The New Orleans Saints rank fourth among loyal and supportive NFL fan bases in a statistical analysis released Thursday by Emory University's Goizueta Business School.
Only the Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots and New York Jets rank ahead of the Saints in the study of what is termed "NFL Fan Equity." The rest of the top 10 includes the New York Giants, Indianapolis Colts, Chicago Bears, Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans.
"The key idea is that we look at team box office revenues relative to team on-field success, market population, stadium capacity, median income and other factors," the school's release reads. "The first step in our procedure involves the creation of a statistical model that predicts box office revenue as a function of the aforementioned variables. We then compare actual revenues to the revenues predicted by the model. Teams with relatively stronger fan support will have revenues that exceed the predicted values, and teams that under perform have relatively less supportive fan bases."
Two of the NFC South rivals of the Saints rank near the bottom of the list. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 29th and the Atlanta Falcons are 31st. Only the Oakland Raiders at 32 sit lower than the "Dirty Birds" in the Emory rankings.
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