A new Wall Street Journal article, which examines the major TV markets for all major sports across the country, has dubbed Louisville, KY “The College Basketball Capital of the World”. According to the article..
People in Kentucky don’t just watch their own teams more than anyone else. They watch every team more than anyone else. Louisville has registered the country’s highest television ratings among metered markets in college-basketball programming for at least the last dozen years, according to ESPN data.
This should come as no surprise to the people of Louisville. The entire state, and specifically its’ largest market, is obsessed with college basketball. Even the most anti-basketball resident couldn’t deny that fact. But bring up the NBA’s popularity in the city though, and you’ll get mixed reviews.
There is a certain purity to college basketball. Student-athletes playing the game we love is often more emotionally fulfilling than millionaires playing it. It’s a fair argument for favoring the college game over the professional game. But basketball is basketball, and the fact of the matter is the city of Louisville loves the basketball they have more than anyone else. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that they would feel the same way if they had the NBA as well.
The people of Louisville love their basketball. The trick is making the NBA theirs again.