With the Cubs in the playoffs, now is as good a time as any to celebrate the Kane County Cougars and Geneva’s selection as the fifth-best minor league baseball town of 2017.
Of course, three former Cougars — Kyle Schwarber, Albert Almora Jr. and Willson Contreras — are on the Cubs roster and making hefty contributions in the series against the Washington Nationals. Almora, pinch-hitting in the seventh inning of Game 3, knocked in the tying run with a single.
After a rain-cancellation, the Cubs are back in action in Game 4 at 3:08 p.m. against the Nationals at Wrigley Field.
But I digress.
That above-referenced link to the Cubs isn’t wasn’t why the Cougars ranked so high in the recently released SmartAsset study, which uncovered the best minor league baseball towns of 2017.
Geneva ranks in the fifth spot in the entire U.S. of A.
In the past year, the Kane County Cougars and their fans were pretty competitive on field. They won around 53 percent of their games in front of an average of 5,800 fans.
“Geneva also shines off the field,” SmartAsset said. “It is the safest city in this study, with the third-lowest violent crime rate and the lowest property crime rate.”
SmartAsset took into consideration a variety of factors for its “best” list, including game-day experience and quality of life. One of the reasons Kane County wasn’t higher was that SmartAsset gave more points for the higher of the six minor league classes (Triple-A, Double-A, High Class A, Low Class A, Class A Short, Rookie).
The Cougars are the Class A Minor League affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks
Details on the study, including full methodology and rankings, can be found here.
The No. 1 Minor League baseball team on the SmartAssets list was the Nashville Sounds, which filled 89 percent of their seats in 2017 and drew an average 8,800 fans.
It should be noted that there are more than 150 teams plying their trade in the minor leagues. In 2016, more than 37 million spectators attended a minor league baseball game. Below we rank the best minor league baseball towns in America on those and other metrics.