Sports in the New York metropolitan area

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Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, home of the New York Yankees and New York City FC.
The New York City Marathon is the largest marathon in the world

Sports in the New York metropolitan area have a long and distinguished history. New York City is home to the headquarters of the National Football League, the National Hockey League, the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, the National Women's Hockey League, and Major League Soccer.

New York City anchors one of only two metropolitan areas (along with Los Angeles) in the United States with more than one team in each of the country's four most popular major professional sports leagues, with nine such franchises. Counting these along with its two teams in Major League Soccer, the New York metropolitan area is home to a total of eleven organizations competing in the five most prestigious professional sports leagues in the United States, and have been crowned champions of their respective leagues on a combined 53 occasions.

In addition, Queens is host of tennis' US Open, one of the four Grand Slam tournaments. The New York City Marathon is the world's largest, and the 2004–2006 runnings hold the top three places in the marathons with the largest number of finishers, including 37,866 finishers in 2006.[1] The Millrose Games is an annual track and field meet whose featured event is the Wanamaker Mile. Boxing is also a very prominent part of the city's sporting scene, with events like the Amateur Boxing Golden Gloves being held at Madison Square Garden each year.

New York City was also the host of parts of the 1996 World Cup of Hockey and the 1998 Goodwill Games. The city also hosted the 1984 Summer Paralympics.

Major league sports[edit]

Fans gather in front of New York City Hall in October, 1986 to celebrate the New York Mets' World Series championship

There have been fourteen World Series baseball championship series between New York City teams, in matchups called Subway Series. New York is one of four metropolitan areas to have two baseball teams (Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco being the others). The city's two current Major League Baseball teams are the New York Yankees and the New York Mets. The city also was once home to the New York Giants (now the San Francisco Giants) and the Brooklyn Dodgers (now the Los Angeles Dodgers). There are also two minor league baseball teams in the city, the Staten Island Yankees and Brooklyn Cyclones, with numerous independent minor league teams throughout the metro area.

Football is the city's most followed sport.[2] The city is represented in the National Football League by the New York Giants and New York Jets. Both teams play in MetLife Stadium in nearby East Rutherford, New Jersey near New York City. In 2014, the stadium hosted Super Bowl XLVIII. The teams have an intra-city rivalry.

Basketball is one of the most widely played recreation sports in the city, and professional basketball is also widely followed. The city's National Basketball Association teams are the long-established New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets, who became the first sports team representing Brooklyn in over 50 years when they moved to the borough from New Jersey for the 2012–13 NBA season. The city's Women's National Basketball Association team is the New York Liberty. The first national basketball championship for major colleges, the National Invitation Tournament, was held in New York in 1938,[3] and its semifinal and final rounds remain in the city.[4] Rucker Park in Harlem is a celebrated court where many professional athletes play in the summer league. Because of the city's strong historical connections with both professional and college basketball, the New York Knicks' home arena, Madison Square Garden, is often called the "Mecca of basketball."[5][6][7]

Ice hockey in New York is also widely popular and closely followed.[citation needed] The New York Rangers play in Manhattan in the National Hockey League, calling Madison Square Garden home. The New York Islanders, play in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The New Jersey Devils also play in the New York metro area, playing in Newark, New Jersey. The Islanders' American Hockey League affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, are based in southwest Connecticut.

In soccer, New York is represented by three teams in the top divisions for men and women, including the New York Red Bulls and New York City FC of Major League Soccer, and Sky Blue FC of the National Women's Soccer League. The Red Bulls play their home games at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey. New York City FC, a new team owned by Manchester City F.C. and the New York Yankees, joined MLS in 2015. NYCFC have plans to build a soccer-specific stadium within the five boroughs of the city and for the team to also develop an intra-city rivalry with the Red Bulls.

Regardless of where they actually play their home games, most of these teams carry the name of and represent the entire city or State of New York, except for the NBA's Brooklyn Nets, who play in and specifically represent the New York City borough of Brooklyn, and the NHL's New Jersey Devils, who have played their home games in New Jersey since their founding in the metropolitan area via relocation and have always been in direct competition with New York-based rivals, whereas the New York Red Bulls (MLS founding franchise once named New York/New Jersey MetroStars)–who have also always played in New Jersey–were the only major professional soccer team representing the metropolitan area during their first 19 seasons.


