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3 UP towns named to top 25 of America’s Best Hockey Towns ranking, 2 in top 3 spots

According to SmartAsset, Marquette takes the number one spot, nationally.
The top 10 in SmartAsset's America's Best Hockey Towns study includes both Marquette (#1) and Houghton (#3).
The top 10 in SmartAsset's America's Best Hockey Towns study includes both Marquette (#1) and Houghton (#3).(SmartAsset/WLUC edits)
Published: Jul. 30, 2020 at 11:44 AM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Three Upper Michigan towns were recently named to the top 25 ranks of America’s Best Hockey Towns, with two in the top three.

According to the SmartAsset study, Marquette takes the number one spot, nationally.

“Fans in Marquette root for the Northern Michigan University Wildcats and they search for ‘hockey’ on Google 89 percent as often as they search for ‘food,’ the third-highest rate for this metric in the study. Attendance at games represents 15 percent of the town’s population, the 16th-highest rate overall,” SmartAsset said in the ranking list.

Houghton was named third in the list, just behind Lewiston, New York.

“Houghton, Michigan is the home of the Michigan Tech Huskies — the alma mater of John Scott, the legendary NHL tough guy who was famously voted as an All-Star Game captain in 2016 after a fan campaign,” SmartAsset said. “Houghton is in this study’s top 10 for both fan intensity and quality of life. Average game attendance represents 38.63 percent of the town’s population, which is fifth in this study. It also ranks third in the Google metric: People in the town search for hockey 89 percent as often as they search for food.”

Sault Ste. Marie landed in spot 13, with SmartAsset saying roughly 13 percent of the town’s population attends games for the Lake Superior State University Lakers.

Other Michigan cities to make the top 25 were Ann Arbor and Big Rapids.

To compile these rankings, SmartAsset looked at a total of nine metrics that fell into two general categories: fan intensity and quality of life. SmartAsset considered data for cities that have a team in either the National Hockey League (NHL), National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division 1 men’s hockey, the American Hockey League (AHL) or the ECHL.

Check out the top 25 list here.

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