Leicester has ranked as the UK’s Greatest Sporting City for 2016, according to research from ESPN and the University of Bath.The accolade for the city comes after leading UK sport site ESPN.co.uk collaborated with the University of Bath on the second annual research project to discover the best place in the country to be a sports fan. Leicester topped the ranking after scoring highly in most of the 12 factors that fans identified as key to a great sporting city. The city climbed 17 places from 18th last year, and earned a maximum score in five factors – Success, Matchday Atmosphere, Local Talent, Community and Social. Last year’s winning city, Manchester, scored maximum points in just two factors.
Nottingham moves up to second in the regional rankings after coming fourth in 2015, thanks to an eight place jump from 20th to 12th in the national rankings. Birmingham ranks third in the Midlands, down from second last year, although it has moved up from 17th to 13th place overall. Northampton is fourth and one of the biggest risers in the UK, going from 33rd to 17th.
Derby is one of the biggest fallers in the whole list after it dropped 14 places to 22nd – its eighth position nationally last year made it the highest ranked city in the Midlands but it now sits fifth, however it did maintain the top score in the country for Value for Money. Coventry and Stoke-on-Trent remain sixth and seventh respectively in the regional rankings, but both climbed up the national rankings, with Coventry going from 43rd to 34th and Stoke from 46th to 35th.