In many areas of the world, sports are a huge aspect of a nation’s overall fabric and culture. International sports competitions like the FIFA World Cup and the Olympics are examples of two major events that draw millions of tourists and fans. These massive ceremonies are made possible thanks to the existence of the sports universe with a history that spans both generations and centuries.
It is true that each country boasts its own specific athletic events and important sporting leagues which can often differ depending on where you find yourself. For example, one sport that could be hugely popular in India, may not be in Germany, and so on and so forth.
As one of the globe’s largest countries, the United States is home to a variety of different sports and fans that support them. However, out of the dozens of different sports that viewers can enjoy in the States, which ones rank at the very top of the list? In this article we uncover the top five most watched, most popular sports in the U.S. of A today.
American Football (NFL)
For the rest of the world, football is a sport played on a grassy field with two goal posts at either end and two teams of eleven players. In the U.S. on the other hand, football is a different thing entirely. Commonly referred to as “American Football” in order to differentiate it from the country’s version of “soccer,” football is undoubtedly the most popular sport in the U.S. as well as people’s favorite sport to watch live or on television. Football’s professional league, the NFL, is comprised of 32 teams divided into two respective conferences (NFC and AFC) that represent different states all around the country.
Each year, the league’s season cumulates in arguably the most important U.S. sporting event: the Super Bowl Championship game. For 54 years, the event’s victor has received the prestigious Vince Lombardi trophy and ultimate bragging rights.
The Super Bowl is also one special event that many fans place bets on, as this particular time of the year is the most exciting for football supporters. Nowadays, the U.S. is in a period where sports betting online is becoming legalized in more and more states. This is great news for fans who love the NFL, as a new set of matchups are set to begin very soon in September. Where the activity is regulated – for example, in places like New Jersey and Colorado – sports enthusiasts have access to a variety of different betting platforms in the market. Before choosing one, fans can read overviews of each provider’s offerings on platforms like OddsChecker, so they know what to expect. The Bet365 sportsbook review is one of these which gives users a pros and cons list of the site, as well as directions on how to sign up. Last year’s Super Bowl was viewed by 91.6 million, a number that is expected to increase this season.
There’s no question that America’s greatest pastime is baseball. It’s also one of the most historic sports in the U.S. with the MLB having been founded all the way back in 1869. Today, 30 teams from both the National and American league start their annual season in the spring, ending with the 7-game World Series Championship in October. This means that when the NFL season ends in February, sports fans in the U.S. have a host of other important matchups to enjoy up until the fall.
The fan craze behind baseball is also no joke. Throughout the regular season and playoffs, stadiums all across the country are jam-packed with fans decked out in their baseball gear, eating hot dogs decorated with ketchup and mustard, while drinking Coco-Cola. Some of the country’s most historic baseball venues include Fenway Park, the nation’s oldest, as well as Wrigley Field in Chicago. Visitors will notice how huge baseball fandom is here, with Wrigley Field being one of the main things to see in the Windy City. However, even for non-baseball fans, Chicago has plenty to offer.
Founded in NYC back in 1946, the NBA currently consists of 30 teams divided into either the Western or Eastern Conference. Games normally begin at the end of the year, with the sport’s final competition, the NBA Finals, beginning in July. This year’s competitions have been full of surprises so far, with reigning champ Lebron James and the Lakers being eliminated in the first-round of the playoffs. Fans will have to wait a few more weeks to see who this year’s victor will be, but games will be broadcast on ABC and ESPN for supporters to watch from home. In the 90s when Michael Jordan and the Bulls dominated, the sport had the highest ratings, with some regular season games amassing upwards of 20 million viewers.
In the U.S., it is the third most watched and popular sport, garnering a significant amount of fan attention, tourism and overall revenue. Just in the 2019-2020 NBA season alone, games were attended by an estimated 17,750 people. Of course, this number jumps greatly when the post-season is in full swing, as basketball supporters will pay a good deal of money to watch their favorite players dunk and shoot under the weight of a playoff title.
Ten years ago, soccer may have not been placed so high on this list, but nowadays the sport is gaining popularity in the U.S. thanks to more fans and teams joining the ranks of the country’s professional league, the MLS. Currently, the MLS is made up of 27 soccer clubs, with future plans to add at least three more in the next few years. As far as following bases go, some of the most popular teams include the Seattle Sounders, New York City FC, and Atlanta United, a team which sells out tickets to their prestigious home field, Mercedes Benz Stadium, almost every time they play.