The Top 5 Most Popular Sports in the US

  • Soccer on the rise in the US
  • The pace of ice hockey
  • Basketball is inspiring generations
  • The national game
  • Football is no.1 on the top 5 most popular sports in the US list

The United States of America is one of the biggest sports markets in the world. Many great sports originate from the country and some are extremely popular in other parts of the world as well. By listing the top 5 most popular sports in the US doesn’t mean these are the best ones. The best sports are solely based on personal preference. The most popular sports have huge following bases and rightly so as they became popular for a reason.

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Whether or not you’re into sports you can probably guess one or two sports that will make it onto this list. The US has produced some of the best athletes the world has ever seen. Facilities focusing on the pure development of prospects have a great part in making a sport popular. After all, if athletes were just your regular Joes, the games wouldn’t be as exciting as they are now. On this list, you will see sports that were created in the US and some that weren’t. These sports all have large viewership numbers and can be found on online sportsbook sites in the US.

Baseball, basketball, football, racquetball, snowboarding, softball, and volleyball are just some of the sports that saw the light of day within American borders. For a sport to become the most popular it needs one trait above all, to be exciting. Of course, excitement is again based on personal preference. Our list features the top 5 most popular sports in the US today, based on viewership. If you’d like to compare our list with the most popular sports in Australia for example, feel free to do so.

5. Soccer/Association Football – An Emerging Trend

Soccer is the most popular sport in the world, but only takes the number five position on our list. Even though it has been present in the US since the 19th century the game was not that popular for a long time. The creation of the MLS (Major League Soccer) in 1993 greatly boosted the popularity of the sport. Soccer in the US also gained more popularity with the signings of European giants such as David Beckham, Wayne Rooney, and Zlatan Ibrahimović. With each year, soccer becomes more popular in the country and more club owners and organization managers are starting to expand into American soil. Online sportsbook news in the US reports a 50% viewership increase from 2020 to 2021.

While the Men’s national soccer team is looking to achieve higher standards, the women’s national soccer team deserves all the praise. The incredible US women’s team currently ranks the highest in the world and has been the highest-rated team for a total of 12 years, since the introduction of the ranking system in 2003. Bovada offers great options for betting on MLS or international games. We’ll give you a hint, the US women’s national team is a pretty safe bet.

4. Hockey – An Icy Sport With Fiery Fans

Hockey or ice hockey is a very popular sport in the US, Canada, and Europe. There are countless debates on whether hockey was created in Canada or England. The game has experienced many developments since the first players stepped on the ice. The NHL (National Hockey League) represents the best athletes in North America. 25 American and 7 Canadian teams play in the tournaments and the sport is incredibly popular across online sportsbook sites in the US. Hockey has also seen an incredible increase in popularity since the 1990s.

Top 5 most popular sports in the US
Picture Source: Pixabay

This is a fast-paced, sometimes more brutal sport that draws in many incredible fans. The gameplay, the players, the shots, everything is fast in this sport. Look away for a second and you’ll miss something that your friends will forever bother you about. NHL games have high fan attendance and high viewership too. This year’s season opener averaged almost one million viewers. A fast game with the best on the ice and great fans makes hockey one of the top 5 most popular sports in the US today.

3. Basketball – Where Amazing Happens

The first sport on our list that originates from the US, basketball is a beautiful team game that is one of the most popular sports in the US and the world. The sport was created in 1891 by James Naismith and gradually made popular with the addition of the NBA in 1946. If you look at the footage of an old NBA game there’s a chance you’ll think it’s a different sport. The game of basketball went through great evolution to achieve its current popularity. During the 1960s Bill Russel and Wilt Chamberlain had a huge part in drawing in bigger crowds. Then came the Showtime era and the rivalry of Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. By the 1980s the NBA and basketball were already one of the most popular sports in the US.

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But there is one player responsible for the success of the NBA and basketball in general. Michael Jordan came, saw, and conquered the world of basketball. In the 1990s basketball had reached worldwide renown and NBA players became international stars. The bad boy era of the 1990s and the dynasty of the Chicago Bulls are a reason why many people fell in love with this sport which passed onto the following generations. Basketball viewership in the US also saw an increase from the 2020-2021 season. An ever-changing game, great athletes, celebrities, spotlight, trends, and more make basketball a no surprise pick on the top 5 most popular sports in the US list.

2. Baseball – Royalty Amongst The Top 5 Most Popular US Sports

Baseball has a lot of early variants and forms of the game, originating from different areas. But by the 1850s people were already referring to it as the national game. A true American sport with a long history makes it a worthy pick for one of the five most popular US sports today. People like baseball partially for its simplicity. Anyone regardless of race, sex or beliefs can play, all you need is an open field with minimal equipment. It is an accessible and easy-to-learn sport. More importantly, it invokes nostalgia in all Americans.

Top 5 most popular sports in the US
Picture Source: Flickr

The game of baseball manages to bring together people and make them stand united behind their hometown team. Furthermore, there are baseball players of all shapes and sizes, meaning it can be relatable and inspiring for fans. Of course, looking like a Greek god probably helps a bit. Online sportsbook sites in the US cover all 162 matches of the MLB. Even though it has seen a minor decline in popularity since the 1990s it remains one of the most popular sports in the US.

1. Football – No. 1 of the Top 5 Most Popular Sports In The US

American Football tops off the list of the top 5 most popular sports in the US. The sport originated in 1869 and its roots are tied to English rugby. The NFL (National Football League) created in 1920, is home to some of the most talented and physically gifted athletes in the world. NFL Sundays have become American classics and are part of millions of households across the country. The violent history of football made it an adult-only game but that is not the case today. Both NFL and college football enjoy extreme popularity in the US. College football also draws in huge crowds and supporters, something that’s very common in America. A large part of the fans take part in betting too. Bovada has everything from March Madness to the Super Bowl.

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Football can be a bit complicated for new viewers but once you pick up the pace it will become greatly exciting. Tailgating is a huge part of the football culture and fans of all teams take part in it. Waiting outside the stadium, bonding, drinking, and eating together brings together fans of the sport. NFL games feature some of the biggest crowds, celebrities, and highest-paid athletes in the world. Online sportsbook sites in the US are already getting ready for the Super Bowl in February 2022.

Ending Thought On The Top 5 Most Popular Sports In the US

History, nostalgia, new trends, physicality, celebrities, complex rules, or simplicity are present in the top 5 most popular sports in the US. Attracting millions of fans each year, these sports continue to dominate the country. These sports continue to transcend borders and reach the hearts of people across the world.

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