Map Options

Map Type:
Download SVG:
map placeholder
NFL Football
19
NCAA Football
12
MLB Baseball
10
NHL Hockey
5
NBA Basketball
4
NCAA Basketball
1

Most Popular Sport by State [Updated March 2023]

Most Popular Sport by State [Updated March 2023]

Research by MyProtein analyzed sales from popular ticket-selling website Vivid Seats along with Wikipedia search volume to analyze the most popular sport in each state.

Football

Football is America’s favorite sport. In thirty-one states, football was revealed to be the most popular sport. The NCAA and SEC Country have emboldened viewers and their allegiance is to college teams during televised hours on Saturday during the fall season. In recent years, states with big SEC schools are fervently devout to watching the college gridiron. The National Championship runs through the SEC - and the popularity spike between Georgia and Alabama in 2021 was no surprise to several viewers.

States that love NCAA Football include Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia. Even though several of these states have professional football teams, the fans prefer the excitement of college football.

Still, professional football is still the most popular sport. In nineteen states, it is the most popular choice. The NFL season in the United States is as much part of American culture as fireworks on the Fourth of July. Some of the states on this list do not have an NFL team.

The list of these states love American Football, and everyone is cheering for their team to win the Superbowl. Rivalries at the dinner table are extremely common as to who will win or lose for the current year. The list of the states who consider professional football their number one sports addiction includes: Alaska, Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Washington.

Baseball

You didn't think MLB wouldn't make the list, did you? Although football is listed as one of the state's favorite pastimes, baseball is the national sport of choice and is part of the American identity. The Cardinals, Cubs, Yankees, and Red Sox have gone down in history as some of the most influential teams in the sport. Unsurprisingly, most of the New England region is still extremely heavily interested in the MLB season over other sports games. This can come down to tradition, but it is most likely that their division also connects it to Canadian teams. The Blue Jays are the only official Canadian team that plays in the MLB and hosts many minor professional American teams.

With the love of the sport being so widespread, it is unfortunate to see that the love is only for the big leagues. The minor leagues do not receive nearly enough support. Nine states have MLB as their favorite sport to watch: California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Virginia, and Wyoming. MLB also tops the list of popular sports for residents of the District of Columbia.

Other Sports

Basketball is another sport that many people enjoy watching. While it does not seem to get the same hype as baseball or football, there are still plenty of viewers who won’t miss a game. In Kentucky, NCAA Basketball is the most popular. It holds the position of the only state that enjoys college basketball above any other sport. NBA Basketball is the favorite in an additional four states and in Puerto Rico. In Colorado, Oregon, Utah, and Wisconsin, people are making sure to keep an eye on the score during the NBA season.

Also, while hockey is Canada’s national sport, it is also relatively popular in the U.S. as well. Unsurprisingly, all of the states that prefer NHL Hockey to all other sports are located in cold-weather climates, many along the Canadian border. In Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, and Vermont all get excited about what’s happening on the ice. Nevada is the most surprising state to be home to hockey fans, although they were one of the states that had just established an NHL team when data was collected. Enthusiasm for this new home team may have made fans out of those who previously would not have been interested in the sport.

Most Popular Sport by State [Updated March 2023]

Download Table Data

Enter your email below, and you'll receive this table's data in your inbox momentarily.

Most Popular Sport by State [Updated March 2023]