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What are the top sports and games in the United States?

Whether we like it or not, the United States is a special location on Earth. This holds true for its society, culture, business, and politics. Of course, there is also the realm of sports, which is an important part of American culture. STATSCORE examines the most popular sports in the US in more detail.

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Even though it was developed in Canada, basketball may be the most widely watched US sport on a global scale, but nothing can compete with American football among American fans!

American football, first (NFL)

Sorry, association football (or soccer)! You cannot top that! The NFL is the source of success, notoriety, and wealth in America!

American football is without a doubt the most watched sport in the USA, with 37% of Americans (source: Gallup) declaring it to be their favourite. Among all sports leagues, the NFL has the greatest average attendance (67,591)!

The National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference each contain 32 clubs in the league (AFC). Each team plays 16 games over the course of the 17-week regular season, which begins in September and concludes in December. The Super Bowl, which is already the biggest yearly sporting event in the nation, culminates the Super Bowl as the best teams proceed to the play-offs.

The NFL receives the largest TV ratings of all the major sports, and it is considered a staple of American society to watch football on Sundays.

In fact, Super Bowl Sunday, when a season’s last game is played, has evolved into a type of unofficial holiday. Even those who are not football fans enjoy the day in large numbers. A record 167 million spectators watched the game in 2014! Even in terms of cuisine, Super Sunday has its own customs; on that day, 1.25 billion chicken wings and 8 million pounds of guacamole are consumed.

Baseball. (MLB)

Although American football is the most popular sport in the country, many people contend that baseball is the sport that best represents what their country is all about because of the thrill of seeing a grand slam home run, the custom of taking your kids to games, and rivalries like New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox.

MLB is actually the oldest of the main US sports leagues. Although the National League was established in 1903, its origins date all the way back to… 1876! It has been there for America during some of its most pivotal events, like Jackie Robinson’s 1947 breaking of the colour barrier and the first post-9/11 Mets game that signalled the return to normalcy.

There are 30 clubs competing in the league, split between the National League and American League (29 in the US and 1 in Canada). In the regular season, each team plays 162 games, and five teams from each league progress to the playoff tournament, which culminates in the World Series.

Basketball. (NBA)

In the US, basketball is the third most popular sport, and it is also the one that is most widely watched by sports enthusiasts abroad.

The game has had its share of issues throughout its history, but it was effectively reformed by the NBA’s longtime commissioner David Stern. And thanks to players like Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, and Charles Barkley, the NBA enjoyed tremendous success internationally in the 1990s.

More than 26 million Americans currently play basketball, according to the 11% of Americans who say it is their favourite sport (more than any other team sport).

Currently, there are 30 clubs in the NBA, split between the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference (29 in the United States and 1 in Canada). The top teams progress to the postseason after each club plays an 82-game regular season.

Hockey (NHL)

Despite always being significantly less well-liked than baseball or American football, ice hockey has long been regarded as the fourth major US sport.

However, hockey is a popular sport, particularly in Canada and the northern US states.

There are now 31 teams competing in the National Hockey League, split between the Eastern Conference and Western Conference. The International Ice Hockey Federation views the Stanley Cup as one of the “most important championships available to the sport,” and the best teams proceed to the play-offs to compete for it.

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