Where Does Your Sport Sit in Popularity in America

We all want to believe the sport that we love is the most popular sport in the world. How could it not be if it is our favorite? There are so many sports to choose from to support that sometimes it’s hard to believe every sport could have so much following and support. There are those who seem to love every sport there is and then those who only like a few and then there are those who one sport is plenty for them. Whatever sport is your favorite did you ever wonder where it falls in comparison to others in terms of popularity? You may be surprised where your favorite sport falls based on American popularity.

According to an article written in 2015 and based on research done in 2014 on the website, therichest, men’s tennis/swimming/horse racing/bowling and women’s soccer only 1% of the population watches these sports. Not far behind those sports are women’s tennis, track and field, men’s golf (this fell from 3% in 1985) and boxing with only 2% of the population following these sports. One sport that is actually a shocking statistic is men’s college basketball. In 1985 there was a 6% viewing and by 2014 that percentage dropped to 3%. A sport that will probably not shock most that has been on the rise is men’s soccer. In 1985 there was a 3% following as of 2014 that percentage went up to 6%. The probability of it continuing to rise is probably very great. Ice hockey is another sport that has gained in popularity. In 1985 only 2% followed this sport but by 2014 it went up to 6%. One statistic that may or may not shock most is men’s pro basketball. The percentage from 1985 to 2014 has stayed the same at 6% following this sport. Auto racing jumped two percentage points from 1985 to 2014 with 7% of people following this sport. This next sport will probably be going up higher with people’s interest seeming to be higher these days and that is college football. The percentage from 1985 to 2014 hasn’t changed, that percentage being 10%. Now here is where the big jump starts. The last two sports will surprise no one in the sense of their popularity in America. What might surprise some is the drop in the second most watched sport in America. The sport that is supposed to be “America’s Sport”, baseball, in 1985 had a percentage of 23 in fans who followed but in 2014 that fell to just 16%. The last sport will surprise no one and that is pro football. What is surprising is the percent of Americans who watch. In 1985 the percent was 24 but in 2014 it jumped up to 32%. That is the biggest jump of any sport, in terms of popularity, in America. The only surprising thing to this writer is thinking the percent would be even higher.

It doesn’t matter where the popularity of your sport falls in terms of most viewed, what does matter is there is a sport that you love and that you can escape for just a little bit and enjoy the excitement and competiveness of your sport. If you are not a fan of pro football, don’t worry, it’s not the number one sport in the world that most people like. But we will save that for another time.

Patty McDaniel


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