New research finds that the Nashville Predators hockey team has leapfrogged over the Tennessee Titans as the most popular pro sports team in Middle Tennessee. That finding comes from MTSU’s consumer research office, which put out a scientific survey in the wake of the Predators’ playoff run.
The gauge of fandom still finds football dominates across the state — with the Titans at the top and all levels of football as the favorite to watch, followed by basketball.
But hockey made a big gain in the Nashville area, with 33 percent of respondents ranking the Preds their favorite team, a few points higher than the 29 percent who chose the Titans.
A lot of Tennesseans said they don’t have a single favorite team — and that was actually the most common response in the East and the West.
The survey also includes a small appearance from soccer. While Nashville is vying for a top-level pro team, the study finds just 1 percent of respondents marked it as a favorite to watch, placing soccer on par with tennis and behind auto racing.