Top 12 Most Popular Sports in America

The United States, as everyone knows, is a center for many things around the globe with its excellent infrastructure. It is not called the “lands of dreams” for nothing. 

Well, when it comes to sports, it is also a similar thing. They, indeed, have a crazy fandom known for their love of thrill and adventure. 

Not to mention, they have mandatory sports for their collegiate and high school level.

We all have a clear view of American society’s diversity with people of different races and cultures.

Most Popular Sports in America
Most Popular Sports in America

Herewith, sports have worked as the common factor that gathers everyone to a common ground.

Besides, the United States also provides a high opportunity for people to indulge in sports professionally and even for spectators. 

Top 12 Most Popular Sports in America (2022 Edition)

Let’s dive into the most popular sports across the land today. Well, the listing below is based on the number of audiences and viewership ratings. 

S.NSportsAverage Audience in the US (Estimation of 2021/22)Highest Views in different years (Worldwide)
12Badminton1.3 Million3.6 Million (2017)
11Volleyball1.1 Million1.94 Million (2021)
10WWE11 Million 10 Million (1999)
9Motor Sports9.17 Million 7.4 Million (2021)
8Boxing671 thousand4.4 Million (2015)
7Golf7.3 Million 9.4 Million (2021)
6Tennis 700 thousand 22.7 Million (2001)
5Ice Hockey2.5 Million 27.6 Million (1980)
4Soccer5 Million 16 Million (2012)
3Baseball68.48 Million 40 Million (2016)
2Basketball17 Million 35.89 Million (1998)
1American Football112.3 Million 114 Million (2015)

12. Badminton

We are starting from the bottom of the list with badminton. But, without a doubt, badminton is indeed one of the most popular sports worldwide.

However, talking about the United States, it is taken a bit like a backyard sport. Having said this, people do play this sport.

Badminton game
Badminton game

Around 1.3 million people indulge in it yearly; however, the same cannot be said about the states. And this is due to the lack of success in this field and the lack of professional players.

Also, it is a sport with relatively lower earnings than other games, paired with low media coverage. Nonetheless, it is now gaining traction as one of the most popular sports in America. 

11. Volleyball

Volleyball, most people claim it to be a “girl’s game.” However, it is enjoyed thoroughly by almost 37 million active people just in the United States.

Also, it’s very safe to say that this game has been drastically growing in the professional arena.

Volleyball god, Wilfredo Leon

As for its viewership, there were about 8,00,000 audiences for the game of the NCAA Volleyball Championship.

Talking about it, volleyball is actually less advertised than other games on the list. 

Even so, California is leagues ahead in volleyball. 

10. WWE

A known fact; WWE has been rocking the entertainment and sports industry ever since its inception. Popular worldwide, WWE has an immense fanbase in the States, around 11 million to be exact. 

Sad enough, the popularity has been suppressed lately due to the dominance of other sports.

John Cena with his spinner WWE Belt (Source: Pinterest)
John Cena with his spinner WWE Belt (Source: Pinterest)

As observed by the people, they state that WWE repeats content, and hence, it brings a bit of disappointment in that factor. 

Read about the top football movies to date!

9. Motor Sports 

Indianapolis Motor Speedway stands as the base for motorsports in the United States. There is no doubt that this sport has been pulling numbers of fans every now and then.

Today, it has around 15 million people in its fandom. 

NASCAR yellow flag lineup (Source: Public Domain Pictures.com)

Well, just NASCAR Cup Series alone pulls approximately 8 million views.

From watching it in a live audience to watching it with friends at home, motorsports pass with high marks for both thrill and adventure. 

8. Boxing

Well, Americans love boxing. In fact, back in the days, it used to be their pride and drew the largest audience than any other show or sport.

Herewith, it also gained the most significant financial revenues.

'The Greatest' Boxing
‘The Greatest’ Boxing

Unfortunately, boxing is gradually losing its essence and audience in the United States.

Still, even today, California has the highest audience in boxing in the States. 

7. Golf 

We all know what golf went through in the previous phase when it got called “a rich old men game.”

Today, golf is played by almost 10% of the United States’ population. So, yes, that is nearly 30 million people interested right there. 

Richest Golfers in the World
Golf, one of the most popular sports in America (Source: Sportsmen’s Lodge)

Among those fans, 77% are said to be male, while the rest are female. As many claims, it’s been one of the greatest pastimes among people.

Still, it doesn’t stand that well in the States. 

6. Tennis

Among all those sports, tennis does stand out uniquely, often called the “transitional game.”

At present, tennis pulls 17.9 million people like spectators and players. 

tennis-sport-equipment
Tennis Sport Equipment 

Each year, tennis has shown rapid growth of interest with 292 million people. But as in the bigger picture, tennis is slightly declining among the American kids. 

5. Ice Hockey

Ice Hockey is relatively steady in the United States, falling in the top 5 sports.

Ranking viewership in just a single game, ice hockey depicts an average of 2.6 million views. Massachusetts, Michigan, and Minnesota are the popular hotspots for this game in particular. 

Ice hockey one of the best winter sports (Source: DAZN)
Ice hockey one of the best winter sports (Source: DAZN)

Apart from it, ice hockey targets an audience ranging from 18 years to 45 years. Also, as per the sources, the target percent of their audience is 20%, just in America. 

4. Soccer 

It is the most enjoyed and popular game around the globe, but if you look through the context of the United States, it is gaining fame just now.

Finally, the Americans are getting the hang of this game and enjoying its beauty. Hence, it stays as one of the most popular sports. 

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo on same match
Two best soccer players; Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo

All around the States, Washington is the hotspot for soccer and its rising popularity.

Currently, soccer grabs around 24.2 million views in the United States.

Although it’s getting admiration, it is still hard to get to the top, as it doesn’t match American culture. 

You also may want to learn in detail about the top ten most dangerous sports. 

3. Baseball 

Most people wonder, “Why is baseball so popular in the States?” The answer is simple; it is due to the physical power that this sport challenges.

It is also due to the equal importance of strategy, patience, and a pressurized environment that provides the fulfillment of thrill. 

Top 10 easiest sports in the world
Baseball, one of the most popular sports in America (Source: Sportsshow.net)

However, it’s slowly declining. For example, back in the early 2000s, baseball drew around 80 million views, while it just starts at 26.8 million views at present.

2. Basketball 

All around the world, basketball is the most popular in the United States. Well, it is a highly popularized sport due to its fun tactics, exciting pace, and known opportunity. 

Moreover, it passes the thrill check and is an eye candy even to the spectators.

The Best Basketball Courts in the World
Venice Beach basketball court on a bright sunny day (Source: Explorest.com)

On an average level, basketball gains 105 million views per game.

1. American Football

Without a doubt, American football is the most popular sport in the United States. Simply, it garners 37% of the population, claiming it to be their favorite sport in the States.

In the meantime, it also recorded the highest number of live audiences in the stadium, with 67,591 more than any other league. 

Best NFL Punter Braden Mann
Best NFL Punter Braden Mann (Source: New York Jets)

Likewise, in the meantime, this sport has been widely played since the beginning, from the high school level to the collegiate level and international arena.

It simply depicts diversified chances and gives much more opportunities to grow. 

Conclusion

Altogether, we have summed up our list as per their popularity rate. As diversified and unified as the nation is, so are the sports.

Every nook and corner is together in this common field of the sports industry. 

You might be interested to learn about the top sixteen most popular sports all over the world.  

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