Home Features The Home Advantage – Looking at the History of Home Win Rates

The Home Advantage – Looking at the History of Home Win Rates

A loss for the host team, on the other hand, might put a halt to a stadium's glory. Dejected fans rush for the doors, eager to beat the post-game gridlock. Groans have replaced shouts, and no one wants to perform the wave any longer. Sports enthusiasts, we share your distress: It's difficult to see your team lose in real-time.

This is why we went out and found out which clubs win consistently in front of their home fans. We compiled statistics on home triumphs from the four major professional sports leagues to discover which clubs had the best track record of producing victory in front of adoring supporters. Continue reading to find out which towns are most likely to see a home win and which teams irritate supporters.

HomeTown Heroes


As per our statistics, a little crowd excitement may go a long way: the host team prevails roughly 56 percent of the time. However, some communities appear to offer their teams a little additional shove in the right direction — or even a spur. San Antonio led all regions in the proportion of home matches won, winning over three-quarters of the time. All of the best regular-season at-home cities were communities with a single team, and all but Green Bay are home to NBA teams. Cheese Heads come from far outside Green Bay, maybe because of their knack for winning at home: the town's population is just slightly greater than Lambeau Field's maximum seating.

Locations with lots of teams have a lower chance of a home win: With the greatest cities with three, four, or even more sports failed to achieve a 60 percent at-home victory rate. Washington D.C and Chicago were especially difficult for fans, with victory rates that were lower than the national mean for any sports region. When it came to losses, though, hockey communities fared the very worst. The lowest five cities all have hockey teams, and each loses so much at home that their rinks might be created out of reused fan grief.

The Glory of Gridiron


Football stadiums often are bigger than those used for other American sports, implying that the stakes for triumph and failure in front of enormous home fans are possibly higher. And also, no club has produced more frequently at home than the Pittsburgh Steelers, who are cheered on by their fans' "Terrible Towels." Denver came in second, but that could be due to physics as much as fanaticism. Due to its height, Mile High Stadium puts visiting players to the test with decreased oxygen concentration.

On the other hand, Los Angeles is home to two football clubs that have a history of underachievement on Sundays. For a community that endured 21 years without a football team, the latest arrivals may have seemed a touch underwhelming. Meanwhile, Clevelanders have some complaints of their own. The Browns last won a game at home in 2007, and there have been plenty of blowouts since then. To recapture disgruntled supporters, the team's ticket costs have been reduced to as low as $12 — at the very least, you won't have to spend much to see them fail.

Supporting the Home Team


Sorry, Red Sox fans, but two other historic baseball cities outperformed Boston in terms of home win percentages. Both Los Angeles and New York City saw their clubs win upwards of 57 percent of their home games, despite the fact that these cities are internally divided in their baseball allegiance. Supporters of the Mets, Yankees, Dodgers, or Angels can rejoice in the fact that they are not from San Diego. As we all know, the Padres rarely win more than half of their home matches, and with the exit of the Chargers, the city's sports prospects are entirely dependent on the performance of the Friars.

The Phillies, Rays, Marlins, and Mariners are also bad at home. Maybe that's why the Phillies' 2017 trip to Miami drew attention for all the wrong reasons: Only 1,590 people showed up. Tampa Bay, on the other hand, has had it even worse, placing dead bottom in attendances between all MLB franchises.

Home Dreams with Hoops


In comparison to other leagues, NBA clubs perform best at home, winning more than 61 percent of games in front of enthusiastic spectators. The Spurs, our greatest home club, have a history of winning everywhere they go: the team has the best overall win rate of any existing organization. The OKC Thunder's history in its present city is shorter, but the franchise has given its supporters enough to cheer about. The squad has only had one losing season since moving and changing names in 2008.

Our poorest at-home performers are a predictable group of franchises that have endured for a long time. The Minnesota Timberwolves haven't really had success in front of their own fans, let alone at their own arena: The team's most recent winning campaign was in 2004-05. After four seasons above .500 in a row, Toronto supporters have had more cause to be optimistic recently. However, New Orleans has had very little reason to warm up to their Pelicans. With a dismal record and a dubious name, it's no surprise that their attendance ranks at the base of all NBA clubs.

A Cold Home


At last, a Canadian club that does not often fail its home audience! The Canadians have recently struggled to keep supporters coming, but it may be because they've spoilt them with prior home successes. In contrast, the Penguins have had little issue picking up recent victories at home. This includes their second straight Stanley Cup victory in front of a raucous Pittsburgh crowd in 2017.

However, warmer climates have proved hostile to winning hockey: the Lightning, Panthers, and Coyotes had won fewer than 50% of their home games. Florida, Arizona, and Columbus appear to be paying the highest price for their home problems amongst our bottom clubs. During the 2016-17 season, each of these clubs was among the least-attended clubs in the NHL.

Winning From Home

Whereas a game may quickly become dismal when the home team goes down, one of the greatest traits of sports fans is commitment. If your team is unlikely to win, you're sure to enjoy your next visit to your local stadium, if only to partake in its game-day rituals. Win or lose, you'll be surrounded by people who share your enthusiasm for the home team. Even if your side is wiped out, sadness enjoys fellowship.

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How We Did It

We estimated the proportion of home games won by each club using data taken from sports-reference.com's archives of pro sports teams' results.