Sports in California

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Levi's Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers football team
Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres baseball team
Oracle Arena, home of the Golden State Warriors basketball team

California currently has 18 major professional sports franchises, far more than any other US state. The San Francisco Bay Area has seven major-league teams spread amongst three cities: San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose. The Greater Los Angeles Area has ten major-league teams. San Diego has two major-league teams, and Sacramento has one.

Top tier professional sports teams[edit]

Map

College sports[edit]

Home to some of most prominent universities in the United States, California has long had many respected collegiate sports programs, in particular the University of Southern California, University of California, Berkeley, UCLA, Stanford University, all of which are members of the Pac-12 Conference. They are often nationally ranked in the various sports and dominate media coverage of college sports in the state. In addition, those Universities boast the highest academic standards (on average) of all major college (NCAA Division I) programs. All 4 schools are ranked, academically, in the top 30 nationally with Cal (specifically) ranked as the #1 public university in the country (usually about #15 overall) and Stanford is the highest academically ranked Division 1A university in the country (usually #5 overall).

California is also home to the oldest college bowl game, the annual Rose Bowl (Pasadena), as well as the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl (San Diego), the Emerald Bowl (San Francisco), and the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl (San Diego).

The Great Heisman State[edit]

California has produced the most Heisman Trophy winners. Fourteen winners were both born and played high school football in the Golden State. Seven played collegiately at USC and one each at UCLA, Stanford, Army, Texas, Colorado, Notre Dame, and Miami.

NCAA Division I members[edit]

The following California universities are members of NCAA Division I:

Institution Nickname Location Conference Football
Subdivision
Cal Poly (San Luis Obispo) Mustangs San Luis Obispo Big West
(Big Sky for football)
FCS
Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners Bakersfield WAC
Cal State Fullerton Titans Fullerton Big West
Cal State Northridge Matadors Northridge Big West
California Golden Bears Berkeley Pac-12 FBS
Fresno State Bulldogs Fresno Mountain West FBS
Long Beach State 49ers Long Beach Big West
Loyola Marymount Lions Los Angeles WCC
Pacific Tigers Stockton WCC
Pepperdine Waves Malibu WCC
Sacramento State Hornets Sacramento Big Sky FCS
Saint Mary's Gaels Moraga WCC
San Diego Toreros San Diego WCC
San Diego State Aztecs San Diego Mountain West FBS
San Francisco Dons San Francisco WCC
San Jose State Spartans San Jose Mountain West FBS
Santa Clara Broncos Santa Clara WCC
Stanford Cardinal Stanford Pac-12 FBS
UC Davis Aggies Davis Big West
(Big Sky for football)
FCS
UC Irvine Anteaters Irvine Big West
UC Riverside Highlanders Riverside Big West
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos Santa Barbara Big West
UCLA Bruins Los Angeles Pac-12 FBS
USC Trojans Los Angeles Pac-12 FBS

International sports events[edit]

California has hosted the Olympic Games three times. Los Angeles, the largest city in the state, hosted both the 1932[1] and 1984 Summer Olympics.[2] Squaw Valley, California hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics.[3] Los Angeles and San Francisco were in the race for the United States Olympic Committee nomination to host the 2016 Summer Olympics, but eventually lost to Chicago.

Besides the Olympics, California has also hosted several major international soccer events:

Local sports[edit]

Most city municipals house a variety of sports activities. The available sports are typically listed on their city websites. Additionally, there are a variety of California Sports activities listed on FindSportsNow's California database.

Motorsports and auto racing[edit]

California has also long been a hub for motorsports and auto racing. The city of Long Beach holds an event every year in the month of April, which is host to IndyCar Series racing through the streets of downtown. Long Beach has hosted Formula One events there in the past, and also currently hosts an event on the American Le Mans Series schedule. Auto Club Speedway is a speedway in Fontana and currently hosts one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race along with the 2nd-tier Xfinity Series a year. Sonoma Raceway is a multi-purpose facility outside Sonoma, featuring a road course and a drag strip. Different versions of the road course are home to a NASCAR event and an IndyCar event. The drag strip hosts a yearly NHRA event. Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is a road course near Monterey that currently hosts an ALMS event, a round of the Rolex Sports Car Series and the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. The Auto Club Raceway at Pomona has hosted NHRA drag racing for over 50 years.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series holds two races in California, one each at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana and at Sonoma Raceway, formerly Sears Point Raceway. The IRL Indycar series competes every April in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, through the streets of downtown Long Beach. The IRL also holds an event at Sonoma in the summer. The NHRA Drag Racing Series holds three national events in California, as well; two at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona (formerly Pomona Raceway) and at the aforementioned Sonoma Raceway. The AMA Supercross Series holds several events in the state in cities such as Anaheim, Oakland, and San Diego.

Others[edit]

The California State Games, a statewide Olympics-like sport event, take place in California every year. The United States Olympic Committee governs this event.[4]

Many of California's high school teams are often nationally ranked.[citation needed]

Skateboarding[edit]

Skateboarding is a sport heavily associated with California as it is the place where the sport started. Professional skateboarder Tony Hawk was born in Carlsbad, California in 1968 and was involved in many bowlriding and vert competitions there.

