What's not to love in Michigan when it comes to sports? Detroit has a professional team in every major American sport, particularly recognizable in the Big 4 sports (football, baseball, basketball and hockey). Meanwhile, college athletics is represented quite well, top to bottom.

Whether we're talking big cities like Detroit, medium-sized cities like Ann Arbor, or smaller cities like East Lansing, sports reign supreme in the Mitten State. Between Michigan and Michigan State alone, the state boasts 77 team national championships at the Power 5 level. MAC football between Western Michigan, Central Michigan and Eastern Michigan is always chaotic fun. Professionally, the Lions (counting NFL Championships), Tigers, Pistons and Red Wings have combined for 27 world championships.

While there are other cities with more success, right now the state is in a state of resurgence on the national scene. The Michigan Wolverines football team is a contender to win the College Football Playoff National Championship. The Detroit Lions are on the shortlist for Super Bowl favorites this season. The Detroit Red Wings are one of the most exciting teams in the NHL at the start of a young 2023 season. The Detroit Pistons and Detroit Tigers are both showing the early stages of turning the corner back into national relevancy.

Is there any surprise that Michigan as a whole performed so well in a study looking at the top sports cities in the country?

WalletHub conducted a study looking at cities with successful teams, great fan engagement and spending and many other factors to determine which cities, relative to their size, were the best sports cities in the country.

1240 WJIM AM logo
Get our free mobile app

Detroit faired well, ranking 19th among 63 large cities. With prolonged success with the Detroit Lions under Dan Campbell, Detroit could quickly climb those rankings as success in football weighs heaviest in the study. Detroit is one of the best hockey towns in the country, but that sport weighs the least for the study.

When it comes to small cities, East Lansing ranked highly at 13 out of 230. Basketball success surely helped the outlook for the home of the Michigan State Spartans. Other well-placed cities were Mount Pleasant at 45, Ypsilanti at 55 and Kalamazoo at 58.

Ann Arbor was the most successful city in Michigan overall, which isn't surprising having the most successful football program in the state. Ann Arbor ranked No. 5 among medium-sized cities, which included 104 cities nationwide. Ann Arbor did have to compete with Green Bay, Wisconsin, and Buffalo, New York, which have successful NFL teams. Of course, the Wolverines basketball and hockey teams are also worth shouting out, as they have enjoyed plenty of success over the years.

Michigan Wolverines' All-Time Record Against Each Big Ten Team

Historically, the Michigan Wolverines are dominant in Big Ten play. Here's their all-time record against each team in the conference.

Gallery Credit: Jacob Harrison

The 9 Biggest Wins in Detroit Lions History

Gallery Credit: Jacob Harrison

Detroit Pistons Record Book

A collection of the Detroit Pistons all-time career leaders in eery stat.

Gallery Credit: Jacob Harrison

The Top 10 Sports Moments in Silverdome History

The notorious Pontiac Silverdome played host to some memorable moments in sports history.

Gallery Credit: Jacob Harrison