Pittsburgh Penguins Have The Best Fans According To Forbes


It was released today that the Pittsburgh Penguins once again have the best fans in all of hockey. Forbes has released the fan “power rankings” ever other year for the last six years. Interestingly enough the Penguins have taken the top spot every single time the rankings were updated.

The most interesting aspect of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ annual ranking is that it has only been around thirty years that the city of Pittsburgh has truly cared about hockey.

Before the Penguins drafted Mario Lemiuex first overall in 1984 the Penguins were a consistently bad team. Frankly, when a team is second-rate season after season it is very hard to support them. However, it all changed when “the magnificent one” began playing in a black and gold sweater. The combination of Lemiuex and the controversial Jaromir Jagr gave the fanbase a reason to believe and motivation to attend games. As cliche as it is to say that Lemiuex saved the Penguins, he really did.

Feb 27, 2014; Newark, NJ, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky (72) makes a glove save on New Jersey Devils right wing Jaromir Jagr (68) during the first period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

After Lemiuex and Jagr won the cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins and eventually both left the team, the fans stayed loyal and passionate. All of this was despite the Penguins reverting to one of the worst teams in the league. It was because of the recent success that caused fans to hope and believe in the team.

The citizens of Pittsburgh then had to suffer through years of mediocrity before the 2003 entry draft when the Penguins selected goalie Marc-Andre Fleury at first overall. But drafting one young potential star was not enough to save the team and the next year they selected center Evgeni Malkin at second overall. The team improved slightly but Pittsburgh once again had good fortune in the draft lottery and at first overall selected their future captain Sidney Crosby.

These three young player invigorated the fanbase and shortly after being drafted won the Stanley Cup in 2009. This trio has been the large reason why Pittsburgh has developed into one of the best towns for hockey in the world.

Many will point out that Pittsburgh is not the largest market for hockey and that the Penguins will never be able to make their brand worth as much as other clubs.

That’s not why Pittsburgh is the greatest hockey town in the world. The reason is that the Pittsburgh Penguins’ fans are the most passionate in the entire league. There truly is nothing better than going to a game at the almost brand new Consol Energy Center.

Hopefully the Pittsburgh Penguins can continue their success this season and bring another Stanley Cup home to Pittsburgh.