Brooklyn Nets, sports in new york

Ultimate Guide to Sports in New York

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New York’s sports scene is a huge part of the Big Apple. While the most famous landmarks in NYC may overshadow local sports, there are plenty of exciting activities, events, and sports games in New York City.

There are 11 professional sports teams in NY, plus several minor league and independent franchises. That doesn’t even include other sports like tennis and annual events like the New York City Marathon. Truly, any game you want to see, you can see it here in the City That Never Sleeps!

Another great thing about sporting events is that you can enjoy them with friends, family, and even strangers. Locals and tourists find common ground by cheering on their favorite teams, and there is nothing quite like attending a live game and feeling the energy and camaraderie. Whether you’re looking for a fun date night or something to do in NYC with kids, you can’t go wrong with a game.

Of course, the sports of New York are vast and varied, so I’m sharing a general overview of the top teams and events. NY sports teams are wildly popular, so I always recommend getting your tickets in advance through an online platform like Hellotickets.

New York sports teams

There are dozens of sports teams in New York, ranging from professional franchises and minor league teams to those that are independently owned. This guide will focus on the major NY sports teams, although I’ll also touch a bit on the lesser-known ones. Here’s what you can expect:

By the end of this article, you’ll know which teams to root for at the New York City sports bars. Watching a game in New York City is one of the best things to do in NYC at night, and you’ll quickly see why!

Baseball (MLB), the most popular sport in New York

Baseball is considered the top sport in New York; after all, it’s the great American pastime. You can’t mention baseball in New York without thinking of the Yankees, but the Mets are also a staple of this sport.

Throughout the spring and summer, baseball dominates as the main sporting event in NYC. It’s a more leisurely sport compared to the others, but it’s a favorite summer afternoon activity for many people.

New York Yankees

The New York Yankees are the top baseball team in NYC and the most successful in the country. The Yankees have won 27 World Series, and the franchise has All-Star names associated with it, such as Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, and Mickey Mantle.

New York Yankees, nyc baseball teams

New York Yankees, a professional sports team in New York

The team plays their home games at Yankee Stadium, one of the coolest places to visit in the Bronx. They’re rivals with the Boston Red Sox and the Mets, another New York sports team, so if you catch one of those games, it’s sure to be super exciting.

I definitely recommend getting your tickets in advance, especially if it’s a popular match-up. You can also visit the stadium on non-game days to tour the team museum and see Monument Park, where they have Hall of Fame plaques.

New York Mets

The New York Mets are another pro sports team in New York, and while they’re often overshadowed by the Yankees, they’re quite successful. The Mets have a couple of World Series titles under their belts, and they have some of the most loyal fans in baseball.

New York Mets, sports on in new york

New York Mets, another sports team in NYC

Watching the Mets play at Citi Field is one of the best things to do in Queens. Plus, you can see the famous mascot, Mr. Met, who was one of the first MLB mascots to appear as a costumed character. Grab your tickets online here.

Basketball (NBA), another top sport in New York

From October to April, basketball reigns as the favored sport in New York. The games take place indoors, so you can escape the bad weather, and the fans are wholeheartedly devoted to their beloved teams. Plus, NYC’s basketball teams play in some of the coolest venues in the country, so if you want to see it for yourself, you should get your NBA game tickets in NYC in advance.

New York Knicks

The New York Knicks are the ultimate NBA team in NYC. They’ve made it to the NBA Finals eight times and have two championship wins. The Knicks have one of the highest victory totals in NBA history, and they’re best known for their Hall of Fame center, Patrick Ewing.

New York Knicks, sports in ny

New York Knicks, an NBC team in NYC

Needless to say, just about everyone wants to see the Knicks play at Madison Square Garden. Even celebrities show up to this prized venue to catch a game. If you want good seats for the game, get your New York Knicks tickets in advance, preferably online here.

Brooklyn Nets

Besides the Knicks, the Brooklyn Nets are an all-star NBA team in NYC. They may have had a few lackluster years recently, but they do have a history of winning, especially in the 1970s when they had players like Julius Erving.

Brooklyn Nets, new york sports teams

Brooklyn Nets, another sports team in New York

The Nets play at Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn, and they continue to be a popular New York sports team. So, if you want Brooklyn Nets tickets, get them in advance here.

Football (NFL), another favorite New York sport

Football has become the most popular sport in the country, encompassing a whole culture of tailgating and Monday nights in front of the TV. The NFL season runs from September through December, with the big game, the Super Bowl, taking place in February.