Northern California – Southern California rivalry[edit]

Most of the teams from Northern California and Southern California are involved in intrastate rivalries. Most of these rivalries are between the Bay Area and Los Angeles teams with the notable exception being the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders rivalry.

Stadiums and arenas[edit]

Stadium City Capacity Type Tenants Opened
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum[5][6] Los Angeles 93,607 Football USC Trojans, Los Angeles Rams 1923
Rose Bowl[7] Pasadena 92,542 Football UCLA Bruins; Rose Bowl Game 1922
Qualcomm Stadium San Diego 71,294 Multi-purpose San Diego Chargers,
San Diego State Aztecs;
Holiday Bowl, Poinsettia Bowl
1967
Candlestick Park (demolished 2015) San Francisco 70,207 Multi-purpose 1960
Levi's Stadium Santa Clara 68,500 Football San Francisco 49ers,
San Jose Earthquakes
2014
Oakland Alameda Coliseum Oakland 63,026 Multi-purpose Oakland Raiders, Oakland Athletics 1966
California Memorial Stadium Berkeley 62,717 Football California Golden Bears 1923
Dodger Stadium[8] Los Angeles 56,000 Baseball Los Angeles Dodgers 1962
Stanford Stadium Stanford 50,000 Football Stanford Cardinal 1921; 2006
Angel Stadium of Anaheim[9] Anaheim 45,050 Baseball Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 1966
PETCO Park[10] San Diego 42,445 Baseball San Diego Padres 2004
AT&T Park San Francisco 41,503 Baseball San Francisco Giants;
Fight Hunger Bowl
2000
Bulldog Stadium Fresno 41,031 Football Fresno State Bulldogs 1980
Spartan Stadium San Jose 30,456 Football San Jose State Spartans 1933
StubHub Center Carson 27,000 Soccer LA Galaxy 2003
Hornet Stadium Sacramento 21,650 Football Sacramento State Hornets 1969
Hughes Stadium Sacramento 20,311 Multi-purpose 1928
Oracle Arena Oakland 19,596 Arena Golden State Warriors 1966
Staples Center Los Angeles 18,997 Arena Los Angeles Clippers,
Los Angeles Lakers,
Los Angeles Kings,
Los Angeles Sparks
1999
SAP Center at San Jose San Jose 18,543 Arena San Jose Sharks
San Jose Barracuda
San Jose SaberCats
1993
Honda Center Anaheim 18,211 Arena Anaheim Ducks
Los Angeles Kiss
1993
Avaya Stadium San Jose 18,000 Soccer San Jose Earthquakes 2015
Chase Center San Francisco 18,000 Arena Golden State Warriors (in 2019) 2019
(planned)
The Forum Inglewood 17,505 Arena 1967
Golden 1 Center Sacramento 17,500 Arena Sacramento Kings (in 2016) 2016
(planned)
Sleep Train Arena Sacramento 17,317 Arena Sacramento Kings 1988
Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena Los Angeles 16,161 Arena 1959
Save Mart Center Fresno 15,544 Arena Fresno State Bulldogs 2003
Valley View Casino Center San Diego 14,500 Arena San Diego Gulls
San Diego Sockers
1966
Raley Field West Sacramento 14,011 Baseball Sacramento River Cats 2000
Cow Palace Daly City 12,953 Arena 1941
Chukchansi Park Fresno 12,500 Baseball Fresno Grizzlies 2002
Viejas Arena San Diego 12,414 Arena San Diego State Aztecs 1997
Long Beach Arena Long Beach 11,719 Arena 1962
Bonney Field Sacramento 11,442 Soccer / rugby Sacramento Republic FC
Sacramento Express
2014
Stockton Arena Stockton 11,100 Arena Stockton Heat 2005
Citizens Business Bank Arena Ontario 10,832 Arena Ontario Reign, Ontario Fury 2008
Rabobank Arena Bakersfield 9,333 Arena Bakersfield Condors 1998

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 1932 Summer Olympics, International Olympic Committee website.
  2. ^ 1984 Summer Olympics, International Olympic Committee website.
  3. ^ 1960 Winter Olympics, International Olympic Committee website.
  4. ^ Official site of the California State Games
  5. ^ Media-Newswire.com – Press Release Distribution. "media-newswire.com". media-newswire.com. Retrieved 2013-05-12. 
  6. ^ www.dailytrojan.com
  7. ^ "History". Rose Bowl Stadium. Rose Bowl Stadium. Retrieved 28 November 2014. 
  8. ^ "losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com". losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com. Retrieved 2013-05-12. 
  9. ^ "anaheim.angels.mlb.com". anaheim.angels.mlb.com. Retrieved 2013-05-12. 
  10. ^ "sandiego.padres.mlb.com". sandiego.padres.mlb.com. 2008-09-28. Retrieved 2013-05-12. 

External links[edit]