LEADOFF: Atlanta ranks No. 245 for college hoops


Good morning. This is Leadoff, the early buzz in Atlanta sports.

With postseason tournaments under way, the personal finance website WalletHub ranked 291 U.S. cities from best to worst for college basketball fans.

Atlanta does not score well. We’re No. 245.

WalletHub based its rankings on seven metrics, including, among others, performance level of local teams, fan engagement and ticket prices. All cities with at least one NCAA Division I team were ranked.

No. 1 is Chapel Hill, N.C., followed by No. 2 Los Angeles.

Two Georgia cities are ranked ahead of Atlanta – Statesboro at No. 113 and Macon at No. 165. Athens is No. 255, 10 spots behind Atlanta.

The findings

(Hover over map and select the bubbles in the magnifying glass to see the ratings):

Source: WalletHub

Click here for the full rankings and report.

RELATED: Early exit for Georgia Tech from ACC tournament.

RELATED: Which Georgia-based team has the best chance of reaching the NCAA tournament?

* * *

A new report by IEG research finds that sponsorship revenue for the NFL and its 32 teams reached $1.25 billion this past season, up 4.3 percent.

The study puts each NFL team in one of three categories in terms of sponsorship revenue: above league average, at league average or below league average.

The Falcons “posted below average revenue, a factor largely attributed to the team’s home in the Georgia Dome — a venue without a naming rights sponsor,” according to the report. “The team’s ranking is expected to change in the 2017-18 season following its move into Mercedes-Benz Stadium.”

* * * 

The Braves’ planned move of their spring training home to southwest Florida cleared another governmental hurdle Tuesday.

City commissioners in North Port – the Sarasota County city where the new Braves complex is to be built — voted 4-0 to approve an agreement outlining the key terms of a deal.

See full story here.

* * *

Bad news from Augusta: It looks as if the Masters Tournament likely will be played this year without its signature azaleas in bloom.

They began blooming more than a month before the April 6-9 tournament.

See full story here.

* * *

Hard to tell for sure, but Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity seemed to say in a statement Tuesday that Mark Fox will return as men’s basketball coach next season.

See Jeff Schultz’s blog here.



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