New Jersey football fans are better educated and richer than their football-hating brethren, according to a poll released Wednesday — and New York fans are the richest of them all.

The survey of 800 adults found 27 percent of football fans reported more than $100,000 in income, versus 18 percent of nonfans.

The 100,000 fans arriving in the state this week to attend Super Bowl XLVIII are just the sort of tourists the state should want to attract, said Israel Posner, director of the Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism at Richard Stockton College, which sponsored the poll.

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“They’re smart, affluent, and have disposable income,” Posner said in a release. “The tourism and hospitality industries expect that they will like what they see in New Jersey and come back for vacations and business trips.”

In all, 75 percent of state residents can identify a favorite team, including 83 percent of men and 68 percent of women.

About 31 percent root for the New York Giants, versus 15 percent for the Philadelphia Eagles and 5 percent for the New York Jets, with the balance cheering for other teams.

The poll found that 71 percent of football fans have attended college, versus 62 percent of nonfans.

The wealth distinction was even sharper when it came to which team a person cheered on.

Fans of the New York-area teams were more likely to earn six figures than Philly fans. About 30 percent of Jets and Giants fans reported earning more than $100,000, compared with 18 percent of Eagles fans.

The New York fans were even more likely to hold a college degree — 47 percent to the Philadelphia supporters’ 36 percent.

“Eagles fans will point to their team’s win-loss record as their most important statistic,” Posner said. The Giants finished 7-9 and the Jets 8-8 this year, while the Eagles went 10-7 and made the playoffs.

Football fans are more likely to gamble than nonfans, 53 percent to 38 percent, poll data show. At the same time, about 60 percent of Philadelphia fans reported gambling in the past 12 months, versus 49 percent of New York fans.

The William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy’s Stockton Polling Institute conducted the interviews between Jan. 17-20 and Jan. 23-25, calling landlines and cellphones. The margin of error was plus-or-minus 3.5 percent.

Contact Derek Harper:


@dnharper on Twitter


Press copy editor since 2006, copy desk chief since 2014. Masters in journalism from Temple University, 2006. My weekly comics blog, Wednesday Morning Quarterback, appears Wednesday mornings at

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