Ranking the 10 Most Popular Sports in the USA

Shubhika Garg

Updated on:

Most Popular Sports in the USA

The USA is well-known for its high-quality education and top-grade universities, promoting unbiased admiration of sports in American culture. The country is a preferable choice for the study abroad aspirants. If you are a sports enthusiast and fortunate enough to study in this dream country, you are in luck! Sports is one of the most important parts of our life, irrespective of the country we are living in. It add to the excitement in student life and builds a sense of community. Experience the rollercoaster emotions of victory and defeat through these most popular sports in the USA. 

Though sports culture might be a shock for international students attending US universities, it truly offers you great ways to explore the university world outside of academia, step into the world of fun events and build a network as a student in the USA. Here’s the list of super popular sports in the US that enjoy amazing broadcast viewership and are also loved by the athletes on the field. 

American Football

Governing Body: NFA, NFCL

American Football is the number one sport in America, which is one of the most-watched sports. It is played by two teams in a team of eleven, competing against each other. The attempts made by the team to pass the football to the opposing team’s goal net and their attempt to defend build a sense of anticipation and unpredictability of the outcomes, making it super fun to watch. For players, scoring a goal enables a sense of accomplishment and pride. 

1st Jan 2025Rose BowlRose Bowl Stadium1001 Rose Bowl Dr, Pasadena, CA 91103, United States
20th Jan 2025College Football Playoff National ChampionshipMercedes-Benz Stadium1 AMB Dr NW, Atlanta, GA 30313, United States
9th Feb 2025Super BowlCaesars Superdome1500 Sugar Bowl Dr, New Orleans, LA 70112, United States

Also Read: If you are still planning to pursue education in the USA, check out our blog on the Best Places to Study Abroad in the USA


Governing Body: NBA

Basketball is considered one of the most popular and most-played sports in the US. This is played on various professional, college, and high-school levels in the country. High school students are extremely passionate about playing basketball and aiming to shoot the ball in the opposing team’s hoop while defending their hoop. This is also one of the types of intramural sports that is widely organised by the universities and offers an athletic environment to international students. 

Below is a list of key dates and important events for the upcoming events.

DateUpcoming Event
April 14, 2024NBA Regular Season ends
April 15, 2024NBA Rosters set for NBA Playoffs 2024
April 16-19, 2024SoFi NBA Play-In Tournament
April 20, 2024NBA Playoffs 2024 begin
April 27, 2024NBA Early Entry Eligibility Deadline
May 6-7, 2024Conference Semifinals begin


Governing Body: MLB

Baseball, another most popular sport in the USA requires a lot of energy, strategy, and patience to play. This bat and ball game in America is categorised into two groups based on their levels- Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball. This popular sport holds a special place in the hearts of Americans as being one of the national pastime sporting activities. While players achieve a sense of satisfaction and well-being after playing this exhausting game, the spectators create a nostalgic connection with their childhood memories.


Governing Body: National Boxing Association

Boxing at number 4 might be surprising. However, it is apparently one of the most loved and popular sports in America. Originating in the 19th century, this sport drew a lot of attention and the largest of crowds cheering the participants. The NCBA (National Collegiate Boxing Association) organises boxing fights for university students in the US, garnering active participation from students and advancing to national championships and tournaments. 

Ice Hockey 

Governing Body: NHL

Ice Hockey is the fifth most popular sport in the US among Americans. It is a team sport played on ice. The teams control the puck by pushing, passing and shooting it using the hockey sticks to secure a point on a successful goal. It is a popular recreational sport which is subsequently gaining more popularity over the years. 

Also Read: Still unsure about the best time to book accommodation in the US? Read our blog to know the same and ensure the booking of the most in-demand and best student residences in the country. 


Governing Body: USTA

Introduced in the US after being played in Bermuda, Tennis became a popular sport in the US. It is played competitively and recreationally in the country and is also enjoyed by the people watching it. This sport is equally popular among men and women which will be quite evident with your mates in accommodation for students in USA as well. The powerful serves and unpredictable tie-breakers keep the audiences on the edge of their seats and enjoy this distinctive sport in the USA. 


Governing Body: USGA

One of the most prestigious and most popular sports in the US, golf is played by nearly 30 million population in the country. This is a famous pastime and recreational sport in which the ball meets the club after a thud with a golf stick to achieve a perfect shot. It is a sport requiring precision and skill. 


Auto Racing

Governing Body: NASCAR

Automobile racing is another popular sport in America. This is one of the most-watched sports in America where millions of people gather to watch this sport and experience fun. The roaring engines to get on high-speed racing tracks trigger an adrenaline rush causing more excitement and energy. Indianapolis 500, NASCAR, Formula 1, and Formula Drift are some of the widely followed auto racing events. 

Mixed Martial Arts

Governing Body: UFC

Mixed martial arts is a hybrid sport that is one of the most popular sports in the US. It is also the fastest-growing sport which uses varied techniques to strike, fight, and grapple. The knock-out punches, wrestling and boxing techniques make it a dynamic sport to fight and defend against the opponent. Playing it involves a lot of discipline and a strict routine. For spectators, it truly motivates them to push through their own limits. 


Governing Body: WWE

Apart from the most popular sports in the USA discussed above, wrestling also ranks on the list. It’s a super entertaining sport to watch where WWE superstars like John Cena and Undertaker completely changed the idea of how wrestling is viewed as a sport. The energy inside and outside of the ring is always high, making it an enthusiastic choice among broadcast viewers. 


Do your friends also describe you as a shopaholic? If yes, then check out our blog – Shopping Districts in the USA!

Which is the number 1 sport in the US?

American Football is the number one sport in America, which is one of the most-watched sports, enjoyed by the audiences as well as the players. 

What are the most popular sports in the USA?

Some of the most popular sports in the US are- football, basketball, baseball, boxing, ice hockey, tennis, golf, tennis, and much more. 

What is America’s national sport?

America’s national sport is baseball. Besides baseball, other sports like football, basketball, tennis, golf, boxing and others equally enjoy tremendous popularity among participants as well as spectators. These popular sports are unbiasedly promoted by US colleges and universities and hold a high position in American culture. 

What is America’s favourite sport and why?

American Football is America’s favourite sport as it builds a sense of anticipation and unpredictability of the outcomes, making it super fun to watch. For players, scoring a goal enables a sense of accomplishment and pride. 

Which popular sports are gaining popularity in America?

Some of the popular sports gaining popularity in the US are skateboarding, trail running, snowboard touring, surfing, and recreational kayaking. 

Thank you for reading our blog on the most popular sports in the USA that will want you to be in the front and immerse yourself in getting the first-row experience as the audience or wanting to play it. Hope you liked it. For booking the best accommodation abroad to start your study abroad experience you can contact Fly Homes at 1800572118. 

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