Top 20 Most Popular Sports in America

If you are a lover of sports, you may probably be wondering about the most popular sport in America. Well, you are in the right post. In this article are the top 20 most popular sports in America. Read on to find out which of your favorite sport made this list.

Top 20 Most Popular Sports in America

Meanwhile, Sport remains a very important part of America. They are one of the best and major activities that dominate the social activity of the average citizens and residents. America is a country with a remarkable sports heritage from college sports to the star-studded National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, and National football league, etc.

Like other countries in the world, America engaged in different types of sports. And famous and popular sports are mostly played in this country. Read on to check out the 20 most popular sports in the country.

List of Top 20 Most Popular Sports in America

Below are the top 20 most popular sports in America that will help you understand how the country become a big part of sports;

1. American Football NFL

Currently, American football is the most popular sport in America. It is the largest sports competition and the most watched sporting event in the country. This sport’s popularity spread all over the world day by day.

And no doubt ranks the number 1 Top 20 most popular sports in America. Mostly, the sport is popular in the Southern United States of America such as Texas, Florida, and California.

American Football is an evolution and merging of two sports that already existed “Soccer and rugby.” It start to gain attraction in the year 1960 and became very popular in the 1920s when NFL was made.

The equivalent FIFA world cup finals in NFL during the 2022 Super bowl have 112 million people tuned in to watch the show. Making it the most-watched sports show in America. And also the most profitable sports league globally.

2. Basketball

Basketball ranks number 2 among popular sports in America. Many citizens in the United States loved his sport a lot. It is probably one of American biggest sports exports. And the game has come a very long way from its days in Massachusetts.

Basketball was invented in the year 1891 by a young physical education teacher named James Naismith. Before NBA was founded in 1946, the basket was famous in college and the only time to play the sport was through college.

And till date, basketball still plays a very big part in American sports culture. It has gained attention at different levels from high school to college basketball, the women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), and National Basketball Association (NBA).

3. Baseball

Baseball is also part of the most popular sports in America. Since its starting event in the 20th century, it has not walked out of its prime light. It is also called the heart of American culture. According to research, it has more than 198,000 average viewers every season.

The most popular baseball league in America is Major league Baseball. This is the league is the oldest professional league worldwide. About 70% of people love this game in America and MLB has over 40 million TV viewers so far.

4. Soccer

Soccer, popularly known as football in other parts of the world is not a new sport in America. Major league soccer was formed in 1996 with just 10 teams and has experience lots of troubles since then.

However, presently it is enjoying profitability with 28 teams from Canada and USA. And ranking fourth most popular sport in America. In terms of viewership, this sport has come a very long way. And over 70% of Americans testify to enjoy watching soccer.

5. Ice Hockey

Ice hockey is a well-known game or sport played on ice. It is a truly classic Innovation with over 60% of Americans considering it as their favorite sport. National Hockey League is the fifth most profitable and wealthiest league globally after the English premier league.

Ice hockey was developed in Canada, Montreal in 1870. Therefore, spreading south to the United States of America. Stanley Cup, an American professional sports trophy awarded to National Hockey League playoff champions is known as the most important championship available according to the International Ice hockey federation.

6. Tennis

Tennis is another popular sport in America that is played by men and women widely. The game was first played in America at Staten Island Cricket Club in Stan Island, New Brighton, New York. The United held an American National tournament in 1880.

And the United States Tennis Association was formed in 1881 to create rules and regulations for tennis tournaments. The game has produced amazing and greatest of all time like Pete Sampras, Venus Williams, Andre Agassi, and Serena Williams.

7. Golf

In America, Golf is one of the best pastimes for many people. Brought by tiger woods’, the sport is an incredible one loved by many. Golf has received lots of attention and the game intensity keeps increasing.

About 30 million people play golf in the country and ranked number 7 most watched sport worldwide. The US Open, PGA America, and U.S Women’s Open are very people in the USA.  The women’s PGA Championship and PGA Championship are also very popular among sports lovers.

8. Boxing

Mohammed Ali is the best and highest boxer of all time. And he was indeed American. Since the 20th century, Americans have shown good interest in the game of boxing.

