Sports in New York City

Yankee Stadium, home of the New York Yankees in the Bronx

Sports in New York City have a long and distinguished history. New York City is home to the headquarters of the National Football League, the National Hockey League, the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, Minor league baseball, women's national soccer league, and Major League Soccer.

There have been fourteen World Series championship series between New York City teams, in matchups called Subway Series. New York is one of only two cities (Chicago being the other) and one of four metropolitan areas (the Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay areas) to have two baseball teams. The city's two current Major League Baseball teams are the New York Yankees and the New York Mets. The city also was once home to the New York Giants (now the San Francisco Giants) and the Brooklyn Dodgers (now the Los Angeles Dodgers). Both teams moved to California in 1958. There are also two minor league baseball teams in the city, the Staten Island Yankees and Brooklyn Cyclones, with numerous independent minor league teams throughout the metro area.

Football is the city's second most followed sport, slightly trailing baseball. The city is represented in the National Football League by the New York Giants and New York Jets. Both teams play in MetLife Stadium in nearby East Rutherford, New Jersey near New York City. In 2014, the stadium hosted Super Bowl XLVIII. The teams have an intra-city rivalry, the only one of its kind in the NFL.

Basketball is one of the most widely played recreation sports in the city, and professional basketball is also widely followed. The city's National Basketball Association teams are the long-established New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets, who became the first sports team representing Brooklyn in over 50 years when they moved to the borough from New Jersey for the 2012–13 NBA season. The city's Women's National Basketball Association team is the New York Liberty. The first national basketball championship for major colleges, the National Invitation Tournament, was held in New York in 1938,[1] and its semifinal and final rounds remain in the city.[2] Rucker Park in Harlem is a celebrated court where many professional athletes play in the summer league. Because of the city's strong historical connections with both professional and college basketball, the New York Knicks' home arena, Madison Square Garden, is often called the "Mecca of basketball."[3][4][5]

The New York City Marathon is the largest marathon in the world

Ice hockey in New York is also widely popular and closely followed. The New York Rangers play in Manhattan in the National Hockey League, calling Madison Square Garden home. The New York Islanders, play in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The New Jersey Devils also play in the New York metro area, playing in Newark, New Jersey. The Islanders' American Hockey League affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, are based in southwest Connecticut.

In soccer, New York is represented by four teams, including the New York Red Bulls, and New York City FC of Major League Soccer, the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League, and Sky Blue FC of the National Women's Soccer League. The Red Bulls play their home games at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey. New York City FC, a new team owned by Manchester City F.C. and the New York Yankees, joined the MLS in 2015. NYCFC have plans to build a soccer-specific stadium within the five boroughs of the city and for the team to also develop an intra-city rivalry with the Red Bulls. The New York Cosmos play their home games at James M. Shuart Stadium in Hempstead, New York and are also proposing a 25,000 seat stadium of their own to be constructed at the border of Queens and Nassau counties. Sky Blue FC play their home games at Yurcak Field in Piscataway Township, New Jersey at the main campus of Rutgers University.

Major league sports

The New York metropolitan area is the only one in the United States with more than one team in each of the four major team sports, with nine such franchises. Counting these along with its two teams in Major League Soccer, New York has a total of eleven sports teams in the five most important professional sports leagues in the United States. Regardless of where they actually play their home games, most of these teams carry the name of and represent the entire city or State of New York, except for the NBA's Brooklyn Nets, who play in and specifically represent the New York City borough of Brooklyn, and the NHL's New Jersey Devils, who play their home games in the State of New Jersey.


In New York, baseball is still regarded as the most popular sport, despite being overtaken by football in terms of perceived popularity (but not attendance) throughout the country, as based on TV ratings and consistent fan following for the entire season. New York is home to two Major League Baseball franchises. The New York Yankees of the American League have played in New York since 1903. Known for iconic ballplayers such as Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra and countless others, they play in Yankee Stadium in the Bronx and have won the World Series twenty-seven times. The New York Mets have represented New York in the National League since 1962, four years after the NL's New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers left for California. The Mets play in Citi Field in Flushing, Queens and have won five NL pennants and two World Series, thus making them one of the most decorated expansion teams in Major League Baseball. The "Subway Series" is the name used for all regular season and World Series meetings between the two teams. Before interleague play was introduced in 1997, the only instance these two teams could have played each other would have been in the World Series. The Mets and Yankees played for the World Series in 2000, with the Yankees winning the series 4–1. As a matter of fact, both New York Yankees and the New York Mets lost in the wild card in back-to-back seasons with the same score 3-0, (Yankees lost to Astros in 2015 AL Wild Card 3-0, and the Mets lost in the 2016 NL Wild Card to the San Francisco Giants 3-0), both in New York City.

Citi Field, home of the New York Mets in Queens

For many New York baseball fans, the most intense rivalry is between the Yankees and the Boston Red Sox, arguably the fiercest and most historic in North American professional sports.[6][7][8] While the city rivalry between the Mets and the Yankees is also fierce, it is not so strong to prevent fans of one team rooting for their fellow New York team over geographic rivals. For example, after the Mets beat the Red Sox in the 1986 World Series, many Yankee fans attended the parade celebrating the Mets' win, saying that "anyone who beats Boston is worth coming down for."[9] Another rivalry for New York baseball fans that is fierce, but not strong is the one between the Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies.

There have been 14 Subway Series World Series match-ups between the Yankees and their National League rivals; the Mets (once), and with the two teams that departed for California in the 1950s — the Brooklyn Dodgers (7 times) and New York Giants (6 times).

