Hunden Partners Names Top Ten Cities for Hosting Sporting Events

Chicago, Illinois (November 27, 2023) - Hunden Partners (Hunden), a full-service, destination real estate development advisory practice, released its "Top Ten Sports Host Cities" for hosting major sporting events. The annual list is an important guide that destination real estate stakeholders, destination management organizations, and other municipal decision-makers rely on to make strategic decisions for economic growth.

To compile 'The Top Ten Sports Host Cities' list, Hunden conducted a comprehensive analysis of more than 50 total major metropolitan areas in the U.S. that have bid for and been awarded hosting responsibilities for televised sports events in the U.S. from 1997 to 2028. The goal was to determine how much national attention has been generated from hosting major nationally televised sporting events that feature rotating neutral sites over the past 30 years. The firm evaluated the levels of hosting impact based on viewership by event. It then assigned points to each city for event success measures, including relative viewership, general media attention, and overall popular culture gravitas surrounding major sports events. The results are included in Hunden's annual "State of the Industry" report that highlights data-driven predictions and trends in major league sports facilities.

The list recognizes cities that have established themselves as perennially strong host communities that bid for major events with top-notch sports facilities, adjacent event and convention complexes, as well as walkable hotels that continue to improve or keep pace with the rest of the country. Hunden observed that successful host cities for major national sporting events have raised their brand awareness across the United States, which leads to greater numbers of other events and conventions being hosted, as well as new private investment and development, accelerated economic growth, and added urban vibrancy within those markets. This list is the result of linking the accumulation of nationally televised events with the host cities' economic growth and opportunities.

Based on Hunden's proprietary criteria and evaluation process, the current top three sports host cities were Atlanta, Indianapolis, and New York City. First place Atlanta hosted two Super Bowls, three Final Fours, as well as 46 other major sports events from 1997-2028. Indianapolis was named runner-up, highlighted by eight Final Fours and 28 other major sports events, and New York City ranked third with 38 major sports events. The complete list is below:

The Top Ten Sports Host Cities (current)

1. Atlanta

2. Indianapolis

3. New York City

4. Kansas City

5. Dallas - Ft. Worth

6. Los Angeles

7. New Orleans

8. Charlotte

9. Las Vegas

10. Phoenix

"Becoming a top sports host city can lead to thousands of hotel rooms filled, millions of dollars of economic impact to hotels, and an increase in business success for bars, restaurants, shops, and ride-hailing services," says Hunden.

"All of this creates new employment opportunities for local residents. Hosting major events consistently over many years, as the top cities have done, creates a major event hosting economic ecosystem that supports thousands of jobs," Hunden continues. "As an economic and tourism development strategy, the top cities have shown that creating the right physical hosting package can lead to long-term prosperity for their communities."

With nearly 30 years of experience, Hunden Partners' President and CEO Rob Hunden leads his firm in offering a full range of project advisory and execution services including market and financial feasibility, economic and impact analyses, tourism planning and strategy, and development implementation for specialty destination assets such as sports facilities. The full Hunden State of the Industry 2023 Report, including a spotlight section on Top Sports Host Cities, is available for download on Hunden's website.

About Hunden Partners

Hunden Partners is the leading advisor in destination real estate development. The firm offers a full range of project advisory and execution services including market and financial feasibility, economic and impact analyses, tourism planning and strategy, and development implementation for specialty destination assets such as sports facilities, mixed-use and entertainment districts, convention and expo centers, hotels, entertainment venues, recreation facilities and other economic development projects.

Hunden assists clients to move projects from concept to funding to execution. The company's clients include cities, states, universities, DMOs, authorities and private developers. Hunden has conducted more than 1,000 studies and has had a hand in the development of over $20 billion in projects around the world.

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