After the demise of Mohammed Ali, Floyd Mayweather and other American boxers thrilled fans with amazing wins and incredible records. With Several Americans on the boxing scene, this has helped boxing become on the top sport in the country.

9. Motorsports

Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the base for motorsports in America. And there is no doubt that this sport’s fans keep increasing every now and then. Based on Research, over 15 million people love this sport in the country. From watching it with friends at home and in the live audience, Motorsport pass with a good mark for both fun and adventure.

10. Wrestling

Wrestling or WWE has been rocking sports and entertainment ever since it was formed. WWE has an amazing fanbase in the country. And it has over 11 million fans according to research. This game is loved by many people and is considered one of America’s most watched and popular sports.

11. Volleyball

Another popular game in America is Volleyball. It is enjoyed by millions of people in the United States of America. And we can easily say it is growing tremendously in the professional space. Even though volleyball is less advertised than other games, it is said to have 800k audiences for the game of the NCCA volleyball championship.

12. Badminton

Although, the interest people have in badminton has reduced, it still secured a space in our Top 20 most popular sports in America. According to Wikipedia, over 1 million people play the sport in America. The game is very simple and easy to play at any location and time. it is a popular country like Malaysia, Indonesia, China, and Denmark.

13. Mixed Martial Arts

The sport of mixed art is a sport that has recently made its way to the globe. We can say it is a newcomer. Over the past few years, the UFC had produced some big competitors in the sport’s history. In America, it is a very popular sport as well.

The game’s popularity has increased tremendously and children have begun playing it. More than $300 million was spent on martial arts sporting goods in the USA in 2007. And in the same year, 7 million people participated in the sport.

14. Lacrosse

Lacrosse is another fast-growing sport in America. And the sport appears to be increasing in popularity. Lacrosse has an amazing appeal since it has many other sports aspects. The different players from different backgrounds can easily adapt to the system.

15. Rugby

We can say, Rugby is the oldest sporting event in the world. And since it was introduced, its popularity did not decrease. With each day passing by it increase tremendously. And people in the United States are very fond of the game. In fact, the game is loved all over the world. According to good sources, about a million people play and watch rugby.

16. Bowling

The most popular and common name for this sport is Sports bowling. And the best and most prestigious tournaments are always on the sport bowling lanes. Over the past years, bowling professionals from all over the world participate in these tournaments.

The USA Bowling congress is one of the biggest competitive bowling organizations in the world. And as of 2018, it boasted more than one million members. Making it one of the most significant leagues in the world.

17. Field Hockey

Hockey is another popular sport in America. Although it is mostly played by people in North America and Europe, many people love this game in the USA. The USA has won its first Winter Olympic gold medal. In the United States and Canada, the NHL is the premier men’s hockey league. And thanks to the invention of artificial ice rinks, hockey is the most famous indoor sport in America.

18. Cycling

Riding a bicycle in America is common sense. Almost everybody in America knows how to ride it. And this makes it very popular to all in the field of sports competition.

Presently, over 2 million people love this sport and said it is their favorite. In America, nearly 43 million people take part in the competition. And 98 million people take part in the sport in different competitions worldwide.

19. Cricket

Based on Fan support, cricket is the second most popular sport in the world. There are billions of people who follow cricket all over the world. While cricket may be a strange sport to some American, it is worth the sport.

This sport came to North America in the 1800s and became a very big thing. It became more popular than baseball as a college sport. The professional T20 cricket league in the USA is known as the Major League Cricket (MLC). The ACE (American Cricket Enterprises) runs the MLC.

20. Swimming

Swimming is an interesting sport and exercise. The Water-base game is very popular in America and various swimming competitions are held. Every year more than 14 million people watch and take part in this competition.  Many people love this sport in the country and have never lost its attraction. It is definitely a part of the top 20 most popular sports in America.

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This post is authored by Oghwie Ufuoma (Harrison) A.K.A Harry, the founder and Admin of With nearly a decade of expertise in the sports sector, Harry started with Sportspaedia, providing up-to-date information on sports and tech-related topics, breaking news, and daily opportunities for Football/Soccer fans and online users.


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