State College Named One of 'America's Best Hockey Towns'
July 31, 2020 6:33 PM
by Geoff Rushton
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With a passionate fan base that packs Pegula Ice Arena for Penn State games, State College is one of the top hockey towns in the United States, according to a new analysis.

State College came in at No. 5 among "America's Best Hockey Towns" for 2020, a ranking compiled by personal finance company SmartAsset.

The company analyzed nine metrics in two categories: fan intensity and quality of life.

Fan intensity included average game attendance as a percentage of stadium capacity, per-game attendance as a percentage of population and Google search traffic for “hockey” compared to “food,” as a measure of general hockey interest.

Quality of life considered median household income, median monthly housing costs, violent crime rate, property crime rate and dining and entertainment establishments per 100,000 residents.

The analysis included data for 113 cities that have an NHL, NCAA Division I, AHL or ECHL hockey team.

Penn State men's hockey games at Pegula have an average attendance of 103.1% of seating capacity, which was the highest rate among the list's top 10 cities. SmartAsset also cited State College's low violent crime rate of 34 incidents per 100,000 residents and property crime rate of 762 incidents per 100,000, according to the most recently available FBI Uniform Crime Reporting statistics.

College towns dominated the top 10, with Marquette, Michigan (Northern Michigan) coming in at No. 1, followed by Lewiston, New York (Niagara); Houghton, Michigan (Michigan Tech); and Grand Forks, North Dakota (University of North Dakota) to round out the top five.

Other Pennsylvania cities in the top 10 were No. 7 Pittsburgh (NHL's Penguins) and No. 9 Hershey (AHL's Bears). Moon Township, home of Robert Morris University, was No. 19.

See the full list here.

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