New York City is also home to two minor league baseball teams that play in the short-season Class A New York–Penn League. The Brooklyn Cyclones are a Mets affiliate, and the Staten Island Yankees are affiliated with the Yankees. One Atlantic League of Professional Baseball team plays in the New York area. The Long Island Ducks of Central Islip, New York play in Bethpage Ballpark. Since 2010, Nassau County, New York has been in talks with the Atlantic League to bring a rival team to Uniondale, New York.

New York has historically had many short-lived baseball clubs including the New York Mutuals, Brooklyn Atlantics, Brooklyn Enterprise, Excelsior of Brooklyn and Brooklyn Eckfords of the National Association of Baseball Players; the New York Knickerbockers, one of the first baseball teams; the New York Metropolitans and Brooklyn Gladiators of the American Association (19th century); the New York Giants (PL) and Brooklyn Ward's Wonders of the Players' League; the Brooklyn Tip-Tops of the Federal League; the Brooklyn Bushwicks, Springfield Greys, Barton's Nighthawks, Glendale Farmers, Mount Vernon Scarlets, Union City Reds, Carlton's of the Bronx, and Bay Parkway, Bay Ridge, Cedarhurst, West New York, and Queens Club of The Metropolitan Baseball Association;[10] and the New York Highlanders and Brooklyn Bridegrooms, precursors to the Yankees and Dodgers. There were also two Newark Bears teams Newark Bears and Newark Bears (International League). Negro league baseball teams also were present in New York, including the Brooklyn Royal Giants, Newark Stars, Lincoln Giants, Newark Browns, New York Black Yankees, New York Cubans, and the Newark Eagles.

In 1858 in Corona, Queens, at the Fashion Race Course, the first games of baseball to charge admission took place. The games, which took place between the all-stars of Brooklyn, including players from the Brooklyn Atlantics, Excelsior of Brooklyn, Putnams and Eckford of Brooklyn, and the All Stars of New York (Manhattan), including players from the New York Knickerbockers, Gothams (predecessors of the San Francisco Giants), Eagles and Empire, are commonly believed to the first all-star baseball games.[11]

Two historical clubs, the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants, were among the most storied clubs in professional baseball, and were home to such players as Jackie Robinson and Willie Mays. The two teams left for California—the Dodgers for Los Angeles and the Giants for San Francisco—in 1957. The city currently has two Major League Baseball teams, the Mets (who were formed in 1962 to replace the Dodgers and, to a lesser extent, the Giants), and the Yankees.

Major League Baseball's headquarters are located in New York City, at 245 Park Avenue in Manhattan.[12]


The first national basketball championship for major colleges, the National Invitation Tournament, was held in New York in 1938, and its semifinal and final rounds remain at Madison Square Garden. The NIT has spawned a major early-season tournament known as the NIT Season Tip-Off; the semifinal and final rounds of that event are also held at the Garden.

At Madison Square Garden, New Yorkers can watch the New York Knicks play NBA basketball, while the New York Liberty play in the WNBA. The Barclays Center in Brooklyn is home to the Brooklyn Nets NBA basketball team. The Nets began playing in Brooklyn in 2012, the first major professional sports team to play in the historic borough in half a century. Before the merger of the defunct American Basketball Association with the NBA during the 1976–1977 season, the New York Nets, who shared the same home stadium (Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum) in Long Island with the NHL's New York Islanders, were a two-time champion in the ABA and starred the famous Hall of Fame forward Julius Erving. During the first season of the merger (1976–77), the Nets continued to play in Long Island, although Erving's contract had by then been sold to the Philadelphia 76ers. The Nets transferred to New Jersey then next season and became known as the New Jersey Nets, and later moved to Brooklyn prior to the 2012–2013 NBA season.

Barclays Center, home of the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Islanders in Brooklyn

The Knicks have won two NBA titles (1969–1970 and 1972–1973). The 1970 title was particularly memorable, as there was a question before the pivotal Game 7 in Madison Square Garden as to whether star center Willis Reed of the Knicks, who had been injured in Game 5 and missed Game 6, would be able to play. But after both teams had already begun their pre-game shooting practice and warm-ups, Reed suddenly appeared at the court in uniform before an astonished crowd at Madison Square Garden, and when the game began, he started at center and hit the first two baskets for the Knicks, inspiring his team to an 113–99 victory. Reed's inspiring appearance in Game 7 is usually considered among the most dramatic sequences in NBA history and ranks third in the NBA 60 Greatest Playoff Moments. Despite the Knicks' comparative lack of championships, NBA lore has been enriched with the team's many exciting playoff battles through the years with such fierce rivals as the Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers, Miami Heat, and Boston Celtics.

The Long Island Nets, an NBA Development League started playing at the Barclays Center in 2016, and will be moving to Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in 2017. The Westchester Knicks started in 2014 at the Westchester County Center.

Rucker Park in Harlem is a celebrated court where many NBA athletes play in the summer league.

The NBA's headquarters are located in New York City, at Fifth Avenue's Olympic Tower.[13]

The New York Liberty are one of the original teams of the WNBA, which was formed in 1997. The team is based out of Madison Square Garden. During a massive renovation project at the arena between 2011 and 2013, the Liberty temporarily played their home games at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.

From 1933 to 1935, the Newark Bears (basketball) team played. They changed their name to the Newark Mules.

There was briefly a Long Island Ducks (basketball) team at the Long Island Arena in 1977-1978.

Long Island PrimeTime played at Louis Armstrong Gymnasium in Flushing from 2006-2007. They were part of the United States Basketball League.

