Des Moines added an American Hockey League (AHL) team this year, but it was the Iowa Energy basketball team that helped the city move into the top 10 in a ranking of the top minor league markets.

 

Des Moines moved to No. 8 from No. 31 in rankings compiled by Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal. The article credits the jump largely to the Energy's success in the NBA Development League, as the Energy had a total attendance of more than 100,000 for the season, averaging 4,452 fans a game.

 

It also cites the Iowa Cubs, who are on pace to draw more than a half million fans for the ninth time in 10 seasons, and the Iowa Barnstormers, which the article called one of the top-drawing football teams in the study.

 

The Des Moines write-up includes a brief mention of the Iowa Wild, which will start play in the upcoming hockey season. 

 

The study researched 408 teams in 235 markets and based its rankings on three category-specific scores. The categories were tenure rank, which looked at the length of presence of teams in a market, attendance, and economic rank, which takes into account the population and financial well-being of people in the market.

 

Toledo was the No. 1 market on the list. Clinton was No. 18 and Cedar Rapids was No. 21. Davenport and Burlington came in at No. 48 and No. 49, respectively. Click here for the full list.