The NY Giants and NY Jets are always a huge draw for football fans. If you want to watch this sport in New York, you’ll have to go to nearby New Jersey since both teams play at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford.

The Buffalo Bills are another football team in New York, but they play up in the Buffalo – Niagara Falls metropolitan area, so they don’t have much of a fan base in NYC.

New York Giants

The New York Giants are four-time Super Bowl champs, and their home arena hosted the Super Bowl in 2014. The Giants also have eight league championships to their name. The franchise has also boasted some star players, including Frank Gifford, Eli Manning, Tiki Barber, and Michael Strahan.

New York Giants, sporting events in nyc

New York Giants, a popular football team in New York City

As one of the oldest teams in the NFL, the Giants are wildly popular, not only among New Yorkers but also with many fans in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Needless to say, if you want tickets, you should get them in advance.

New York Jets

The New York Jets are another lauded football team in New York, known as one of the greatest teams in the NFL. Known affectionately by fans as “Gang Green,” the franchise has had some all-star players, such as Joe “Broadway Joe” Namath.

New York Jets, popular sports in new york

New York Jets, another football team in New York

Like the Giants, the Jets play their home games at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. They’re a successful NY sports team with a devoted fan base, so if you want to see a game for yourself, get your tickets beforehand.

Hockey (NHL), a classic winter sport in NY

Hockey is a big part of the sports scene in the Northeastern United States, so it makes sense that it’s a popular winter sport in New York. Hockey season takes up half the year, running from early October through early April.

Hockey games in New York are full of loyal fans, buzzing excitement, and fast-paced action. Here, you can cheer on the NY Rangers in Manhattan or the Islanders over on Long Island.

New York Rangers

The New York Rangers are one of the six original franchises in the NHL. Nicknamed the “Broadway Blueshirts” by their die-hard fans, the Rangers play at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan.

New York Rangers, sports in new york city

New York Rangers, a New York hockey team

The team is famous for its 1994 Stanley Cup win, which broke a 54-year streak of missing out on victory. It was their fourth Stanley Cup, and fans are eagerly awaiting the fifth one.

Watching a Rangers game is super exciting, especially when they face their local rivals, the Islanders, another NYC hockey team. For a popular game like that, you should get your tickets early. Also, consider visiting the arena on a non-game day so you can take a tour of Madison Square Garden to see the locker rooms, memorabilia, and more.

New York Islanders

The New York Islanders are another hockey team in the NYC area, specifically on Long Island. The team plays their home games at the Nassau Coliseum and Barclays Center.

New York Islanders, nyc hockey teams

New York Islanders, another professional sports team in New York

The Islanders have won four Stanley Cups, making them a worthy rival of the NY Rangers. If you want to score tickets to an anticipated match-up like that, make sure you buy your tickets in advance.

Other sports teams in New York

Besides the four major sports in New York, there are other games and sporting events you can see.


Soccer may not be as popular in the U.S. as it is in other countries, but it still has a large fan base. From March through October, you can see soccer games in New York City at Yankee Stadium’s Grand Concourse. This is where the New York City FC plays their home games. They’re a relatively young franchise, founded in 2015, but they can fill up an arena, so get your tickets early.

New York City FC, sports in new york

Soccer, a fun sports activity in New York City

The New York Red Bulls are another soccer team in New York. Formerly known as the MetroStars, they were NYC’s first major league soccer team, and they’ve made it to the playoffs for 13 straight seasons. They play at one of the top soccer stadiums in the country, Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey. The NY/NJ Gotham FC, a National Women’s Soccer League team, also plays at Red Bull Arena.


Speaking of women’s sports, the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) has a NY sports team. The New York Liberty has had some of the best female basketball players in the world, like Breanna Stewart, Sabrina Ionescu, Courtney Vandersloot, and Jonquel Jones.

New York Liberty, new york pro sports teams

WNBA, another exciting sports league in New York

The NY Liberty plays from May through September, offering the opportunity to watch a basketball game in the summer. The team plays at Barclays Center, and tickets tend to be cheaper than NBA tickets in NYC.

College basketball

Besides the professional New York sports teams in basketball, there are seven Division 1 college teams in NYC, including Columbia University, Manhattan College, and Long Island University-Brooklyn. College basketball is a huge draw for people across the country, and it all culminates in the March Madness Tournament.