American football

In 2010, both the New York Giants and the New York Jets play in MetLife Stadium in nearby East Rutherford, New Jersey near New York City. In 2014 the stadium hosted Super Bowl XLVIII. The Giants and Jets were previously located in New York City (both teams played in the Polo Grounds and Shea Stadium, and the Giants played in Yankee Stadium). Neither team plays in the city itself presently, as both teams are located in the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey, playing in Giants Stadium for many years before moving to MetLife Stadium. The Giants, a keystone NFL franchise, were founded in 1925, and exist today as one of the oldest presently active organizations in the NFL. Due to their long-spanning establishment and richer tradition of on-field success, as compared to the Jets, of the two teams, many consider the Giants to be the more popular. Founded in 1960, the originally named New York Titans, later branded as the Jets in 1963, were a charter member of the American Football League (AFL), joining the NFL as part of the AFL/NFL merger in 1970.

New York City also had many historical professional teams. The first professional team in New York was called both the New York Giants and Brooklyn Giants (unrelated to the current New York Giants), and played in the predecessor to the NFL, the American Professional Football Association, in 1921. In 1926, the New York Yankees, Newark Bears (AFL) and Brooklyn Horsemen played in the American Football League, and on the same year, the Brooklyn Lions played in the National Football League before the Horsemen and Lions merged in November and folded at season's end. The Lions' NFL franchise rights were given to the Yankees, who competed in the NFL from 1927 to 1928. When the Yankees folded, its rights were given to the existing barnstorming team Staten Island Stapletons, who played in the NFL until 1932 when it stopped league play and later folded as well.

In 1930, the NFL Brooklyn Dodgers began play at Ebbets Field. The team lasted until 1944, calling themselves the Brooklyn Tigers that last season but going winless. In 1945, the team was merged with the Boston Yanks and played one more home game in Brooklyn that season as the Yanks.

Another team going by the name New York Yankees played in the second AFL in 1936 and 1937. The league also had a Brooklyn Tigers club in 1936, but the team never played in Brooklyn and folded after only seven games. A third incarnation of the Yankees played in the third AFL in 1940 under the Yankees name, and then in 1941 as the New York Americans. Another version of the New York Yankees was a short-lived member of the American Association

In 1946, the new All-America Football Conference had yet another set of Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Yankees teams. These clubs lasted until 1948, after which they merged with each other. The renamed Brooklyn-New York Yankees folded after one season when the AAFC merged with the NFL.

The New York Bulldogs were founded in 1949, sharing the Polo Grounds with the New York Giants, and then being renamed as the New York Yanks and playing in the NFL in the 1950 and 1951 seasons. In 1952, the team was relocated to Texas and renamed as the Dallas Texans.

In 1974, New York briefly hosted a team known as the New York Stars for the short-lived World Football League, but in mid-season the team was relocated to Charlotte and became the Charlotte Hornets.

The short-lived United States Football League had a team in the New York area. The New Jersey Generals played at Giants Stadium in The Meadowlands from 1983 to 1985. At one point, the team was owned by Donald Trump. The team folded with the rest of the league.

In 1988, the New York Knights played for one season as part of the Arena Football League, and then ceased operations. In 1997, the AFL added two expansion franchises, the New York CityHawks, who played at Madison Square Garden, and the New Jersey Red Dogs, who played in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The CityHawks moved to Hartford, Connecticut and were renamed the New England Sea Wolves in 1999, and then relocated to Toronto in 2001, and renamed the Toronto Phantoms. The Red Dogs were renamed the New Jersey Gladiators in 2001, then relocated and became the Las Vegas Gladiators in 2003, before relocating again and being renamed the Cleveland Gladiators. When the Sea Wolves, who were owned by the Madison Square Garden Company and had their games televised in New York City on MSG Network, relocated to Toronto, the AFL's Iowa Barnstormers relocated to Long Island and were renamed the New York Dragons. The Dragons played in New York until 2008, when the league suspended operations; no team from New York (either the city or the state) has played in the league since its 2010 revival.

Shea Stadium and vicinity, with Manhattan in the background, 1981

The Jets are sometimes regarded as "Long Island's Team" supported by the fact that until 2008, the team trained in Hempstead at Hofstra University, and used to play at Shea Stadium (former home of the New York Mets baseball team) which is close to Nassau County. Statistically, the largest percentage of the Jets fanbase derives from Long Island, hence, the Jets generally receive more media coverage in that part of New York.[14] Fans of both the Giants and Jets traditionally root for both the New York Yankees and the New York Mets as well as both the New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets of the NBA and also both the New York Rangers and the New York Islanders of the NHL.

Along with New York's two NFL teams, NYC is home to the New York Sharks. The NY Sharks are NYC's premier professional women's tackle football team. Established in 1999 the Sharks are the longest-running and winningest team in women's tackle football having won 3 conference titles (2002, 2003, 2004 IWFL East), 6 division titles (2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 IWFL) and one championship title(2002 IWFL). The Sharks play at many fields and have no official home stadium. The season for women's football is from April to June with playoffs and the championship game occurring from June to July. As of 2011 the Sharks are now with the WFA (Women's Football Alliance ) along with the Bay Area Bandits, Boston Militia, Chicago Force, Dallas Diamonds, DC Divas, Kansas City Tribe, Pittsburgh Passion, and the San Diego Surge in an effort to bring together the best franchises of women's football.

In 2001, the short-lived XFL experiment led to the New York/New Jersey Hitmen playing at Giants Stadium until the league folded.

