Sports in Los Angeles

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The Los Angeles metropolitan area is home to several professional and collegiate sports teams. The Greater Los Angeles Area has eight major league professional teams: the Anaheim Ducks, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the Los Angeles Clippers, the Los Angeles Dodgers, LA Galaxy, the Los Angeles Kings, the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Los Angeles Rams. Los Angeles FC will begin play as the area's ninth major team in 2018. USC Trojans football, UCLA Bruins men's basketball, USC Trojans baseball, USC Trojans track & field, and Cal State Fullerton Titans baseball are all historically premier organizations in college sports. Other major sports teams include UCLA Bruins Football, Los Angeles Sparks, Pepperdine Waves baseball, and formerly the Los Angeles Raiders, Los Angeles Aztecs, and the Los Angeles Chargers. Between them, these Los Angeles area sports teams have won a combined 105 Championship Titles. Los Angeles area colleges have produced upwards of 200 National Championship Teams, primarily from USC Trojans and UCLA Bruins of the Pac-12 Conference.

Major league professional teams[edit]

Los Angeles is home to major league sports teams from all five major leagues — MLB, MLS, the NBA, the NFL, and the NHL. The following are the major professional teams in the Los Angeles area.

Club League Venue Attendance Founded Established
in L.A.
in L.A.
Los Angeles Dodgers MLB Baseball Dodger Stadium 46,216 1883 1958 5[a 1]
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim MLB Baseball Angel Stadium 37,277 1961 1961 1
LA Galaxy MLS Soccer StubHub Center 23,136 1995 1995 5
Los Angeles Clippers NBA Basketball Staples Center 19,226 1970 1984 0
Los Angeles Lakers 18,997 1947 1960 11[a 2]
Los Angeles Rams NFL Football Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum 1936 1946, 2016 1[a 3]
Los Angeles Kings NHL Hockey Staples Center 18,178 1967 1967 2
Anaheim Ducks NHL Hockey Honda Center 15,887 1993 1993 1
Los Angeles Sparks WNBA Basketball Staples Center 10,998 1997 1997 2
  1. ^ Does not include one championship won in Brooklyn.
  2. ^ Does not include five championships won in Minneapolis.
  3. ^ Does not include 1945 NFL Championship Game won in Cleveland or Super Bowl XXXIV won in St Louis.


See also: Freeway Series

The Los Angeles area is one of four metropolitan areas to host two Major League Baseball teams—the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the American League. The Dodgers are one of the most valuable franchises in MLB. The Dodgers were founded in Brooklyn, New York; they officially adopted the name Dodgers in 1932.


Los Angeles boasts two NBA teams, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers. Both share the Staples Center. The Lakers are one of the most valuable franchises in the NBA and have gained a considerable fanbase over the years. They have the most titles of all Los Angeles franchises, having gained 11 titles in LA and 16 overall. Their title count is second only to the Boston Celtics, whom have 17 titles. The LA Lakers were originally founded as the Minneapolis Lakers. The LA Clippers were originally founded as the Buffalo Braves; in 1976, the team moved to San Diego and changed the nickname to Clippers.

When he died in 2013, Lakers owner Jerry Buss also owned the city's WNBA franchise, the Los Angeles Sparks, which also plays at Staples Center. His family still owns the Lakers, but has since sold the Sparks to Guggenheim Partners, the current owners of the Dodgers.


Currently, the region has one National Football League (NFL) team: the Los Angeles Rams. The NFL approved the Rams' relocation back to Los Angeles in 2016 with an option for the San Diego Chargers or Oakland Raiders to join at a later date.[1][2]


The region has two NHL teams — the Los Angeles Kings, which entered the league when it doubled in size in 1967, and the Anaheim Ducks, which joined in 1993 as the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. The Kings have won 2 titles, in 2012 and 2014. The Ducks have won the Stanley Cup once in 2007.