In New York, baseball is still regarded as the most popular sport, despite being overtaken by football in terms of perceived popularity (but not attendance) throughout the country, as based on TV ratings and consistent fan following for the entire season.[citation needed] New York is home to two Major League Baseball franchises. The New York Yankees of the American League have played in New York since 1903. Known for iconic ballplayers such as Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra and countless others, they play in Yankee Stadium in the Bronx and have won the World Series twenty-seven times. The New York Mets have represented New York in the National League since 1962. The Mets play in Citi Field in Flushing, Queens and have won five NL pennants and two World Series, thus making them one of the most decorated expansion teams in Major League Baseball. The "Subway Series" is the name used for all regular season and World Series meetings between the two teams. Before interleague play was introduced in 1997, the only instance these two teams could have played each other would have been in the World Series. The Mets and Yankees played for the World Series in 2000, with the Yankees winning the series 4–1.

Citi Field, home of the New York Mets in Queens

For many New York baseball fans, the most intense rivalry is between the Yankees and the Boston Red Sox, arguably the fiercest and most historic in North American professional sports.[8][9][10] When the Mets beat the Red Sox in the 1986 World Series, many Yankee fans attended the parade celebrating the Mets' win, saying that "anyone who beats Boston is worth coming down for."[11] Another fierce rivalry for New York baseball fans is the one between the Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies.

There have been 14 Subway Series World Series match-ups between the Yankees and their National League rivals; the Mets (once), and with the two teams that departed for California in the 1950s — the Brooklyn Dodgers (7 times) and New York Giants (6 times).

New York City is also home to two minor league baseball teams that play in the short-season Class A New York–Penn League. The Brooklyn Cyclones are a Mets affiliate, and the Staten Island Yankees are affiliated with the Yankees. Two independent baseball league teams also play in the New York metropolitan area. The Long Island Ducks of the independent Atlantic League have played in Bethpage Ballpark in Central Islip since 2000. In 2011, the Rockland Boulders of the independent Can-Am League began play at Palisades Credit Union Park in Pomona.

New York has historically had many short-lived baseball clubs including the New York Mutuals, Brooklyn Atlantics, Brooklyn Enterprise, Excelsior of Brooklyn and Brooklyn Eckfords of the National Association of Baseball Players; the New York Knickerbockers, one of the first baseball teams; the New York Metropolitans and Brooklyn Gladiators of the American Association (19th century); the New York Giants (PL) and Brooklyn Ward's Wonders of the Players' League; the Brooklyn Tip-Tops of the Federal League; the Brooklyn Bushwicks, Springfield Greys, Barton's Nighthawks, Glendale Farmers, Mount Vernon Scarlets, Union City Reds, Carlton's of the Bronx, and Bay Parkway, Bay Ridge, Cedarhurst, West New York, and Queens Club of The Metropolitan Baseball Association;[12] and the New York Highlanders and Brooklyn Bridegrooms, precursors to the Yankees and Dodgers. There were also two Newark Bears teams Newark Bears and Newark Bears (International League). Negro league baseball teams also were present in New York, including the Brooklyn Royal Giants, Newark Stars, Lincoln Giants, Newark Browns, New York Black Yankees, New York Cubans, and the Newark Eagles.

In 1858 in Corona, Queens, at the Fashion Race Course, the first games of baseball to charge admission took place. The games, which took place between the all-stars of Brooklyn, including players from the Brooklyn Atlantics, Excelsior of Brooklyn, Putnams and Eckford of Brooklyn, and the All Stars of New York (Manhattan), including players from the New York Knickerbockers, Gothams (predecessors of the San Francisco Giants), Eagles and Empire, are commonly believed to the first all-star baseball games.[13]

Two historical clubs, the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants, were among the most storied clubs in professional baseball, and were home to such players as Jackie Robinson and Willie Mays. The two teams left for California—the Dodgers for Los Angeles and the Giants for San Francisco—in 1957. The city currently has two Major League Baseball teams, the Mets (who were formed in 1962 to replace the Dodgers and, to a lesser extent, the Giants), and the Yankees.

