcoming them with open arms.”
“After the Mud Hens made the leap to go back downtown, new businesses and restaurants followed suit. Today, an entire entertainment district, nicknamed Hensville, serves as the new heart of downtown with craft beer tasting rooms, art galleries and the largest souvenir store in minor league baseball, the Swamp Shop,” they concluded.
The City of Fort Wayne has once again been tabbed as one of America’s five best cities for minor league sports.
The Summit City checked in at No. 4 thanks to the TinCaps’ success in Minor League Baseball, along with the ECHL’s Komets and NBA G League’s Mad Ants, have all put Fort Wayne on the map.
“This is great national recognition for the City of Fort Wayne, our teams, and the fans that support us,” said TinCaps President Mike Nutter. “We truly appreciate everyone involved in Fort Wayne’s amazing sports community.”
Since opening Parkview Field in 2009, the TinCaps have earned a bevy of honors. That includes winning Minor League Baseball’s Organization of the Year award and MiLB’s top award for community service. Parkview Field also has been perennially rated as the No. 1 experience for fans in the minors by Stadium Journey.
“Minor league teams are the pride of their small to mid-sized cities, offering a high level of athleticism alongside quirky local traditions — for a fraction of the price of a major league ticket,” the story says, featuring a photo of a packed Parkview Field.”
“If you enjoy hearing the crack of a bat and tallying up batting averages, you don’t want to miss out on any Fort Wayne TinCaps games right in downtown Fort Wayne.”
TinCaps fans have shown their support and commitment this year with full capacity re-established following the lost 2020 season and abbreviated 2021 campaign due to the pandemic.
Despite seven rainouts, the TinCaps have still averaged approximately 5,000 fans per game this year, with 10 sell-out crowds. That counts a season-high 8,350 fans on the Fourth of July.
Fort Wayne has been ranked as high as No. 1 by Sports Business Journal in previous rankings of minor league markets. The city’s sports scene is further growing with the addition of Fort Wayne FC competing in USL League Two, with plans to become a professional club in the future.
Livability has previously ranked Fort Wayne as one of the best 100 places to live and as a top 10 most affordable place to live in the country.
Livability’s 5 Best Minor League Sports Cities in the Country
- Toledo, OH
- Hershey, PA
- Durham, NC
- Fort Wayne, IN
- Charleston, SC