Sports in New Jersey
New Jersey currently has four teams from major professional sports leagues playing in the state, although the Major League Soccer team and two National Football League teams identify themselves as being from New York.
The Metropolitan Area's two National Football League teams, the New York Giants and the New York Jets, both play in East Rutherford, Bergen County, at MetLife Stadium. At completion, with a construction cost of approximately $1.6 billion, the venue is the most expensive stadium ever built. On February 2, 2014, MetLife Stadium is scheduled to host Super Bowl XLVIII.
The sports complex is also home to the Meadowlands Racetrack, one of three major harness racing tracks in the state. The Meadowlands Racetrack along with Freehold Raceway in Freehold are two of the major harness racing tracks in North America. Monmouth Park Racetrack in Oceanport is also a popular spot for thoroughbred racing in New Jersey and the northeast. It hosted the Breeders' Cup in 2007, and its turf course was renovated in preparation.
Major league sports
|New York Giants||Football||National Football League||East Rutherford||MetLife Stadium (82,500)||80,148|
|New York Jets||Football||National Football League||East Rutherford||MetLife Stadium (82,500)||76,957|
|New York Red Bulls||Soccer||Major League Soccer||Harrison||Red Bull Arena (25,200)||19,461|
|New Jersey Devils||Ice Hockey||National Hockey League||Newark||Prudential Center (17,600)||15,257|
Semi-pro and minor league sports
New Jerseyans' collegiate allegiances are predominately split among the three major NCAA Division I programs in the state – the Rutgers University (New Jersey's largest state university) Scarlet Knights, the Seton Hall University (which is the state's largest Roman Catholic university) Pirates, and the Princeton University (the state's Ivy League university) Tigers. Rutgers remained in the old Big East, which became the American Athletic Conference, however they will leave that conference in 2014 to join the Big Ten Conference.
Rutgers and Princeton likewise have an intense rivalry – stemming from the first intercollegiate football game in 1869 – though the two schools have not met on the football field since 1980. They continue to play each other annually in all other sports offered by the two universities.
Rutgers, which fields 24 teams in various sports, is nationally known for its excellent football and women's basketball programs. The university is planning a large expansion to the on-campus Rutgers Stadium – to accommodate the rising number of fans – and the teams play in Piscataway, which is adjacent to the New Brunswick campus. The university also fields rising basketball and baseball programs. Rutgers' fan base is mostly derived from the western parts of the state and Middlesex County, not to mention its alumni base, which is the largest in the state.
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, also has campuses in Camden and Newark (in addition to its main campus in New Brunswick). The Rutgers–Camden athletic teams are called the Scarlet Raptors. The Rutgers–Newark athletic teams are called the Scarlet Raiders. The Scarlet Raiders and the Scarlet Raptors both compete within NCAA Division III.
Seton Hall, unlike Rutgers, does not field a football team. Its basketball team, however, has been one of the most storied programs in the Big East, and it plays its home games at the state-of-the-art Prudential Center, located in downtown Newark. The Pirates, while lacking as large an alumni base as the state university, have a large well of support in the predominately Roman Catholic areas of the northern part of the state and the Jersey Shore.
The state's other Division I schools include the Monmouth University Hawks (West Long Branch), the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) Highlanders (Newark), the Rider University Broncs (Lawrenceville), and the Saint Peter's College Peacocks and Peahens (Jersey City).
Fairleigh Dickinson University competes in both Division I and Division III. It has two campuses, each with its own sports teams. The teams at the Metropolitan Campus are known as the FDU Knights, and compete in the Northeast Conference and NCAA Division I. The College at Florham (FDU-Florham) teams are known as the FDU-Florham Devils and compete in the Middle Atlantic Conferences' Freedom Conference and NCAA Division III.
Among the various Division III schools in the state, the Stevens Institute of Technology Ducks have fielded the longest continuously running collegiate men's lacrosse program in the country. 2009 marked the 125th season.
High school sports
New Jersey high schools are divided into divisions under the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association.(NJSIAA) ' Founded in 1918, the NJSIAA currently represents 22,000 schools, 330,000 coaches, and almost 4.5 million athletes. Sports are divided between 3 seasons (fall, winter, and spring).
Academies and Clubs
New Jersey also features a collection of sports leagues, clubs, and academies for athletic training. Like many suburban communities, most New Jersey towns have individual leagues for America's most popular sports - baseball, softball, football, cheerleading, basketball, soccer, etc.
- List of college athletic programs in New Jersey, USA
- Sports Hall of Fame of New Jersey
- New Jersey Sports Writers Association Hall of Fame
- Esteban (October 27, 2011). "11 Most Expensive Stadiums In The World". Total Pro Sports. Retrieved September 2, 2012.
- New Meadowlands Stadium official website New Meadowlands Stadium Corporation. Retrieved June 14, 2010.
- Belson, Ken (April 8, 2010). "New Stadium, a Football Palace, Opens Saturday With Lacrosse". The New York Times. Retrieved March 21, 2011.
- New Jersey High School News and Sports. iHigh.com, Inc – The High School Internet Network. Retrieved January 26, 2011.
- Jersey Club Sports - Have Fun. Play Sports. Be Social!