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Seattle Times news librarian Gene Balk crunches the numbers

January 5, 2013 at 12:45 PM

Seahawks fans vs. Redskins fans, by the numbers

Heading into tomorrow’s big game, you’ll see tons of stats on the teams and the players — but what about the fans?  How do folks from the Seattle and D.C. metro areas who’ll be cheering on their home teams stack up? In order to find out, I looked at survey-based market data from Scarborough Research on the most rabid NFL fans from both cities. I’ve got the numbers, so let’s go to the scoreboard.

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When it comes to team spirit, they really wear their hearts on their sleeves in D.C.  A lot more Redskins fans buy team logo clothing than Seahawks fans — 40 percent more, in fact.  But then again, we tend to be a bit more low-key here in Seattle. And it could be a matter of economics. Redskins fans might buy more team clothes simply because they’ve got a lot more money to burn. While Seahawks fans do pretty well, when it comes to spending power, there’s no comparison. Redskins fans are some of the wealthiest in the country, with a median household income of $94,000, compared with $64,000 for Seahawks fans.

So Redskins fans might wear more team apparel, but our fans say they regularly visit the Seahawks website more than D.C. fans go to

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High earners, high learners.  Both D.C. and Seattle have highly-educated populations, but when it comes to football, the edge goes to D.C.  Redskins fans are about 36 percent more likely than Seahawks fans to have a college or graduate degree. Redskins fans are big readers, too — or at least they buy books more than Seahawks fans. Whether or not they read them, I can’t say.

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In these two high-tech towns, who’s more wired?  It’s kind of a toss-up.  Expect a few more Seahawks fans to be tweeting touchdowns, but slightly more Redskins fans will check scores online. Fans of both teams will be all over the sports blogs.

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There’s no avoiding politics when D.C. is in the mix. So between these two “blue” cities, who’s fans are more liberal? It’s a pretty close contest, but the Redskins do have a higher percentage of Democrats cheering them on.  However, during an NPR pledge drive, Seahawks fans are 25 percent more likely to open up their wallets. Decide for yourself who wins this round.

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While more Redskins fans might vote “blue,” Seahawks fans — in true Seattle fashion — are a lot more “green.” While everybody eats junk food during a football game, the chips and salsa at a Seahawks playoff party are a lot more likely to be organic and non-GMO.  And the garbage left behind will be sorted for recycling.  Seahawks fans are even more likely to carpool their way home — here’s hoping they can take a victory lap in their Prii tomorrow.

Comments | More in Market Research | Topics: football, Seahawks, sports


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