As spring comes to Indianapolis, the Indy Eleven and Indianapolis Indians open their seasons as the Indy Fuel brings its season to a close. Most of the focus of the Indianapolis community throughout the year is on major league teams like the Indianapolis Colts and Indiana Pacers and we’ve discussed how sports fans in central Indiana feel about them.
However, a question arises: How do sports fans in central Indiana feel about their minor league sports teams?
The Indy Sports Poll, a collection of data from 500 online respondents during the first week of July 2017, was conducted to determine fan perceptions and attendance habits of the Indianapolis Indians, Indy Eleven, and Indy Fuel.
Sixty-five (65) percent of respondents indicated that they have attended a minor league game in Indianapolis, while 51 percent are considering attending in the next year. Indy sports fans leave little doubt that they attend with the Indians leading Minor League Baseball’s International League in 2017 and the Eleven leading the now-defunct North American Soccer League (NASL) in three of its four seasons of competition.
The Favorability Index provides the most compelling data. The Indians seem to be adored by Indy sports fans with 71.9 percent of respondents liking the team and a Favorability Index of 68.4 percent. The Eleven (+24.4 percent) and Indy Fuel (+21.6 percent) are gaining traction as relatively new franchises without the history of the Indians, but Indy sports fans view them highly on the Favorability Index. The most compelling information comes from the fact that all three minor league teams in Indy have stronger Favorability Ratings than their major league counterparts.
When further analyzing the data for generational differences, the Fuel and Eleven are viewed more favorably by Millennials while the Indians, who lead all overall attendance metrics in the analysis, are viewed favorably across all three generations. The average age for all three franchises is similar with those saying they are fans of the team being between 40 and 50 years of age.
Do you see similarities in the way you view the minor league teams in Indianapolis? Check out the infographic to see a more in-depth breakdown of the data.