Pittsburgh | World’s Best Cities


It’s the Gateway to the West (at least before air travel), Steel City, City of (440!) Bridges, Andy Warhol’s hometown, and birthplace of the NFL’s “Stillers,” (if you pronounce it in Pittsburghese). In fact, sports tourism is huge in Pittsburgh, home of the Penguins, Steelers and Pirates. According to a study done by the three sports franchises, over the last five years sports tourism led to numerous jobs, $6 billion in direct/indirect spending, $73 million in state and local tax revenue for the City. The city knows how to kick back, too: it ranks #29 for great nightlife and #30 for its culinary scene, making it a place of work and play. Even when the teams are traveling, sports venues generate direct spending. In summer 2019, Heinz Field hosted Garth Brooks and the largest crowd ever in that venue, according to Jennifer Hawkins, executive director of SportsPITTSBURGH. The city lands at #16 for Professional Sports Teams, a subcategory under the larger Product category. It’s also home to Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, which helps explain its #13 University ranking and an overall sense of practicality and stewardship (and why urbanist and author Richard Florida launched his career here).