See also: SuperClasico

The Los Angeles area hosts one top-level professional team that competes in Major League Soccer, LA Galaxy. An expansion club, Los Angeles FC, is set to begin play in 2018.

Minor league and semi-pro teams[edit]

Arena football[edit]

The AFL, revived in 2010, returned to the Los Angeles area in 2014 with a new team, the LA KISS. The team, owned by a group that includes Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, members of the rock band KISS, play in Anaheim at the Honda Center.[3]


The city is home to a team in the NBA D-League, the Los Angeles D-Fenders.

Gaelic football[edit]

The amateur sport of Gaelic football has been played in Los Angeles since the early 20th century. Los Angeles were national champions in 1959.[4]

The Wild Geese Gaelic Football Club, Inc. founded in 1978 [5] currently administers Gaelic football activities in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. It also competes as one team in the Southern California championship and in the National Playoffs organized by the North American GAA. In 2015, another team the Culver City Cougars [6] was founded to compete in Southern California.

Ice Hockey[edit]

The Ontario Reign was an ECHL team from 2008 to 2015. After a team swap with Manchester, the new Ontario Reign began play in the American Hockey League in 2015.

Rugby league[edit]

Los Angeles's rugby league team the Los Angeles Raiders RLFC are a developing team in the USA Rugby League, formed in 2011. They will aim to compete as a full team in 2012.[7]

Rugby union[edit]

The most prominent rugby club in Los Angeles is the Santa Monica Rugby Club, which competes in the Pacific Rugby Premiership.

The Los Angeles Rugby Club is the second oldest club in the Southern California Rugby Football Union.[citation needed] The Club was founded in 1958 as the Universities Rugby Club. Founding members included Al Williams and Dick Hyland, members of the Gold Medal winning 1924 USA Olympic Rugby Team. Other rugby clubs include the LA Rebellion and the San Fernando Valley Rugby Club.


The Los Angeles area also has multiple clubs in the USL Premier Development League, the United Premier Soccer League and the National Premier Soccer League scattered throughout the region: Orange County Blues FC, Los Angeles Misioneros, Southern California Seahorses, Ventura County Fusion, Hollywood United Hitmen, Orange County Blue Star, FC Santa Clarita, Santa Ana Winds FC, L.A. Wolves FC, Del Rey City SC, FC Hasental, Temecula FC and many more.

In addition, the Legends, Santa Clarita Blue Heat, and Pali Blues play in the USL W-League.

Former professional teams[edit]

Club League Last Venue Years in L.A. Championships
Los Angeles Chargers AFL Football Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum 1960 0
Los Angeles Raiders NFL Football 1982–1994 1 (1983: Super Bowl XVIII)
Los Angeles Avengers AFL Arena Football Staples Center 2000–2009 0
Los Angeles Xtreme XFL Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum 2001 1 (2001)
Chivas USA MLS Soccer StubHub Center 2005–2014 0
Anaheim Arsenal D-League Basketball Anaheim Convention Center 2006 0


Los Angeles did not have an NFL team in between the 1994 season and the 2016 season; prior to that it had two teams simultaneously. Immediately after that season, the Los Angeles Rams moved from suburban Anaheim, California to St. Louis, Missouri, and the Los Angeles Raiders returned to Oakland, California. However, in 2016, the St. Louis Rams relocated back to Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles Xtreme The team was a member of the XFL begun by Vince McMahon of World Wrestling Entertainment and by NBC, a major television network in the United States. The team played its home games in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in the spring of 2001. Winning the only championship in XFL history as the league folded after only one season.

Los Angeles had multiple teams in the Arena Football League and American Football League, prior to the NFL. The Los Angeles Wildcats, also called "Wilson Wildcats", were a traveling team for the first AFL in 1926. The Los Angeles Bulldogs were members of AFL II (1937) and a minor AFL (1939) before joining the Pacific Coast Professional Football League. The Los Angeles Chargers were a charter member of AFL IV, becoming the San Diego Chargers in 1961. The Los Angeles Mustangs were members of the short-lived American Football League in 1944. From 1983–1985 the Los Angeles Express was a team in the United States Football League.

