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What makes a good sports town?

How does Madison rank compared to other sports cities?


If tailgating was a sport, we’d be world champs.

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Madison was ranked 215 out of 392 of the best sports cities in the nation by WalletHub. We might be biased, but that seems a little low. While the 608 is highly regarded as a top college sports town, the list was based on numerous factors including the presence of professional football + basketball teams. Let’s break down a few things that make Madison the No. 1 sports city in our eyes.

🍻 We’ll drink to that

One thing about Madisonians: If there’s an organized sporting event — from bar volleyball leagues to Badgers football — we’ll be tailgating.

  • Badger Bash | A stone’s throw away from Camp Randall, this family-friendly tailgate has been offering free gameday activities for 50+ years.
  • Red Zone | With 35 flat-screen TVs, this is the place to watch every Wisconsin sports event you can imagine.
  • Regent Street Tailgate | Bars aren’t the only places to pregame, Rocky Rococo hosts one of the largest tailgates on football Saturdays.
  • Pooley’s | Whether you’re watching the big game or participating in a local volleyball league, this is a sports fan’s haven.

🏙️ What’s in a name?

In the original ranking, experts noted how a sports city reflects on its teams and vice versa. With Badger gear aplenty + numerous businesses using our mascot’s namesake, it’s safe to say our pride runs deep and reflects all over town. We’re thinking about:

📝 For the record

If our tailgating dedication + copious amount of Badger representation in local businesses wasn’t enough, our sports teams aren’t too shabby either. Cheer on the locals: