Sport is perhaps bigger in America than in any other country. They have so many high-class sporting leagues and events throughout the year. Not only this but their sporting interests are hugely widespread compared to the very football-centric Europeans. This is reflected when you look at the top 5 sporting leagues in the world and find that 4 out of 5 are American leagues known as the ‘big four’. Only the English Premier League rivals these leagues for wealth and popularity around the world. We are going to have a look at America’s sporting leagues and see what the USA’s best and biggest sporting leagues are.
Without a doubt the biggest sport in the USA is American Football – so much so they call actual football, soccer. The professional American Football league, the NFL, is the wealthiest sport in the world. And whilst the sport is watched around the globe, the majority of viewers and supporters are found in the states. With this huge popularity and following surrounding the sport, it is no wonder the franchised teams have increasingly seen better and better players arrive through their doors, increasing the quality of play year on year.
This merely allows for an upward cycle of progress for such a huge American sport. The league sees localized groups battle it out before going to national play-offs and end in the huge Superbowl final, which not only attracts viewers but also sports betting globally whether at your local bookies or online with the USBL. This is amongst the top sporting events in the world every year and a real indicator of how good and big the NFL is.
The second biggest sporting league in the world is the MLB (Major League Baseball). Again, it is a clear example of not only how much Americans really like their sport, but of how good this sport is within its context. Supported only really by Americans, the MLB is the second highest-grossing league in the world and near enough one of the biggest as well. It shows extreme talent within each team that is fielded and the world-famous ‘World Series’ is renowned for its prestige.
Perhaps the status of being the first professional team sport in America leads many to a nostalgic attachment and its nickname as the nation’s favorite pastime. Not only are Americans attached but they have been devout fans of this historic game since the early 1900s.
One of the more internationally watched sports on this list is the NBA. Also part of the ‘big four’ it is easily the biggest and best basketball league in the world, nevermind America. Huge TV audiences, packed stadiums and players even entering celebrity status are all clear indicators of the magnitude of this sport, particularly in the USA. Despite its relatively recent creation in 1946, the league has grown exponentially and has seen vast improvements year on year. It is currently sitting at the 10th most popular sport in the world and 3rd in America. The NBA is therefore clearly in contention for the best and biggest sporting leagues on state soil.
The final and perhaps least popular sport in this list, but worthy of a sport all the same is the NHL. The National Hockey League is the last to make up the ‘big four’ and whilst still being monumental in American sport, it sits firmly last in the list. Hockey has found it hard to gain popularity across the world for its very nature and this has also proved to be problematic when it comes to branching out the Northern States and Canada in the USA. Don’t let this fool you, however. This sport is still huge in America and is actually the biggest indoor sport in the country.
The peak of the sport, the Stanley Cup, is watched worldwide and is a huge event, reflecting the relative popularity of the NHL. Exhilarating and enthralling the National Hockey league certainly warrants its place as part of the big four and in this list of biggest and best American sporting leagues.
An honorable mention must be given to the MLS (Major League Soccer). Soccer (or football!) is easily the biggest sport in the world but has always struggled to make waves in America. Despite this the MLS has attracted big names to the league such as Wayne Rooney, David Beckham and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. This has seen a rapid rise in not only view ship but also talent in the league. Whilst not quite being the biggest and best just yet, the MLS is going in the right direction and will surely feature as a more pivotal part of American sporting leagues in years to come.