No matter where you live in the United States, American sports are a part of every community. Although some prefer football stadiums over basketball arenas or even famous ballparks, there are unmatched traditions and sporting events in each state. So which sport does your state really love the most?
Thanks to try.america, which specializes in different maps on social media, we have our answer. The vast majority of sports fan bases across the USA love football, but some of these states’s favorite sports leagues really might surprise you. Interestingly enough, you won’t find the Olympics, Major League Soccer, the World Cup or the National Hockey League on here.
Not even tennis (sorry to U.S. Open tennis players like Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras and John McEnroe), volleyball, golf (Tiger Woods not enough?) or mixed martial arts (UFC has made MMA one of the fastest growing sports in recent years) could crack in either.
Motor sports like NASCAR seem to have fallen off as well. WWE, which has seen low viewership and TV ratings across North America this year, doesn’t make the cut either.
Most Popular Sports in America By State
College Football (20 States)
Thanks to SEC Country, college football is the biggest winner here. Although some states such as Georgia, Florida, Pennsylvania and Oregon all have big professional sports teams, it’s pretty clear sports fan’s allegiances truly lie on Saturday’s in the fall.
Professional Football (13 States)
Although most of these states do not have a National Football League team, all of them are close to a major professional franchise. It’s not surprising to see Colorado with the Denver Broncos or Texas on this list, but it is a little surprising Indiana is a big NFL fan with the Indianapolis Colts given the rich tradition and history with basketball.
It’s Super Bowl or bust for these states. They love American football, from high school to the NFL, especially America’s Team, the Dallas Cowboys.
Professional Baseball (9 States)
In these states, America’s Pastime is their favorite sport. Of course, it makes since when these states include Major League Baseball teams like the St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox.
It’s pretty amazing the entire New England area is still heavy with the MLB, although there’s no doubt the gap has shrunk over the years. This one is likely only MLB, as average attendance at minor league baseball games can’t compare.
College Basketball (5 States)
When you think of the best times in college basketball history, Kansas, Kentucky, Duke and North Carolina all come to mind, so this should be no shock to see these states loving college basketball the most. You’ll be surprised to find out this isn’t the last college sport on the list.
Professional Basketball (2 States)
The National Basketball Association is so popular across the world, but it just might not be everyone’s favorite. It’s crazy to see only two states preferring the NBA Finals above everything else. California makes a lot of sense with one of the most popular teams in the Los Angeles Lakers (thanks, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant).
Something tells me Illinois would’ve been included here had this been the 1990s, when Michael Jordan was dominating on the Chicago Bulls.
Pro Football/Pro Basketball (1 State)
Chances are this will be a pro-NFL state once the Raiders move there, but, for now, sports bets still rule the day.
College Ice Hockey (1 State)
This isn’t even the professional leagues or NHL. Keep doing you, Alaska. Never change. Something tells me Canada might have an affinity for the ice as well. A quick google search reveals that Canadians in fact prefer the highest level of hockey (hello, Stanley Cup) to any other trophy.
This article was originally published January 22, 2019.