St. Louis Blues fans are a passionate bunch. However, many have speculated that the fan base is dwarfed by those in other cities due to a variety of factors, including the fact the city of St. Louis is considered a baseball town.
A report from Nielsen analyzed the various U.S. sports markets and ranked each team in each sport in terms of "percent of population that watched, attended, or listened to the team in the past 12 months." There were other factors involved (such as competing teams in the same city), but the entire report requires you to request permission from Nielsen.
So where did the Blues rank? Surprisingly, they checked in at the fifth spot on the list.
It's worth noting that no NHL clubs from Canada were ranked on this list. If they were, it's safe to say at least a couple teams would be in the countdown.
It's also important to note that I haven't read the full report. Feel free to request access to their report if you want to view it in its entirety.
With that being said, it's pretty interesting seeing the Blues in the fifth spot. Attendance has been up and down, but TV ratings have been pretty strong based on the figures which have been released. When you factor in the "small market" label which is usually applied to St. Louis and the enormous "St. Louis Cardinals" competition down the road, the Blues even cracking the top-10 of this list would have been impressive.
According to this report (which could be debated heavily), the Blues have the fan base. The interest and passion is there. It's up to the organization to capitalize on the fans (without tarnishing relationships) in order to field a competitive, yet financially stable organization.
Without controlling the list for the size of the population of the various cities, I'm not sure how helpful this is for arguments one way or the other. That said, if the Blues can use this to drive a better TV deal next time around, I'm all for them shouting it from the rooftops, regardless of the mathematical merits of it.