The 10 Most Popular Sports in the USA 2024

Most Popular Sports in the USA 2024: Did you hear that in the 2022/23 NFL season, about 16.7 million people watched the games on TV and online? That’s 5% more than in 2021, making football the favorite sport in America.

Football has been the number one sport in the USA since the 1920s when the NFL started. It became popular even earlier, around the 18th century. The NFL games are not only the most-watched in the United States but also around the world.

Even though football is the top pick, there are other sports Americans enjoy watching and playing. This article has lots of information to help you understand which sport is the most popular in the USA. Share in the comments which sports you like and if you played any when you were in school.

Most Popular Sports in the USA 2024

Let’s explore the most loved sports in the country. The order is based on how many people watch and how popular they are percentage-wise.

10. Motorsports

  • Popularity (%): 14.6%

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is like the headquarters for motorsports in the United States. A bunch of fans are always drawn to this sport.

Right now, there are about 15 million people who are big fans. Imagine that! And guess what? Just the NASCAR Cup Series by itself has about 8 million people tuning in to watch.

Whether you’re in the crowd at the event or sitting at home with friends, motorsports is awesome for the excitement and adventure it brings.

9. Tennis

  • Popularity (%): 15.5%

Among all these sports, tennis stands out uniquely and is often referred to as a “transitional game.”

Right now, about 17.9 million people are into tennis, whether they’re watching or playing. Tennis has been catching the attention of a whopping 292 million people every year. However, when it comes to kids in America, the interest in tennis is slowly going down.

8. WWE

  • Popularity (%): 16.7%

WWE has been a big deal in the entertainment and sports world from the start. It’s not just famous in the U.S, but all around the globe, with a massive fan base of around 11 million people in the U.S alone.

However, recently, it’s not shining as bright as before because other sports are taking the spotlight. Some folks have noticed that WWE tends to show similar things over and over, and that’s a bit of a downer for them. Nevertheless, it’s still one of the most popular sports in the USA.

7. Golf

  • Popularity (%): 19.7%

We all know what golf went through in the previous phase when it was described as “a game for rich old men”.

Now, nearly 10% of the United States population, which is almost 30 million people, are into golf. And interestingly, 77% of these fans are guys, while the rest are women. Many folks say it’s one of the best ways people like to spend their free time.

6. Soccer

  • Popularity (%): 21.6%

Soccer is a favorite and widely loved game worldwide, but in the United States, it’s gaining attention just recently.

Americans are starting to get the hang of this game and appreciate its beauty, making it one of the most popular sports now. Interestingly, in Washington, soccer is particularly hot and gaining more fans.

Currently, soccer is hitting 24.2 million views in the United States. Despite its growing admiration, it’s still a bit tough for soccer to claim the top spot because it doesn’t quite fit in with American culture.

If you’re curious, you might also want to learn more about the top ten most dangerous sports in detail.

5. Ice Hockey

  • Popularity (%): 22.1%

Ice hockey holds a steady position in the United States, making it one of the top five sports.

When you look at the number of viewers for a single game, ice hockey averages around 2.6 million views. Places like Massachusetts, Michigan, and Minnesota are particularly popular for this game.

Interestingly, ice hockey is mainly aimed at people between 18 and 45 years old. Sources say that in the U.S., they specifically target about 20% of their audience within this age range.

4. Boxing

  • Popularity (%): 23.4%

Boxing has been a big favorite among Americans. It was once a source of pride, attracting larger audiences than any other show or sport and bringing in substantial financial income.

Regrettably, boxing in the United States is slowly losing its essence and audience. However, California still holds the record for the highest boxing audience among the states today.

3. Baseball

  • Popularity (%): 50.5%

People often wonder, “Why is baseball so popular in the States?” The answer is straightforward—it’s because of the physical strength that this sport demands. The equal importance given to strategy, patience, and the pressure-packed environment contributes to the thrill, making it a favorite.

However, the popularity of baseball is on the decline. In the early 2000s, baseball attracted around 80 million views, but now it’s down to just 26.8 million views.

2. Basketball

  • Popularity (%): 56.6%

Basketball is globally popular, but it’s especially beloved in the United States. The sport’s fun tactics, fast pace, and well-known opportunities contribute to its widespread popularity.

It passes the thrill test and is a visual treat for viewers. On average, each basketball game attracts a whopping 105 million views.

1. American Football

  • Popularity (%): 74.5%

No doubt about it, American football takes the crown as the most popular sport in the United States. A whopping 37% of the population claims it as their favorite.

It’s not just a TV hit; it also boasts the highest number of live spectators in the stadium, reaching 67,591, more than any other league.

American football has become a widespread game, played from high schools to colleges and even on the international stage. Its appeal lies in the variety of opportunities it presents, offering many chances for growth.

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