New York really is a sporting haven, but which sports are the best-loved statewide? We’ve ranked the state’s top five according to the people that live there.
Echoing national sentiment, New York’s No. 1 sport is football, which shouldn’t come as any surprise since the state is home to fans of three NFL teams. Rivalling football is another all-American sport, baseball. Soccer, golf and basketball complete the state’s five favorite sports.
New York’s Sporting Connections
New York fans have loyalty to three teams: The Giants and Jets play at MetLife Stadium, across the border from New York City in New Jersey, and the Bills play in Buffalo. New York state is a haven for football followers, so it’s no surprise that it’s the favorite sport. In fact, the Giants are among the most successful franchises in NFL history, with four Super Bowl titles across the past four decades.
There aren’t many sports teams more globally recognized than the 27-time World Series champions (an MLB record), the New York Yankees. Whether it’s the famous Yankee Stadium or legends of past and present, the club oozes icon status and rightfully helps baseball earn second spot in New York. In addition to the Yankees, the National League’s Mets have millions of fans as well.
MLS began in 1996, but soccer has always played a part in New York’s sports heritage. In the 1970s, the New York Cosmos were a powerhouse in the NASL, with World Cup icons Pele and Franz Beckenbauer among the ranks. More recently, New York Red Bulls (whose home is in New Jersey) and New York City FC have featured legendary European stars Thierry Henry and David Villa, respectively.
The state has some of the nation’s most popular courses, including Winged Foot and Shinnecock Hills, so it’s no wonder that the people of New York love golf so much – enough to rank it their fourth favorite sport, in fact. Fit for professionals and amateurs alike, there’s something for every level of golfer in New York.
With two NBA teams calling New York home, it’s hardly shocking that basketball places in the state’s top five sports. The oldest of the two, the New York Knicks, have been competing since 1946 and have won two NBA Championship. The Brooklyn Nets, who won two ABA titles in New York, relocated back to the city in 2012 after a 35-year hiatus in New Jersey.
To bring you New York’s five favorite sports, it was first important to consider both Google search volume data and social media sentiment data for each sport. Giving each of 10 different sports a value for each of these two factors, we ranked them accordingly. From here, each New York sport was assigned an index score between 0-1, relative to their ranked position, for each of the two factors.
By combining the two index scores, we were able to give each sport a score between 0-2 to find the top five across New York.