The NFL's headquarters are located in New York City, at 345 Park Avenue in Manhattan.[15]

Ice hockey

The Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, was home to the New York Islanders From 1972–2015, and the New York Nets from 1972–1976

Ice hockey has a storied history and large following in the New York Metropolitan Area, which is unique in that it is the only North American metropolitan area and media market home to three major league teams participating in the same sport. The New York Rangers play in Madison Square Garden, located in midtown Manhattan. The Rangers, established in 1926, are one of the Original Six — a term given to the six NHL teams in existence before the league doubled its size in 1967. The primary fan base for the Rangers is in the City's five boroughs, Westchester County, much of Upstate New York, and parts of Connecticut, however they maintain a sizable following within parts of the market claimed by their two local rivals.

The New York Islanders, established in 1972, play their home games in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn beginning with the 2015–16 NHL season. These two teams play in the Metropolitan Division, providing fans with an intense rivalry. The Islanders' primary fan base is in Nassau and Suffolk Counties on Long Island.

Within the Metropolitan Division and greater New York metropolitan area, there is another intense rivalry between the Rangers and New Jersey Devils, largely stemming from geographic proximity, a manifestation of a long-standing rivalry between the states New York and New Jersey, and six playoff meetings in which the Rangers have won four. Both teams have achieved famous results for their respective fan bases in these meetings, including the 1994 Eastern Conference Finals, ending in a dramatic double-overtime goal by the Rangers' Stéphane Matteau during the 7th and deciding game. The Devils took a 3-2 series lead into Game 6 in New Jersey and jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the game. However, Mark Messier's famous guarantee and hat-trick led the Rangers to victory and a seventh game. As time wound down in Game 7, the Rangers were clinging to a 1-0 lead when New Jersey's Valeri Zelepukin tied the game with 7.7 seconds left in regulation to silence the Garden crowd and send the game into overtime, where Matteau won it for the Rangers. Most recently, in the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals, the Rangers would be in a very similar scenario, but would ultimately fail to overcome the 3-2 series deficit after trailing 2-0 and forcing overtime in Game 6 across the Hudson River at Prudential Center in Newark on a series-winning goal by Adam Henrique. The Devils' primary fan base resides throughout Northern and Central New Jersey.

The Islanders and Rangers had a bitter rivalry in the 1970s and the 1980s, as the Islanders won four consecutive Stanley Cup titles; the Rangers won their most recent NHL championship in the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals, the fourth Cup victory in that team's history. The two teams have met eight times in the playoffs, with the Islanders winning five of those matchups.

New York City also had a historical NHL team, the New York Americans (also known as the Amerks, and in 1941–42, the Brooklyn Americans), who played between 1925 and 1942. They were the first hockey team to play in the city, and for most of the life of the franchise shared Madison Square Garden with the Rangers. The franchise was never a big winner, and disbanded during World War II due to financial problems and a depleted roster. The World Hockey Association team called the New York Raiders and later the New York Golden Blades played at Madison Square Garden and Cherry Hill, New Jersey from 1972 until 1974 when they moved to San Diego. A few historical minor league hockey teams played in the New York area in the Eastern Hockey League. The New York Rovers started as a farm team of the Rangers in 1935 playing at Madison Square Garden. They moved to the Long Island Arena in 1959 and became the Long Island Ducks (ice hockey) until 1973. The New York Bobcats are a USA Hockey-Sanctioned Tier III Junior Ice Hockey Team at Twin Rinks in Eisenhower Park from 2000 to the present. The New York Apple Core are a Tier III Junior A Ice Hockey Team in Brewster, New York.

The NHL's headquarters are also located in New York City, at the Exxon Building in Sixth Avenue.[16]


Soccer is, as in the rest of the country, rapidly growing in popularity in New York. The New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer (MLS) have played in the metropolitan area since the league's founding in 1996. Owned by the Austrian company Red Bull, they play at Red Bull Arena, a soccer-specific stadium in Harrison, New Jersey completed in 2010 with a capacity of just over 25,000.[17] In 2013, the Red Bulls won their first MLS Supporters' Shield honor in the history of the club,[18][19] and claimed the Supporters' Shield again in 2015.[20]

On May 21, 2013, MLS announced that the league's 20th team would be New York City FC, jointly owned by the English club Manchester City F.C. and the baseball team, the New York Yankees. They began playing in MLS in 2015 at Yankee Stadium, in the Bronx. Its eventual home stadium is yet to be determined, though MLS is in the process of planning a new stadium to be constructed at the dilapidated Industry Pond in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, Queens, which has met resistance from community groups as well as from the New York Mets, who play nearby.[21] If this is not realized, team and city officials indicate that another location within the five boroughs of New York City will be identified for the construction of a soccer-specific stadium which would be the permanent home stadium for the team.

