Crosstown rivalry

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In sports, a crosstown rivalry is a rivalry between two teams in the same metropolitan area. It is a term primarily used in the United States and Canada. They are called "crosstown rivalries" because in most cases, they are held in large cities or metropolitan areas where each team represents a different part of the city or area (i.e., the other team is "across town"). The term regional rivalry is used to describe rivalries within a particular region but outside the boundaries of a particular metro area (this is particularly the case in Canada, where no metro areas have more than one team and the population is more sparse); likewise, intrastate rivals (also in-state rivals, or provincial rivals in Canada) describes rivalries that, while not in the same metro area, are within the same state or province.

Compared to other parts of the world, true "local derbies" are rare in the United States. Even those rivalries that can be considered "local derbies" due to geographic proximity often feature teams that primarily draw supporters from distinct geographic communities, largely because professional sports teams do not want to have to draw from the same people, so that each person has more money to spend on their team instead of dividing it among multiple teams. This is especially true for rivalries in the greater New York City area; while some local rivals may play home games less than 10 miles (16 km) apart, they represent distinct geographical communities. Two examples are the three-way rivalry between the New York Rangers (representing New York City), New York Islanders (representing Long Island), the New Jersey Devils, and formerly the Hartford Whalers (Connecticut) in the National Hockey League, and the former New York Knicks-New Jersey Nets rivalry in the National Basketball Association. The Knicks-Nets contest may develop into a full derby since the current Brooklyn Nets play in the New York borough of Brooklyn, an area also within the Knicks' fan base. A similar situation exists in the San Francisco Bay Area for baseball and American football; while the San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics are based in very close proximity, as are the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders, their supporter bases are somewhat geographically distinct, separated by San Francisco Bay. Additionally, in Los Angeles, there are rivalries such as the Los Angeles Dodgers versus the Los Angeles Angels, based in Anaheim, in Major League Baseball.

Below is a list of "crosstown" rivalries in the major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada, as well as major colleges. Minor leagues, being regional by their nature, feature numerous regional rivalries, some of which (e.g. the Staten Island Yankees vs. the Brooklyn Cyclones) are true crosstown rivalries.





The modern American Basketball Association has adopted a policy of placing multiple teams in one market, often choosing local high schools as home arenas.

American football[edit]

  • New York Giants v New York Jets — contrary to their names, both have shared the same stadium in New Jersey since 1984, in the now-demolished Giants Stadium, and, since 2010, in MetLife Stadium, which was jointly built by both teams. In addition, both teams have their headquarters in New Jersey. However, this rivalry is rarely contested in the regular season (and has yet to be contested in the postseason), as both clubs are in different conferences, but it is played annually during the preseason. Under the current scheduling formula, they are guaranteed to meet every four years in the regular season (such a benefit did not exist from 1970–2001), with each team taking turns as the designated home team (the Jets will be the home team in 2011, and the game will be locally televised by WNYW, as part of the NFL on Fox package, as Fox owns the rights to the road games of the NFC, which the Giants are in; this was despite speculation that the game would be played on September 11 on NBC Sunday Night Football to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks).
  • Oakland Raiders v San Francisco 49ers
  • Washington Redskins v Baltimore Ravens

Intrastate rivalries[edit]



  • New Jersey Devils v New York Rangers — This one takes place in the Tri-State Area (New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut). Fuel was added into the fire when in 1994 the Rangers came back from a 3-2 deficit to make it to the Stanley Cup. Both teams have an intense playoff history. They play each other 6 times a year since they are both in the same division. The Rangers and Devils play less than 15 minutes apart from one another, as the Rangers play in Madison Square Garden in Manhattan, and the Devils play at Prudential Center in nearby Newark, New Jersey.
  • New York Islanders v New York Rangers — the Islanders are based in Uniondale, New York, on Long Island, about a half-hour commuting distance from Manhattan, where the Rangers are based. Both teams are division rivals in the NHL's Atlantic Division. The Islanders will be moving to Brooklyn and the Barclays Center in 2015.
  • Buffalo Sabres v Toronto Maple Leafs — In the broadest sense, these two cities are occasionally considered one giant metropolitan area stretching from Toronto across Hamilton and Buffalo to Rochester (the Buffalo Bills currently have home stadiums in both Toronto and Buffalo and hold training camp in Rochester, and at one time a fast ferry connected Toronto and Rochester). Like the Devils, Islanders and Rangers, the Sabres and Leafs are division rivals and play each other numerous times each year.
  • Anaheim Ducks v Los Angeles Kings — This crosstown hockey rivalry takes place in Southern California, between the adjacent cities of Los Angeles, California, and Anaheim, California, which lies in nearby Orange County. Both teams share a television market as well. Los Angeles and Anaheim are only a half-hour apart, and both cities are connected by the California freeway system. The rivalry is intense and often fight-filled. As of 2007, the rivalry was named the "Freeway Face-Off" in a fan contest held by Southern California sports networks, FSN West and FSN Prime Ticket.
    Main article: Freeway Face-Off
  • Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Philadelphia Flyers - This cross-state rivalry is one of the stronger sports rivalries between the two largest cities in Pennsylvania.
  • Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Ottawa Senators - This cross-province rivalry has been active since the second incarnation of the Ottawa Senators entered the league in 1992. The rivalry is frequently referred to as the "Battle of Ontario".


Main article: MLS rivalry cups

Major League Soccer has attempted to bolster interest in its league by encouraging the creation of special trophies for matches between nearby franchises, to foment local rivalries. In Los Angeles, a true derby existed between the LA Galaxy and Chivas USA until the latter team folded at the end of the 2014 season. The Galaxy moved into the stadium now known as StubHub Center when the venue opened in 2003, while Chivas played at that stadium throughout the team's history. At the time of its demise, that match was named the "Honda SuperClasico." In 2015, the New York City area will get its own local derby when New York City FC joins the league, creating a rivalry with the New Jersey-based New York Red Bulls. A new Los Angeles rivalry will be created in 2017 when the expansion team currently known as Los Angeles FC joins the league.

Intrastate rivalries[edit]

Interstate rivalries[edit]



Notable rivalries within the Big 5 include:
While Drexel is not included in the Big 5, they are a member of the Philadelphia City 6, which consists of the Big 5 teams and Drexel. The Drexel v Penn basketball rivalry is known for being the closest geographical collegiate rivalry in all of sports; the two campuses are directly adjacent to one another, and their home arenas are three blocks apart (about 0.3 miles/500 m).


Note: These rivalries may not be crosstown, rather they may be across large geographical regions instead (usually within a province or two adjacent provinces), due to a lack of actual local derbies in Canada because of its large area with a small population base that is mainly scattered.

See also[edit]