5 FANtastic Cities for Sports Fanatics
For the most diehard sports fans, cheering on your team live is the best way to go. Instead of fighting to make sure your game is on the TV at a crowded bar, you prefer to grab a beer, peanuts, and watch the game unfold right in front of you. So if you love the feeling of plastic bleachers on your butt and the roar of the crowd in your ears, one of these five cities might be calling you home.
Sure, now might not seem like the best time to start cheering for Atlanta sports teams. But even if the city can’t seem to bring home a Super Bowl trophy, its fans have a myriad of other teams to cheer for with pro teams in just about every sport– the only exception being ice hockey, as Hotlanta has proved too hot for the NHL to stick around long, despite a few attempts. With two DI schools, college sports fans have their pick of teams to root for. Atlanta hosts the annual collegiate Chick-fil-A Bowl and Georgia Tech is home to the oldest NCAA D1 college football stadium in the country. Atlanta also hosts the PGA’s Tour Championship every year at Bobby Jones’ home course, East Lake Golf Club.
Pro teams: Atlanta Falcons (NFL), Atlanta Braves (MLB), Atlanta Hawks (NBA), Atlanta United FC (MLS), Atlanta Dream (WNBA)
DI College teams: Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia State University
Drawing from the population of Missouri and Kansas, the Kansas City metro area enjoys a long tradition of championship teams. KC boasts professional teams in football, baseball, and soccer and was home to the NBA’s Sacramento Kings for a stint in the 70s and 80s. And while there is only one Division I collegiate team in the city, it sits right in the middle of the Border War – a century old rivalry between the University of Kansas and University of Missouri.
Pro teams: Kansas City Chiefs (NFL), Kansas City Royals (MLB), Sporting Kansas City (MLS)
DI college teams: University of Missouri-Kansas City
Indianapolis is top of mind for a unique variety of sports fans. Beyond its professional basketball and football teams, Indy is home to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the iconic Indianapolis 500 auto race. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is headquartered in the city, which regularly hosts NCAA Final Fours for both men and women’s basketball. Fast cars, Super Bowl rings, and college basketball – what more could you ask for?
Pro teams: Indianapolis Colts (NFL), Indiana Pacers (NBA), Indiana Fever (WNBA)
DI college teams: Butler University, Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis
With a population of over 12 million people, it’s no surprise that LA is a massive sports market. And with the recent addition of not one but two professional football teams, the city now offers something for even the most fanatical sports nuts. Alongside its new football teams, the city also has two top-notch NBA teams, two pro hockey teams, and two Major League Baseball teams.
LA enjoys two championship universities in UCLA and USC– the two teams hold the most and third most NCAA championships, respectively. Located just 12 miles apart, the two universities also share a fierce rivalry that spans many sports. Further, UCLA’s stadium, the Rose Bowl, is among the most famous collegiate stadiums in the country and home to its oldest bowl game. The wider Los Angeles metro area includes seven more DI schools, including UC Irvine, Cal State, and Pepperdine. Los Angeles has also hosted two Olympic Games, seven Super Bowls, and one FIFA World Cup.
Pro teams: Los Angeles Chargers (NFL), Los Angeles Rams (NFL), Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (MLB), Los Angeles Dodgers (MLB), LA Galaxy (MLS), Los Angeles Clippers (NBA), Los Angeles Lakers (NBA), Anaheim Ducks (NHL), Los Angeles Kings (NHL), Los Angeles Sparks (WNBA)
DI college teams: UCLA, USC, Loyola Marymount
If you like Cajun food, humidity, and sports, then the Big Easy is your town. A regular favorite for various famous sporting events, New Orleans enjoys an eclectic mix of sports to watch. The city has a long history in the worlds of professional bowling, golf, boxing, and even fishing. In fact, NOLA hosted the Bassmaster Classic four times in recent years. The New Orleans Saints’ home stadium, the Superdome, has hosted the Super Bowl seven times and is a hub for a slew of other sporting events, including events in soccer, wrestling, and baseball. While the city has struggled in the past with retaining its pro sports teams, residents can always count on sports to travel to them.
Pro teams: New Orleans Saints (NFL), New Orleans Pelicans (NBA)
DI college teams: University of New Orleans, Tulane University