The New York City area is also home to the New York Cosmos, whose first iteration was arguably the most popular American soccer team ever. Playing in the original North American Soccer League, the Cosmos were known for fielding some of the world's greatest players including Pelé, Franz Beckenbauer, and Giorgio Chinaglia. After reviving the club in 2010 from its dormant state post-1985, the New York Cosmos club returned to league play in 2013.[22] In 2013, the club won their sixth championship in the North American Soccer League at Soccer Bowl 2013.[23][24][25] The team plays its games at James M. Shuart Stadium at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. The stadium was also the home of the club from 1972 to 1973.[26] The Cosmos are currently proposing to build a new $400 million 25,000-seat stadium near Belmont Park on the border between Queens and Nassau County, and are awaiting New York State approval.[27]

Sky Blue FC is one of the eight charter teams and 10 current members of the National Women's Soccer League, the third women's professional league in the US. The team plays its home games in New Jersey at Yurcak Field on the campus of Rutgers University. Its first NWSL season in 2013 ended in a playoff loss to the Western New York Flash. The organization had previously been charter members of NWSL's effective predecessor, Women's Professional Soccer. The league started play in 2009; Sky Blue became the league's inaugural champion despite finishing fourth in the league during the regular season, which meant that they had to play on the road in all three WPS playoff games. The New York Power previously played for the Women's United Soccer Association at Mitchel Athletic Complex from 2000 to 2003. The Long Island Fury are a Women's Premier Soccer League Team started in 2005 at Mitchel Athletic Complex.

Major League Soccer's headquarters are located in New York City, at 420 Fifth Avenue.[28]

Major league teams

The following New York City area sports teams play in one of the five major sports leagues in the United States, and are ranked by average attendance.

Club League Venue Location Founded Titles Attendance Local Cable Network
Giants, New YorkNew York Giants NFL Football MetLife Stadium East Rutherford, New Jersey 1925 8 80,148 MSG Network
Jets, New YorkNew York Jets NFL Football MetLife Stadium East Rutherford, New Jersey 1960 1 76,957 SportsNet New York
Yankees, New YorkNew York Yankees MLB Baseball Yankee Stadium Bronx, New York 1901 27 40,488 YES Network
FC, New York CityNew York City FC MLS Soccer Yankee Stadium Bronx, New York 2013 0 29,016 YES Network
Mets, New YorkNew York Mets MLB Baseball Citi Field Queens, New York 1962 2 26,695 SportsNet New York
Knicks, New YorkNew York Knicks NBA Basketball Madison Square Garden Manhattan, New York 1946 2 19,812 MSG Network
Red Bulls, New YorkNew York Red Bulls MLS Soccer Red Bull Arena Harrison, New Jersey 1995 0 19,421 MSG Network
Rangers, New YorkNew York Rangers NHL Hockey Madison Square Garden Manhattan, New York 1926 4 18,006 MSG Network
Nets, BrooklynBrooklyn Nets NBA Basketball Barclays Center Brooklyn, New York 1967 2 17,251 YES Network
Devils, New JerseyNew Jersey Devils NHL Hockey Prudential Center Newark, New Jersey 1974 3 15,257 MSG Plus
Islanders, New YorkNew York Islanders NHL Hockey Barclays Center Brooklyn, New York 1972 4 14,740 MSG Plus
Liberty, New YorkNew York Liberty WNBA Basketball Madison Square Garden Manhattan, New York 1997 0 8,949 MSG Network


New York hosts many sports events. Queens is host of tennis' US Open, one of the four Grand Slam tournaments. The New York City Marathon is the world's largest, and the 2004–2006 runnings hold the top three places in the marathons with the largest number of finishers, including 37,866 finishers in 2006.[29] The Millrose Games is an annual track and field meet whose featured event is the Wanamaker Mile. Boxing is also a very prominent part of the city's sporting scene, with events like the Amateur Boxing Golden Gloves being held at Madison Square Garden each year.

New York City was also the host of parts of the 1996 World Cup of Hockey, and the 1998 Goodwill Games. In 2005, New York City bid to host the 2012 Summer Olympics, but lost to London. Upon the USOC reaching a new revenue-sharing agreement with the IOC in May 2012, New York has been mentioned as a potential candidate for the 2024 Summer Olympics.[30][31],2016 New York City will bid for the 2022 Summer Youth Olympics and 2023 Pan American Games.

Current issues and new stadiums

Throughout the twentieth century, the city has had several historic sports venues: the original Yankee Stadium, home of the New York Yankees from 1923 to 2008, before the team moved into their new stadium in 2009; Ebbets Field, home of the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1913 until 1957, which was torn down in 1960; and the Polo Grounds in northern Harlem, which was the home of the New York Giants of Major League Baseball from 1911 to 1957 (and the first home of the New York Mets) before being demolished in 1964. The Mets, who previously played at Shea Stadium, moved into the newly constructed Citi Field in 2009. Also the current Madison Square Garden, atop Pennsylvania Station in Midtown Manhattan, is actually the fourth separate building to use that name; the first two were near Madison Square, hence the name, and the third was at 50th Street and Eighth Avenue.

The 2000s have seen almost a complete revamping of the area's major sporting venues. This began in 2007, when the Devils moved to Newark, New Jersey and opened the Prudential Center. In 2009, both the Mets and Yankees opened new baseball stadiums adjacent to their old homes, with the Mets replacing Shea Stadium with Citi Field and the Yankees building a new Yankee Stadium. In 2010, the Jets and Giants moved to a new shared facility called New Meadowlands Stadium (now MetLife Stadium) and the Red Bulls opened their own soccer-specific stadium in Harrison, New Jersey called Red Bull Arena (the three had previously shared Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey). In 2012, the Nets moved from New Jersey to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and became the Brooklyn Nets. The Islanders left Nassau County, and followed the Nets into Brooklyn in 2015.

Other sports-related renovations and construction work is as follows:

Other sports

Many sports are associated with New York's immigrant communities. Stickball, a street version of baseball, was popularized by youths in working-class Italian, German, and Irish neighborhoods in the 1930s. In recent years, several amateur cricket leagues have emerged with the arrival of immigrants from South Asia and the Caribbean.[40]

Auto racing

The CART series held a race at the Meadowlands from 1984 to 1991. ISC and NASCAR unsuccessfully attempted to build a speedway in Staten Island. Another possible Meadowlands speedway project (Liberty Speedway) was discussed but abandoned in the early 2000s.