Fordham Rams, professional sports teams new york

College basketball, a New York sporting event to see

This NCAA basketball tournament pits the best Division 1 teams against each other and occasionally takes place at Madison Square Garden and Barclays Center.

Minor League Baseball

Finally, there are a couple of minor league sports teams in New York that you can watch throughout the spring and summer. These minor league baseball games are a great way to spot up-and-coming talent.

Brooklyn Cyclones, nyc baseball teams

Minor League Baseball, another sporting event in New York City

The Brooklyn Cyclones are affiliated with the New York Mets and have won six division titles. They play at Maimonides Park on Coney Island, so you can go see a game and spend a day hanging out on the amusement piers.

The Staten Island FerryHawks are another New York sports team. They’re an independent baseball team based in Staten Island, and they play at Staten Island University Hospital Community Park, the former home stadium of the Staten Island Yankees. The FerryHawks franchise was founded in 2021, but they’re already popular, so check them out on the official team website.

More New York sports and activities

The sports and activities in NYC don’t end there. In addition to major and minor leagues, independent teams, and college sports, there are other exciting sporting events in New York.

U.S. Open Tennis

If you visit Queens, New York, you’ll be able to see one of NYC’s best parks. Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Astoria is home to the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, which hosts the U.S. Open. This annual tennis event takes place in late August and features the world’s best men’s, women’s, singles, doubles, and wheelchair players.

U.S. Open Tennis, sporting events in nyc

U.S. Open Tennis

Around 800,000 people attend this event, while millions more watch on TV. In the past, athletes like Naomi Osaka, the Williams sisters, Roger Federer, and Novak Djokovic have won the U.S. Open. It’s one of the most elite events in the tennis world, so you should get your tickets in advance.

New York City Marathon

Another anticipated sports event in New York is the New York City Marathon, which takes place every November. The 26.2-mile race goes through all five boroughs of NYC, starting in Staten Island and ending in Central Park.

New York City Marathon, sports events in new york

New York City Marathon

Tens of thousands of people participate in the race, many of whom have friends and family cheering them on from the sidelines. Some famous racers in the past have included Ryan Reynolds, Pamela Anderson, Kevin Hart, and Alicia Keys. You can get more information about the event on the official website.

Best sports bars in New York City

One of the best things about sports is watching them with friends. There are awesome sports bars in New York where you can catch that night’s match-up and meet up with pals.

In Manhattan, check out Harlem Tavern or Standings in the East Village. Blondies Sports in Upper Manhattan has great wings and big-screen TVs, so you can watch all the games in New York City.

ESPN Zone, sports bar in new york

Best sports bars in New York City

Over in Brooklyn, Keg & Lantern is a casual sports bar and brewery that’s open late in Greenpoint. There is also Fulton Ale House in Bed-Stuy, a cozy spot with classic pub food, craft beer, and darts.

I also recommend Stan’s Sports Bar in the Bronx and Break Bar & Billiards in Astoria, Queens. Of course, there are also incredible rooftop bars in NYC where you can sit back with a drink and enjoy the game and beautiful views.

FAQs – Sports in New York

To wrap up this New York sports guide, here are the answers to some common questions:

Baseball continues to be the great American pastime, but football is becoming the most popular sport in New York.

The best professional sports team in New York is the New York Yankees. They’re one of the most successful franchises, with 27 World Series titles.

Baseball was declared the state sport of New York by Governor Cuomo in 2021.

New York has won 57 sports championships, the most of any other state.

There are 11 pro sports teams in New York: the Giants, Jets, Mets, Yankees, Brooklyn Nets, Knicks, Liberty, Islanders, Rangers, New York Red Bulls, and New York City FC.

There are tons of sports bars in New York City. Some of the most popular ones are Blondie’s, Standings, and Stan’s Sports Bar.

Now, you should be (almost) an expert on New York sports! Keep this guide handy for your next trip to the Big Apple, and don’t forget to download this map of New York City sports bars and venues.

If you have any other questions, feel free to leave me a comment below. I’d also love to know about your favorite sports and games in New York City.

Have a great trip!

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Hey there, I'm Ascen, your personal trip planner on a mission to help you craft the most incredible adventure of your life. While I'm based in Las Vegas, you won't find me there often. As a full-time traveler, I'm always on the go, exploring new destinations and capturing the world through my lens. From the enchanting shores of Almeria, Spain, where I grew up, to the far reaches of the globe, I'm here to provide you with detailed travel guides and practical tips to make your trip planning a breeze. Find out more about me here.
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