One of the considerations in the stadium-subsidy brouhaha is seldom on the table: how enthusiastic a sports-fan city is San Diego? It's well known that outdoor participation sports such as golfing, surfing, and hiking often slash attendance at spectator sports events.
According to WalletHub, a statistical aggregator that considers demographic traits of cities, metro areas, and states, San Diego is mediocre, at best, as a sports-fan city. Out of 58 large cities (300,000 population or more), San Diego ranks 22nd, and most of the cities ranking lower are much smaller cities.
In order, here are the large cities that top San Diego as sports havens: Denver, Pittsburgh, Washington DC, Chicago, New York, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Detroit, St. Louis, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Dallas, Cleveland, Miami, Houston, Columbus (Ohio), Oakland, San Francisco, Nashville, and Seattle. Of truly big cities, Indianapolis, Baltimore, Charlotte, Kansas City, Milwaukee, and Phoenix lag San Diego as a sports-fan haven.
San Diego's interest in football and baseball ranks fairly high, but basketball, hockey, and soccer rank low among cities. One of the scholars participating in the study said, "I say this as a big sports fan. Publicly-funded sports stadiums are almost always a terrible decision from a fiscal standpoint for communities."
Another professor said, "Being completely irrational is what makes a good sports fan, or at least a loyal one."