Fans of the Philadelphia Eagles are evidently a particularly supportive bunch, with a new study ranking Birds lovers as the fifth-best fan base in the NFL.
Conducted by Dr. Michael Lewis of Emory University's Goizueta School of Business, the study analyzed four years of social media data and 15 years of attendance data for NFL teams' fan bases. Lewis then ranked teams based on their "Dynamic Fan Equity," which is calculated using their "Fan Equity" (fans' willingness to spend) and "Social Media Equity" (fans' willingness to share) scores.
Patriots fans took first place, followed by Cowboys fans in second, Broncos fans in third, and 49ers fans in fourth.
Eagles fans, for their part, averaged 69,483 attendees per game at a cost of $98.69 each, according to Lewis' data. The fan base's "filling capacity," or the percentage of time fans packed Lincoln Financial Field for games, landed at 102.8 percent.
As Lewis writes in his report on the study, Eagles fans were "the big surprise on the list," with the professor noting that "it's easy to be supportive of a winning team." Last year, CBS notes, Eagles fans were ranked 11th overall.
"While Eagles fans might not be happy, they are supportive in the face of mediocrity," Lewis writes. "Last year the Eagles struggled on the field but fans still paid premium prices and filled the stadium."
Last week, 14 Eagles players began training in San Diego, with NovaCare-based training set to begin on July 25. The NFL season starts Thursday, September 8.