Before the AFL collapsed after the 2008 season, the league included the Los Angeles Cobras and the Los Angeles Avengers. The Cobras played one season at the Los Angeles Sports Arena before folding, mostly due to lack of attendance. The Avengers played their home games at the Staples Center until they folded as well.

On August 9, 2011, the LA City Council approved plans to build Farmers Field, a new stadium in downtown Los Angeles. This was later cancelled. In 2015, there were two competing stadium proposals; one in Inglewood that was proposed by Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke, and one in Carson that was proposed by the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers. On January 12, 2016, NFL owners voted 30–2 to allow the Rams to move back to Los Angeles, and allowed for the construction of the Inglewood stadium.[8]


The Los Angeles Wolves were a member of the United Soccer Association, starting its first season in 1967. The Los Angeles Toros of the National Professional Soccer League also started its first season in 1967. When both leagues merged to form the North American Soccer League, the Wolves remained in Los Angeles while the Toros relocated and became the San Diego Toros in 1968. When the first season ended, both teams folded. Later, the NASL returned a team in Los Angeles by establishing the Los Angeles Aztecs in 1974. The Aztecs folded in 1981.

Los Angeles Lazers was owned by Jerry Buss and played in the MISL from 1982–1988. Buss again owned the Los Angeles United in the CISL but after one season (1993) sold the team. The United relocated to Anaheim and became Anaheim Splash. The Los Angeles Sol played one season (2009) of Women's Professional Soccer before folding.

Most recently, Chivas USA was a member of Major League Soccer starting in 2005, until folded by the league in 2014.


Major League Lacrosse was represented with the Los Angeles Riptide from 2006 to 2008.


The metropolitan area boasts nine NCAA Division I athletic programs. The best-known are the two whose football teams compete in the top-level Football Bowl Subdivision, both of which are in the city of Los Angeles proper:

  • UCLA Bruins — Winners of more national team championships than any other college program (105), and 259 individual national championships (364 total national championships).
  • USC Trojans — Winners of 91 national team championships, and 357 individual national championships (448 total national championships).

USC has 11 national championships in football and, together with Notre Dame, has more Heisman Trophy winners than any other school. In men's basketball, UCLA has won more titles than any other school.

The area's other Division I programs are:

National and International Sporting Events[edit]

Throughout the history of Los Angeles, several national and international sporting events have taken place in the city.

Super Bowls[edit]

The Los Angeles area has hosted the Super Bowl seven times. The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum hosted Super Bowl I in 1967 and Super Bowl VII in 1973. The Rose Bowl hosted Super Bowl XI in 1977, Super Bowl XIV in 1980, Super Bowl XVII in 1983, Super Bowl XXI in 1987 and Super Bowl XXVII in 1993. The city ranks third on the list of having hosted the most number of Super Bowls, after Miami and New Orleans.

Olympic Games[edit]

The Opening Ceremony of the 1984 Summer Olympics

Los Angeles hosted the Summer Olympic Games twice. They hosted the games for the first time in 1932. Los Angeles hosted the games once again in 1984. Los Angeles has made a total of nine Summer Olympic bids in its history, more than any other city. Los Angeles along with Athens, Paris and London are the four cities that have hosted the Summer Olympic Games twice.

