My Oh My, Where are all the Pacific Northwest's Sports Fans?
As the Northwest prepares for warmer weather and spending more time outdoors, the latest poll from PEMCO Insurance suggests that many residents may not be cheering for their local professional sports teams this summer. The reason? Most poll respondents blame their lack of enthusiasm for local sports on the teams' performances.
With baseball season in full swing, the PEMCO poll finds just one in three respondents say they're true to the blue, with 34% pledging to be a supportive or die-hard fan of Major League Baseball. Instead, 17% say they're fair-weather MLB fans - those who tend to root only when their team is winning - and 49% say they're not fans at all.
When it comes to Major League Soccer, the outlook is even more grim. While 24% say they're supportive or die-hard fans of our area's pro soccer teams, almost two out of three respondents (60%) say they're not fans of MLS teams at all.
And in a major blow to professional women's sports teams - one of which happens to be among Seattle's winningest franchises - just 17% of Pacific Northwesterners consider themselves to be dedicated fans of the WNBA and WMLS.
"As a sports fan myself, I have to admit it's a little surprising to see that many of our friends and neighbors say they aren't as enthusiastic about our local teams," said PEMCO spokesperson Derek Wing. "This is especially surprising when you contrast these findings with how sports fandom seems to be engrained in our local culture - from waving 12th Man flags and Blue Fridays to joining the Timbers Army and Rose City Riveters."
When it comes to supporting the National Football League, the numbers tell a different story, with about half (49%) claiming they are a supportive or die-hard fan of the NFL. In Seattle, 57% of respondents are true football fans and 38% of Portland reidents consider themselves supportive or die-hard fans of the NFL.
Accordingly, 46% of Seattleites who enjoy sports consider the Seattle Seahawks their favorite sports team, and 33% of Portlanders claim the Portland Trail Blazers as their favorite sports franchise.
However, respondents say these two teams have the most fair-weather fans, as well. One in three Seattleites (35%) agreed that the Seattle Seahawks have the most fair-weather fans and 21% of Portlanders believe that the Portland Trail Blazers have the most fair-weather fans, as well.
The Northwest's newest professional sports league, the NHL, also rates high for fair-weather fans with 20% of poll respondents admitting that they fall in that camp.
Still, of those who are fans of any Northwest pro sports team, only about one in four (26%) say they show their support by attending games in person. Instead, many say they demonstrate their fandom by catching games on TV (57%) or sporting the team's apparel (44%).
When asked why respondents believe that their favorite teams have the most fair-weather fans or lack of fans in general, Seattleites and Portlanders alike (48%) answered that it's due to the team's inconsistent performance.
For a complete summary of PEMCO's proprietary poll results visit www.pemco.com/blog/nw-polls, where you'll find responses collected by FBK Research of Seattle in February 2022.
About the PEMCO Insurance Northwest Poll
PEMCO Mutual Insurance commissioned this independent survey, conducted by FBK Research of Seattle, that asked Washington and Oregon residents questions about driving habits and attitudes toward current Northwest issues. The sample size, 481 respondents in the Seattle Metro (King, Snohomish, Pierce Counties) region and 399 respondents in the Portland Metro (Multnomah, Marion, Clackamas, Washington Counties) region yields an accuracy of +/- 5.0% respectively at the 95% confidence level. In other words, if this study were conducted 100 times, in 95 instances the data will not vary by more than the associated error range.
About PEMCO Mutual Insurance
PEMCO Mutual Insurance is the Defender of Your Northwest, providing auto, home, renters and boat coverage. We are consistently recognized for outstanding service, employee expertise and social impact. Our Mutual Good programs raise the achievement levels for youth in education; build stronger, greener environments; and increase safety at home, on the road and at play. Our mission: Free our communities to worry less and live more. To learn more, visit www.pemco.com.