Open Letter to WalletHub: Utica Should Be on Your List
Even though we recognize your digital position as a leading provider of interesting lifestyle content and statistics, we can't help feel there's something amiss in your research department.
You totally overlooked Utica. Again. Your latest study of 2019's Best Sports Cities failed to include New York state's 10th-largest city. Another study, Best Cities for Hockey Fans, published earlier this year, also whiffed when it came to evaluating Utica. Here in the Mohawk Valley, we're trying to figure out how that's possible. There are some important factors to consider.
- The Utica Comets of the American Hockey League (second in prestige only to the NHL) hold the league record for consecutive sellouts. Plus, the Utica College Pioneers hockey team also draws well in the same building.
- Other Central New York college towns like Hamilton and Ithaca made your list due to their intercollegiate programs--and Utica did not.
- Your list of Best Sports Cities had 418 markets, including Pearl, Mississippi, with a population of about 25,000 and zero hockey teams. And Utica's not good enough?
- Your Best Cities for Hockey Fans piece skipped Utica in its study of 73 markets, but included Huntsville, Alabama, home of the Huntsville Havoc of the Southern Professional Hockey League. Seriously, WalletHub?
- Syracuse made your Best Sports Cities list (at #165), but also was snubbed from the Best Cities for Hockey Fans list, even though the 'Cuse has a strong AHL franchise.
These facts seem to suggest some flawed research practices.
Consider this letter to be an open invitation to the WalletHub team to visit Utica for its next study. We've got college sports, pro hockey and pro soccer here. Come give us a shot. I'll bet Oneida County Executive Tony Picente, Utica mayor Rob Palmieri, Comets' president Rob Esche, or UC hockey coach Gary Heenan would be happy to show you around.