The USOC decided it would bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics and looked for US cities to submit bids so that one could be sent to the IOC. Los Angeles submitted a bid to the USOC. The USOC ultimately selected Chicago's bid to send to the IOC. Chicago ultimately lost to Rio de Janeiro when the IOC voted to select the host city. In November 2011 a delegation from Los Angeles attended a seminar at the IOC headquarters for cities interested in bidding on a future Olympic Game.[9] In February 2012, Los Angeles hosted the 5th IOC World Conference on Women and Sport which was attended by IOC President Jacques Rogge as well as IOC members.[10][11] At the conference Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and IOC Member Anita DeFrantz stated that the city would be interested in hosting the Olympic Games a third time.[12] Upon the USOC reaching a new revenue sharing agreement with the IOC, Los Angeles has been mentioned as a possible bidding city for the 2024 Summer Olympics.[13] In March 2013, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa sent a letter to the USOC confirming the city's interest in bidding for the 2024 Olympics.[14] 1 September 2015 Los Angeles has been chosen as the U.S. candidate to bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics and 2023 Pan American Games.[15]

FIFA World Cups[edit]

The Rose Bowl hosted the 1994 FIFA World Cup Final (c. 2008)

In 1994 the United States hosted the FIFA World Cup. The Rose Bowl in Pasadena was one of the venues used during the World Cup. The venue hosted eight of the games including the final where Brazil defeated Italy 3-2 on penalties.

The Rose Bowl was used again during the 1999 Women's World Cup. The venue hosted four matches including the final where the United States defeated China 5-4 on penalties. The United States hosted the Women's World Cup again in 2003. The Home Depot Center, now known as StubHub Center, in Carson was one of the venues that was used in the event. The venue hosted six games, including the final where Germany defeated Sweden 2-1 in sudden death.

Special Olympics[edit]

On September 15, 2011, It was announced that Los Angeles would host the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games.[16] The games were held between July 24 to August 2, 2015.[17]

Stadiums and arenas[edit]

Stadium City Capacity Type Tenants Opened
Memorial Coliseum[18][19] Los Angeles 93,607 Football USC Trojans,
Los Angeles Rams
Rose Bowl[20] Pasadena 92,542 Football UCLA Bruins; Rose Bowl Game 1922
Dodger Stadium[21] Los Angeles 56,000 Baseball Los Angeles Dodgers 1962
Angel Stadium of Anaheim[22] Anaheim 45,050 Baseball Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 1966
StubHub Center Carson 27,000 Soccer Los Angeles Galaxy 2003
Staples Center Los Angeles 18,997 Arena Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers,
Los Angeles Kings, Los Angeles Sparks
Honda Center Anaheim 18,211 Arena Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kiss 1993
The Forum Inglewood 17,505 Arena 1967
Memorial Sports Arena Los Angeles 16,161 Arena 1959
Long Beach Arena Long Beach 11,719 Arena 1962
Citizens Business Bank Arena Ontario 10,832 Arena Ontario Reign, Ontario Fury 2008

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Hanzus, Dan (January 12, 2016). "Rams to relocate to L.A.; Chargers first option to join". National Football League. Retrieved January 13, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Rams to Return to Los Angeles". St. Louis Rams. January 12, 2016. Retrieved January 13, 2016. 
  3. ^ Rovell, Darren (August 15, 2013). "KISS brings football to Los Angeles". Retrieved August 15, 2013. 
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ "L.A. NFL stadium agreement approved by City Council on 12-0 vote". Los Angeles Times. August 9, 2011. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ First Round of Speakers Announced for 2012 International Olympic World Conference
  11. ^ 5th World Conference on Women and Sport
  12. ^ Women and Sport Opens with Jeers for FIFA, Cheers for Trophy Winners
  13. ^ IOC agrees revenue-sharing deal with USOC
  14. ^ LA letter to USOC
  15. ^ "USOC names Los Angeles the official U.S. bidder for the 2024 Summer Olympics". Los Angeles Times. 1 September 2015. Retrieved 15 September 2015. 
  16. ^
  17. ^ Events & Venues
  18. ^ – Press Release Distribution. "". Retrieved 2013-05-12. 
  19. ^
  20. ^ "History". Rose Bowl Stadium. Rose Bowl Stadium. Retrieved 28 November 2014. 
  21. ^ "". Retrieved 2013-05-12. 
  22. ^ "". Retrieved 2013-05-12.