Plans called for a Formula One race known as the Grand Prix of America, to be held on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River, to be held starting in 2014, but those plans have been indefinitely shelved. The race was to be held on the Port Imperial Street Circuit, a 3.2-mile (5.1 km) circuit to be built using existing streets in Weehawken and West New York around Weehawken Port Imperial.


Polo has a long history in the New York area, especially on Long Island. The Meadowbrook Polo Club was originally located in East Meadow and Jericho, and is currently located in Old Westbury. The Rockaway Hunting Club and Piping Rock Club are other polo and golf courses on Long Island.

Horse racing

Aqueduct Racetrack (the Big A) and Belmont Park feature horse racing all months of the year except August. Aqueduct is located within the city limits in Ozone Park, while Belmont is situated just outside the city, in Elmont, New York. Harness racing is offered at Yonkers Raceway north of the city and Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, New Jersey.


The prestigious U.S. Open (golf) and The Barclays have been played at the Bethpage Black Course at Bethpage State Park along with the PGA Championship and Ryder Cup. There are golf facilities at the Rockaway Hunting Club, Piping Rock Club, Eisenhower Park, Westchester Country Club, Inwood Country Club, Sebonack Golf Club, Fresh Meadow Country Club, Trump National Golf Club Westchester, Quaker Ridge Golf Club, Pound Ridge Golf Club, Pelham Country Club, Garden City Golf Club, Hempstead Country Club, Cantiague Park, North Woodmere Park, Bay Park, Christopher Morley Park, Cherry Valley Golf Links, Cherry Valley Club in Garden City, Garden City Country Club, Dunwoodie, Salisbury Links, St. Andrews Golf Club, ColdStream Golf Club, Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, Sleepy Hollow Country Club, Meadow Brook Golf Club, Scarsdale Golf Club, Wheatley Hills Golf Club, Glen Oaks Golf Club, Seawane Country Club, Plandome Country Club and more.


The New York metropolitan area is also home to a Major League Lacrosse team called the New York Lizards, formerly the Long Island Lizards. The New Jersey Pride of the same league played in Piscataway, New Jersey but suspended operations after the 2008 season. The New York Titans also played in the New York area before moving to Orlando. The New York Saints were members of the National Lacrosse League at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum from 1987 to 2003. They were previously the New Jersey Saints.

Rugby league

The City contributes actively with two semi professional rugby league football sides, New York Raiders, who play at Andrews Field, and the New York Knights, who play at Hudson River Park's Pier 40 in Manhattan. The Raiders have yet to win a trophy while the Knights have won the Championship twice in 2002 and 2009. New York City consistently produces players of international standard who play in the United States national rugby league team.

Rugby union

The city has two division one rugby union teams, the New York Athletic Club RFC, which was established in 1973 and the Old Blue, both who play in the Rugby Super League (rugby union). The city has other amateur rugby union clubs as well, paying in the Metropolitan New York Rugby Football Union. The clubs have contributed to the national team, the Eagles, who have participated at the Rugby Union World Cup.


The New York City Marathon is an annual marathon foot-race run over a 42.2 km (26.2 mi) course through the five boroughs of New York City. Next to the Boston Marathon, it is considered the pre-eminent long-distance annual running event in the United States.

The race is produced by the New York Road Runners and has been run every year since 1970. In recent years, it has also been sponsored by financial giant ING. It is held on the first Sunday of November and attracts professional competitors and amateurs from all over the world. Because of the popularity of the race, participation is limited to 35,000 entrants chosen by a lottery system, with preference given to previous participants.

The Millrose Games is an annual indoor track and field meet held on the first Friday in February in Madison Square Garden since 1914. The games were started when employees of the Wanamaker's department store formed the Millrose Track Club to hold a meet. The featured event is the Wanamaker Mile.


The U.S. Tennis Open is the fourth and final event of the Grand Slam tennis tournaments and is held annually in late summer at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Park in Queens. The main tournament consists of five championships: men's and women's singles, men's and women's doubles and mixed doubles, with additional tournaments for junior and wheelchair players.

The National Tennis Center, open to the public whenever the USTA is not holding an event, features the world's largest stadium built specifically for the sport, the 22,547-seat Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The New York Empire began play in World TeamTennis (WTT) in 2016. Home matches were played at Forest Hills Stadium in Queens.

Other teams have represented the New York City metropolitan area in WTT in the past. The New York Sets, who changed their name to New York Apples in 1977, were a charter franchise of the league and played from 1974 to 1978. The Sets originally played their home matches at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum before splitting their home schedule between the Coliseum and Madison Square Garden. By the 1978 season, many home matches were played in the Felt Forum with those featuring marquee opponents played in the Garden's main arena. The franchise won the league championship in 1976 and 1977, and featured star players Billie Jean King, Virginia Wade, Sandy Mayer and Phil Dent. The two title-winning teams were coached by Fred Stolle. Following the 1978 season, the Apples announced they were folding. Soon afterward, WTT suspended operations, and there were no 1979 or 1980 seasons.

The New Jersey Stars joined WTT as an expansion franchise in 1987, playing their home matches in Franklin Township, Somerset County, New Jersey. The team went 0–14 in its inaugural season but, with a completely remade roster, reached the TeamTennis Final in 1988. Home matches were moved to Chatham Borough, New Jersey in 1989, when the team was led by Tracy Austin. The signing of Martina Navratilova in 1994, produced immediate results on the court as the Stars won the league title in both 1994 and 1995. However, the team was unable to build a fan base and relocated, as two-time defending WTT champions, to become the Delaware Smash for the 1996 season.

