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Study suggests cities with baseball teams have lower divorce rates

Posted at 10:24 PM, Oct 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-03 12:49:20-04

The Milwaukee Brewers have made a lot of people happy this week, but does the team also make for happier marriages?

That's what a study from the University of Denver suggests when it found that cities with Major League Baseball teams have lower divorce rates.

Dr. Howard Markman is considered a national expert on successful marriages as a distinguished professor in the psychology department at the University of Denver

"Going to baseball games is one of the best things couples can do," he said. 

Markman published a study on the topic 25 years ago, when Colorado was trying to secure a professional baseball team. 

"At that point in time, the cities with Major League Baseball teams had a 25 percent lower divorce rate than the cities that were trying to get major league baseball," he said. 

He re-checked the numbers just a few days ago and found divorce rates continuing to decline in cities with MLB teams. 

"It's a fun study," he said. "I am a scientist, a clinical psychologist, this is really in the spirit of enjoying the Major League Baseball playoff season." 

As major Brewers fans, Jane and Doug Owsiany are certainly enjoying the playoff season in Milwaukee. They've been married more than 30 years and have collected a lot of memorabilia in that time. 

They have one of the old seats from the Milwaukee County stadium and framed tickets from the 1958 World Series. 

"We're pretty avid fans," said Jane. 

And through the ups and downs of marriage, they say the Brewers have remained a constant. 

"I would think [it's made us stronger]" said Doug. "It's something we enjoy together and do together and I think that's important."  

According to the most recently available numbers from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Milwaukee County's divorce rate is 2.3 per 1,000 total population. That's lower than both the state rate at 2.6 and the national rate at 3.2.

And whether or not baseball is to thank for that, it certainly has helped the Owsiany's. 

"Depending on how deep they get into the playoffs, we're gonna be there, we will find a way," said Doug.