Darron Cummings / Associated Press

A banner at Scottsdale Stadium is a reminder that the Giants are the reigning world champions.


Which big-league team in Northern California is your favorite?

Leading Off: Are the Giants more popular than the 49ers?

Published: Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Monday, Mar. 25, 2013 - 7:23 am

An estimated 40,000 fans packed AT&T Park on Saturday for the Giants' annual FanFest to get a look at and hear from the world champions before they headed to Arizona for spring training.

The last time the Giants were together, for their parade on Halloween, hundreds of thousands of fans took the day off to celebrate.

Have the Giants eclipsed the 49ers as Northern California's most popular team?

The Chronicle's Ann Killion made that case in an intriguing column earlier this week, pointing out that the Bay Area was 28th of the 56 markets in Nielsen's television ratings for the Super Bowl, even though the 49ers were involved. Baltimore was No. 1, not a surprise since the Ravens won, but how could the 49ers have a lower rating – the percentage of all TVs tuned in – than Dayton, Ohio, and Milwaukee?

It's premature to say the Giants have become Northern California's favorite team, because the 49ers play in the NFL, the most dominant league in the country. And more people in Northern California watched the Super Bowl than the World Series, though much of that is because of the Super Bowl's huge popularity among folks who aren't sports fans, who tune in more for the entertainment and commercials.

But one thing is certain: The Giants – with guys like Panda, Buster and Timmy – have never been more popular. Try getting a ticket to the home opener on April 5 against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Good luck and open your wallet wide.

What to watch

NBA doubleheader, 5 p.m., TNT: The NBA goes into the All-Star break with these two juicy matchups: the Heat at the Thunder, followed by the Clippers vs. the Lakers.

Today's poll

Which big-league team in Northern California is your favorite?

• A's

• 49ers

• Giants

• Kings

• Raiders

• Sharks

• Warriors

• Other

Vote above or leave your comments in the comment field; or, go to www.sacbee.com/sports

Wednesday's results

Will you watch the NBA All-Star Game even though there are no Kings playing?

• Yes: 38%

• No: 62%

Total votes: 140

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Tom Couzens

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