The New York Hamptons were added as a WTT expansion franchise in 2000, playing their home matches in East Quogue, New York. They moved to Amagansett in 2002. In 2003, Sportime NY became the team's majority owner. Home matches were moved to Mamaroneck in Westchester County, and the team's name was changed to the New York Sportimes. Led by Martina Hingis, the Sportimes won the 2005 WTT title. In 2009, the Sportimes moved to New York City, playing their home matches on Randall's Island. Before the 2011 season, the Sportimes merged with the New York Buzz, which had been based in the Capital District since 1995. Following the merger, the team played some of its home matches on Randall's Island and others in either Albany or Troy, New York. Following the 2013 season, the team was sold, and the new owner relocated it and renamed it the San Diego Aviators. Ironically, the Aviators won their first league title after relocation in New York City at Forest Hills Stadium, which was selected as the site for the 2016 WTT Final to welcome the expansion New York Empire to the league.

Ultimate frisbee

The New York Rumble is one of eight professional Ultimate frisbee teams that compete in Major League Ultimate. The team played in the MLU's inaugural season in 2013.[41]

Other sports

The Suffolk Sting are a professional inline hockey team and part of the PIHA. They play at the Rapid Fire Arena on Long Island.

The New York Arrows represented the New York area in the Major Soccer League (MISL) from 1978 to 1984 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum

The New Jersey Rockets played in the MISL with their home games in East Rutherford, New Jersey during the 1981-82 season. The Rockets filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code late in the season and folded shortly thereafter.

The New York Express played indoor soccer in the Major Indoor Soccer League at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in 1986-1987.

The Long Island Academy play at Competition Field at Adelphi University in the National Premier Soccer League as of 2006.

The Long Island Jawz played Roller Hockey at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in 1996.

The Long Island Rough Riders and Long Island Rough Riders (UWS) play soccer and women's soccer since 1994 at Cy Donnelly Stadium in South Huntington, and formerly at Belson Stadium, Mitchel Athletic Complex, Michael Tully Field, Citibank Park and Stony Brook University Stadium.

The Long Island Roller Rebels started in 2005 as a roller derby league featuring four teams: All Stars (A team, Rock-A-Betty Bruisers (B team), Ladies of Laceration, Wicked Wheelers and were aided by the Gotham Girls Roller Derby. They play in Old Bethpage.

Gaelic games have been played in New York since the foundation of the Gaelic Athletic Association. New York is considered a GAA county and plays in the Connacht Senior Football Championship.

The United States Australian Football League is the biggest League of Australian rules football in the United States and the New York team is called The New York Magpies it is affiliated with the Collingwood Football Club.

Squash is organized by the New York Squash which was formerly known as New York Metropolitan Squash Racquets Association which was founded in 1924 and incorporated in 1932. This organization is a not for profit.[42]

There is a thriving field hockey competition in New York City, played predominantly by European and Commonwealth expats. The North East Field Hockey Association plays games at Columbia University, Hofstra University, DeWitt Clinton High School and Drew University. Teams from New York also regularly compete in indoor and outdoor tournaments around the country.

New York is considered to be the "world capital" of one-wall handball.

New York City arm wrestling

NY Arm Wrestling features the multi-Event NY Golden Arm Series that culminates into the Empire State Golden Arm Tournament of Champions (Official New York State Arm Wrestling Championships). The NYC Big Apple Grapple International features the crowning of the Annual King and Queen of Arms.

Thanks to The New York Arm Wrestling Association and organized arm wrestling organizations around the world the sport's image has changed. Arm wrestling beginners can compete with no prior experience, specialized training or expensive equipment. However, advanced or pro arm wrestling is very different. Professional Arm Wrestling is ultimately a test of a competitor's endurance, tenacity, fitness, dedicated practice, technique and the development of strength.

The unpredictability of the sport helps give arm wrestling an edge when it comes to attracting new participants, spectators and the media. Competition in formal events outside of the local neighborhood challengers onto the professional level using the padded arm wrestling table can have different result. A photo is shown by the referees to the contestants of the "break arm position" and arm wrestling referees will stop the match if the move is used and foul the offender.

College sports

Although the New York area is home to numerous colleges, many of which have rich athletic histories, college sports is a somewhat less visible part of the regional sports landscape.

The following NCAA Division I schools are located in the metropolitan area, as most broadly defined. The following details about the table should be noted:

