Survey says: Yanks, Mets fans differ

Survey says: Yanks, Mets fans differ

The Yankees and Mets are two teams in close proximities, but with vastly different levels of success and, in turn, different fan bases.

Recently, The Wall Street Journal surveyed 650 male and female sports fans living in New York's five boroughs in an attempt to uncover what separates followers of the two teams while, at the same time, trying to defeat some stereotypes.

The findings on the male side, based on those surveyed, revealed that there are nearly twice as many Yankees fans as Mets fans in those areas -- though it's surprisingly the same percentage in Manhattan, N.Y. -- more Mets fans drink alcohol and own guns, and Yankees fans who answered the poll worry more about their team but follow them less than Mets fans.

"I think I took away that there are genuine differences between the fan bases for each team, but they're not the ones that you might expect," said WSJ reporter Sophia Hollander, who wrote a story about the poll results on Friday. "I think it was worth digging beneath some of the stereotypes to sort of fact-check them. That's what journalists do. And I think there were some real surprises."

NEW YORK VS. NEW YORK
How Yankees and Mets fans compare, according to a survey of 650 fans conducted by Public Opinion Strategies for the Wall Street Journal.
CHARACTERISTIC YANKEES METS
Fan breakdown 60 33
Fans in Manhattan 19 19
Likely to earn $100,000 28 24
Don't drink alcohol 30 16
Own a gun 5 11
Married 41 51
Have a pet 42 47
Tendency to worry 15 8
Blue-collar worker 21 16
Listen to sports radio 17 26

The 20-minute survey, conducted by the polling firm Public Opinion Strategies, was done April 17-20, produced 445 pages of statistics and has a 3.8-percent margin of error.

It stated that 60 percent of fans living in the five boroughs follow the Yankees, while 33 percent are Mets fans. Not surprisingly, there are more Yankees fans in the Bronx and more Mets fans in Queens. In Manhattan, it's 19 percent each.

The poll's biggest discrepancy was alcohol consumption. Mets fans, according to the survey, are 43 percent more likely to drink beer than Yankee fans. And while 30 percent of Yankees fans said they don't drink alcohol, only 16 percent of Mets fans answered the same way.

In terms of gun ownership, Mets fans topped the Yankee fans, 11 percent to five percent.

But despite the 27 World Series championships, 15 percent of Yankees fans said they worry about their team, while only eight percent of Mets fans worry about the Amazin's -- even though they haven't won a World Series title since 1986. Forty percent of those Mets fans, however, consider themselves professional managers. (Watch out, Jerry Manuel?)

Also, more fans of the Mets, according to the poll, are married, own a pet, monitor their team more often, place bets and listen to sports-talk radio.

The reason?

"You never know when they're going to win," Brooklyn Mets fan Michael Dawkins told WSJ.

Meanwhile, more Yankees fans drink Starbucks coffee and own a Mac, rather than a PC computer. Fifty-nine percent of Yankees fans who answered the poll were unmarried.

"More single girls are Yankees fans," 27-year-old Manhattan resident Emilio Fields, a Yankee fan, told WSJ. "You see those pink Yankees hats all over the place. I don't see pink Mets hats."

The numbers are pretty close in terms of education and standard of living.

Five percent more Mets fans who answered the survey stopped their education during high school or shortly thereafter (30 percent to 25 percent), and four percent more Yankees fans earn $100,000-plus a year (28 percent to 24 percent). Strangely, though, the poll stated that the blue-collar percentage is five percent more for Yankees fans. (21 percent to 16 percent).

"The fans are really spread out throughout all the boroughs, so there was a much more even income distribution than I think most people would've expected," Hollander said. "So that definitely was surprising."

In the coming weeks, WSJ will share more results of the poll in a series called "The Grand Fanalysis," which will explore New York fans in different sports. The next topic will delve into the female Mets and Yankees followers.

"I think we were surprised that Yankee fans worried more, I think we were surprised at the alcohol difference between the two fan bases," Hollander added.

"I think that the teams were tied in Manhattan is surprising. I think there's maybe a general perception of the Yankees as sort of Manhattan front-runners, but to debunk that was interesting."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.