Top 5 Most Popular Sports in California

Sports in California
Top 5 Most Popular Sports in California

California is home to many different Professional and College Sports teams and large sports venues.

California currently has 19 major professional sports franchises, far more than any other US state. The San Francisco Bay Area has seven major league teams spread amongst three cities: San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose. The Greater Los Angeles Area has twelve major league teams. San Diego and Sacramento each have one major league team.

California has some of the most successful men’s and women’s college athletic programs in the nation. The major conference in the West is the Pacific 12 Conference and its California members include the University of Southern California (USC), University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), University of California, Berkeley (Cal) and Stanford University.

They compete in a wide variety of sports including football and basketball as the major programs, but they also compete in Olympic sports like water polo, volleyball, tennis, track & field, swimming & diving, gymnastics, and other sports like soccer, baseball, and softball.

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California has hosted the Olympic Games three times. Los Angeles, the largest city in the state, hosted both the 1932 and 1984 Summer Olympics. Squaw Valley, California hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics. Los Angeles and San Francisco were in the race for the United States Olympic Committee nomination to host the 2016 Summer Olympics but eventually lost to Chicago. Los Angeles will host the Olympic Games for the third time in 2028.

Here are the 5 Most Popular Sports in California :

 1) Football:

The most popular Professional Sport in America is Football (National Football League/NFL).  California is home to 4 NFL Teams. The approximate schedule, Preseason is held in August, Regular season is September through December, and Playoffs in January.

American Family Insurance ALL-USA California Football Team..(Pic Credit: USA Today)

The Rams have recently relocated back to Los Angeles (after a 20-year sojourn in St Louis) and will temporarily play their home games at the LA Coliseum until the new stadium in Inglewood is completed in 2019.

The San Francisco 49’ers games are held at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. Levi’s Stadium is closer to San Jose, but there are public transportation options from San Francisco to Santa Clara.

4) Baseball:

Major League Baseball (MLB) has 5 teams in California.  The Regular Season starts around the first of April and goes through the end of September, with the playoffs being held in October and early November.

Cal Baseball season kicks off at Evans Diamond against Duke.

The San Francisco Bay Area has two teams. The San Francisco Giants play at AT&T Park, located in the main part of the city of San Francisco, right on the edge of the bay,  The Oakland A’s play at the O.co Coliseum, which they share with the Oakland Raiders..

The Greater Los Angeles Area has two teams, the Los Angeles Dodgers which play at Dodger Stadium near Downtown Los Angeles.  The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim play at Angel Stadium of Anaheim, which is located in Orange County near Disneyland.

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 3) Basketball:

The National Basketball Association (NBA) has 4 teams in California.  Pre-season starts in early October. The Regular season starts the last week of October and goes through the middle of April.  The Playoffs start in mid-April and end in early June.

The Seton Hill women’s basketball team huddles after warming up in their game against the California University of Pennsylvania.

Los Angeles has two teams that share the same facility, Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles, The Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers.

4) Soccer:

Major League Soccer (MLS) has 2 teams in California. The regular season starts in March and ends in October, with playoffs from October through early December. Also look at special tournaments, such as the CONCACAF Champions League, which are separate from the MLS games, so check the team’s schedule, which will list all the games they play.

University of Southern California in the Football Academy.

The San Jose Earthquakes play most matches at Buck Avaya Stadium in San Jose, next to the San Jose Airport, though some are held at Levi’s Stadium in nearby Santa Clara.

 5) Hockey:

National Hockey League (NHL) has 3 teams in California. The season normally has the preseason in September, the regular season from early October through mid-April, followed by the Playoffs that end in early June.  The San Jose Sharks play at “SAP Center at San Jose” Arena.

The NHL’s three California-based teams have taken the league by storm this season.(Source: CBS Sports)

The Los Angeles Kings plays at Staples Center, which they share with the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers of the NBA.

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Minor League Sports

California has many Minor League Baseball teams and venues, usually found in smaller cities, or suburbs of large cities. The season is basically the same as the MLB season (March through September).

Short Term Sporting Events

Auto racing has two major NASCAR Events and three Indy races held in California.

Auto Club Speedway in Fontana hosts a Sprint Cup race in late March. (Los Angeles Area), and an Indy race in June.

Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley are a Southern California golf mecca.

Professional Golf (PGA) has multiple events in the state, usually early in the year, since the weather is nice year-round, as compared to the rest of the nation. Courses are located throughout the state.

Professional Tennis has a major event at Indian Wells (Palm Springs area)  in March and a series of events in July (Southern California and Stanford University in the Bay Area).

Don’t Forget To Check Out this: Top 10 Most Popular Sports in America

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