Team School City Conference Football
Army Black Knights United States Military Academy West Point Patriot League FBS (independent)
Columbia Lions Columbia University New York City (Manhattan) Ivy League FCS
Fairfield Stags Fairfield University Fairfield, Connecticut MAAC No
Fairleigh Dickinson Knights Fairleigh Dickinson University[a 1] Teaneck, New Jersey Northeast No
Fordham Rams Fordham University New York City (The Bronx) Atlantic 10 FCS (Patriot League)
Hofstra Pride Hofstra University Hempstead CAA No
Iona Gaels Iona College New Rochelle MAAC No
LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds Long Island University-Brooklyn[a 2] New York City (Brooklyn) Northeast No
Manhattan Jaspers and Lady Jaspers Manhattan College New York City (The Bronx) MAAC No
Monmouth Hawks Monmouth University West Long Branch, New Jersey MAAC FCS (Big South)
NJIT Highlanders New Jersey Institute of Technology Newark, New Jersey Atlantic Sun No
Princeton Tigers Princeton University Princeton, New Jersey Ivy League FCS
Quinnipiac Bobcats Quinnipiac University Hamden, Connecticut MAAC No
Rider Broncs Rider University Lawrenceville, New Jersey MAAC No
Rutgers Scarlet Knights Rutgers University[a 3] Piscataway, New Jersey Big Ten FBS
Sacred Heart Pioneers Sacred Heart University Fairfield, Connecticut Northeast FCS
St. Francis Brooklyn Terriers St. Francis College New York City (Brooklyn) Northeast No
St. John's Red Storm St. John's University New York City (Queens) Big East No
Saint Peter's Peacocks and Peahens Saint Peter's University Jersey City, New Jersey MAAC No
Seton Hall Pirates Seton Hall University South Orange, New Jersey Big East No
Stony Brook Seawolves Stony Brook University Stony Brook America East FCS (CAA)
Wagner Seahawks Wagner College New York City (Staten Island) Northeast FCS
Yale Bulldogs Yale University New Haven, Connecticut Ivy League FCS
  1. More accurately, the Knights represent the university's Metropolitan Campus, which straddles Teaneck and Hackensack. FDU's Florham Campus, located in Madison, New Jersey, has a separate NCAA Division III athletic program.
  2. LIU's other campus, the Post campus in Brookville, has a separate NCAA Division II athletic program.
  3. More accurately, the Scarlet Knights represent the school's main campus, Rutgers University–New Brunswick, which is divided between New Brunswick and Piscataway. Most of the athletic facilities are in Piscataway. The other two campuses of Rutgers, in Camden and Newark, have separate memberships in NCAA Division III.

Sports culture

Although in much of the rest of the country American football has surpassed baseball as the most popular professional sport, in New York baseball arguably still stirs the most passion and interest. A championship win by any major sports team is considered to be worthy of the highest celebration, including a ticker-tape parade for the victorious team. In the past, ticker-tape parades have been held for the Yankees, Mets, Giants and Rangers. New Yorkers, however, tend to rally around any of the local teams who win (such as the 1994 Stanley Cup champions New York Rangers, or the 2007 New York Giants).


Due to their geographic locations, New York has intense sports rivalries with the cities of Boston and Philadelphia.


Decades before professional baseball became popular, New York and Boston claimed distinctive versions of bat-and-ball games. A variant of baseball known as The Massachusetts Game was played in New England in the 1850s, while New York teams played by the Knickerbocker Rules set up by Alexander Cartwright. The New York rules eventually became the basis for the modern sport of baseball.

Teams in Boston and New York offer some of the best rivalries in their respective sports, none are more famous, however, then the longtime feud between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox in Major League Baseball. The viciousness and fierceness of the rivalry has led to the New York–Boston rivalry being evident between the New York Jets and the New England Patriots in the National Football League and the New York Knicks and the Boston Celtics in the National Basketball Association.[43] The New York Rangers have been longtime rivals with the Boston Bruins also due to the fact that both teams are members of the National Hockey League's Original Six franchises, but this has been eclipsed by the Metropolitan Division rivalries in recent years.

The rivalry has also spread to other teams not in the same league, The 1986 World Series between the New York Mets and the Boston Red Sox is considered a classic especially the 6th game and the famous Bill Buckner error. The New York Giants and New England Patriots have played two classic Super Bowls: Super Bowl XLII which features the Helmet Catch and Super Bowl XLVI, There is also a rivalry between the Boston Celtics and the Brooklyn Nets.


In each of the four sports leagues, there is intra-division competition between teams from New York and Philadelphia, as seen in the rivalries between the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies in Major League Baseball, the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles in the National Football League, and the New York Rangers and the Philadelphia Flyers in the National Hockey League.[44] There is also a rivalry between the New York Knicks and the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association, although it is not as intense as the other three rivalries. There is another rivalry between the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers.

However, New York NHL teams' primary rivals are one another, although they have intense rivalries with the Flyers—since, unlike baseball and football, the three local NHL teams are in the same division and are therefore in direct competition with one another.

See also


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  5. Amore, Dom (March 27, 2014). "Madison Square Garden A Special Place In UConn History". The Daily Courant. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
  6. Shaughnessy, Dan (2005). Reversing the Curse. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. p. 21. ISBN 0-618-51748-0.
  7. Frommer, Harvey; Frommer, Frederic J. (2004). Red Sox vs. Yankees: The Great Rivalry. Sports Publishing, LLC. p. 78. ISBN 1-58261-767-8.
  8. Bodley, Hal (October 21, 2004). "Sport's ultimate rivalry; Yanks-Red Sox epic battles go way back". USA Today. p. 3C. Retrieved January 26, 2011.
  9. Andrews, Dan (October 29, 1986). "Ticker tape blizzard grips Gotham". United Press International.
  11. The 1858 Fashion Race Course Baseball Match, Baseball Almanac, Accessed August 5, 2013
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  17. "About Red Bull Arena". Retrieved October 25, 2013.
  18. Panizo, Franco. "New York Red Bulls 5, Chicago Fire 2 | MLS Match Recap". Major League Soccer.
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  22. "Soccer: The rebirth of the New York Cosmos – ESPN". November 29, 2010. Retrieved October 25, 2013.
  23. Wagner, Joe (November 14, 2013). "Back Where They Belong: Cosmos Win Fifth Soccer Bowl, Sixth NASL Title". NY Sports Day.
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