Sports in New England
Two popular American sports were invented in New England. Basketball was invented by James Naismith in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1891. Volleyball was invented by William G. Morgan in Holyoke, Massachusetts, in 1895. Also, the first American hockey game was played in Connecticut.
On November 1, 1924, the Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League became the first NHL franchise to be based in the United States, and the second oldest surviving major professional sports team in Boston, after the Red Sox. The Bruins' historic rivalry with the Montreal Canadiens for ice hockey fans in the Boston area has, at times, reached the level of intensity of the Yankees – Red Sox rivalry in professional baseball in the region.
The New England Patriots football team is based in Foxborough, Massachusetts, halfway between Boston and Providence. In 1999, the Patriots flirted with the idea of moving to Hartford, in what three NFL franchise owners called "the greatest financial deal any NFL owner has ever received." The deal, however, fell through, and the team remained in Foxborough.
Both the oldest MLB professional baseball park still in use, Fenway Park, dating from April 1912, as well as the oldest indoor ice hockey rink still in use worldwide, Matthews Arena which first opened in 1910 and currently stands on the property of Northeastern University for their collegiate ice hockey teams, are within the Boston city limits.
Hartford Whalers 
Up until April 13, 1997, Hartford also had its own major hockey team, the Hartford Whalers. Originally known as the New England Whalers, they changed their name in 1979 after leaving the WHA for the NHL, hoping to carve a niche market in Hartford.
Fan base 
It should be noted, however, that in the parts of southwestern Connecticut that are close to New York City, most people are New York Yankees and New York Mets fans, who are often self-identified as suburban New Yorkers. The New York Giants and New York Jets also receive significant support from New England, primarily from the southwestern portions of Connecticut. Additionally, until the team relocated to Washington for the start of the 2005 season, the Montreal Expos received some fan support in northern New England.
For the Mets, when they were in the World Series in their championship season of 1986, split allegiances among fans of both the Mets and opposing Boston Red Sox led to an article in The Boston Globe to coin the phrase "Red Sox Nation."
In the last two decades, the University of Connecticut basketball program (winning 3 men's and 7 women's national titles since 1995) has drawn a regional following.
New Hampshire Motor Speedway is an oval racetrack which has hosted several NASCAR and American Championship Car Racing races, whereas Lime Rock Park is a traditional road racing venue home of sports car races. Both NASCAR Cup races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway draw over 100,000 fans, thus making NHMS the largest capacity sports venue in New England. New Hampshire also possesses the New England Dragway facility in Epping, New Hampshire as one of the very few remaining dragstrips in the New England region.
List of professional and semi-professional sports teams in New England 
- Major League Baseball
- International League (AAA)
- Eastern League (AA)
- New York - Penn League (A)
- Atlantic League (Independent)
- Canadian-American Association of Professional Baseball (Independent)
- National Basketball Association
- Women's National Basketball Association
- NBA Development League
- American Basketball Association (Independent Minor League)
- Premier Basketball League
- National Hockey League
- American Hockey League (AAA)
- Lowell Devils (Lowell, Massachusetts)
- Hartford Wolf Pack (Hartford, Connecticut)
- Bridgeport Sound Tigers (Bridgeport, Connecticut)
- Manchester Monarchs (Manchester, New Hampshire)
- Portland Pirates (Portland, Maine)
- Springfield Falcons (Springfield, Massachusetts)
- Worcester Sharks (Worcester, Massachusetts)
- Providence Bruins (Providence, Rhode Island)
- Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL)
- Major League Soccer
- USL Premier Development League
NCAA Division I schools in New England 
Additionally, four colleges compete at the Division I level in ice hockey only: American International and Bentley College compete in the Atlantic Hockey Association, while Merrimack and the University of Massachusetts-Lowell compete in Hockey East and America East in the second half of 2013.
See also 
- New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame
- New England Sports Network
- Sports in Connecticut
- Sports in Maine
- Sports in Massachusetts
- Sports in New Hampshire
- Sports in Rhode Island
- Sports in Vermont
- History of Basketball - James Naismith
- History Of Volleyball
- Cobb, Nathan (October 20, 1986). "Baseball Border War; In Milford Conn., Geography Brings Sox and Mets Fans". Boston Globe. p. 8.