Major League Baseball's headquarters are located in New York City, at 245 Park Avenue in Manhattan.[14]


The first national basketball championship for major colleges, the National Invitation Tournament, was held in New York in 1938, and its semifinal and final rounds remain at Madison Square Garden. The NIT has spawned a major early-season tournament known as the NIT Season Tip-Off; the semifinal and final rounds of that event are also held at the Garden.

At Madison Square Garden, New Yorkers can watch the New York Knicks play NBA basketball. Through the 2017 WNBA season, the New York Liberty also played at the Garden, but that team's main home has now changed to the Westchester County Center in White Plains. The Barclays Center in Brooklyn is home to the Brooklyn Nets NBA basketball team. The Nets began playing in Brooklyn in 2012, the first major professional sports team to play in the historic borough in half a century. Before the merger of the defunct American Basketball Association with the NBA during the 1976–77 season, the New York Nets, who shared the same home arena (Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum) on Long Island with the NHL's New York Islanders, were a two-time champion in the ABA and starred the famous Hall of Fame forward Julius Erving. During the first season of the merger (1976–77), the Nets continued to play on Long Island, although Erving's contract had by then been sold to the Philadelphia 76ers. The Nets transferred to New Jersey then next season and became known as the New Jersey Nets, and later moved to Brooklyn prior to the 2012–13 NBA season.

Barclays Center, home of the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Islanders in Brooklyn

The Knicks have won two NBA titles (1969–70 and 1972–73). The 1970 title was particularly memorable, as there was a question before the pivotal Game 7 in Madison Square Garden as to whether star center Willis Reed of the Knicks, who had been injured in Game 5 and missed Game 6, would be able to play. But after both teams had already begun their pre-game shooting practice and warm-ups, Reed suddenly appeared at the court in uniform before an astonished crowd at Madison Square Garden, and when the game began, he started at center and hit the first two baskets for the Knicks, inspiring his team to a 113–99 victory. Reed's inspiring appearance in Game 7 is usually considered among the most dramatic sequences in NBA history and ranks third in the NBA 60 Greatest Playoff Moments. Despite the Knicks' comparative lack of championships, NBA lore has been enriched with the team's many exciting playoff battles through the years with such fierce rivals as the Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers, Miami Heat, and Boston Celtics.

The Long Island Nets, an NBA G League team, started playing at the Barclays Center in 2016 before moving to Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in 2017. The Westchester Knicks started in 2014 at the Westchester County Center.

Rucker Park in Harlem is a celebrated court where many NBA athletes play in the summer league.

The NBA's headquarters are located in New York City, at Fifth Avenue's Olympic Tower.[15]

The New York Liberty are one of the original teams of the WNBA, which was formed in 1997. The team's main venue moved from Madison Square Garden to Westchester County Center after the 2017 season. During a massive renovation project at the arena between 2011 and 2013, the Liberty temporarily played their home games at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.

From 1933 to 1935, the Newark Bears team played. They changed their name to the Newark Mules.

There was briefly a Long Island Ducks basketball team at the Long Island Arena in 1977-1978.

Long Island PrimeTime played at Louis Armstrong Gymnasium in Flushing from 2006-2007. They were part of the United States Basketball League.

American football[edit]

Since 2010 both the New York Giants and the New York Jets play in MetLife Stadium in nearby East Rutherford, New Jersey near New York City. In 2014 the stadium hosted Super Bowl XLVIII. The Giants and Jets were previously located in New York City (both teams played in the Polo Grounds and Shea Stadium, and the Giants played in Yankee Stadium). Neither team plays in the city itself presently, as both teams are located in the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey, playing in Giants Stadium for many years before moving to MetLife Stadium. The Giants, a keystone NFL franchise, were founded in 1925, and exist today as one of the oldest presently active organizations in the NFL. Due to their long-spanning establishment and richer tradition of on-field success, as compared to the Jets, of the two teams, many consider the Giants to be the more popular. Founded in 1960, the originally named New York Titans, later branded as the Jets in 1963, were a charter member of the American Football League (AFL), joining the NFL as part of the AFL/NFL merger in 1970.

New York City also had many historical professional teams. The first professional team in New York was called both the New York Giants and Brooklyn Giants (unrelated to the current New York Giants), and played in the predecessor to the NFL, the American Professional Football Association, in 1921. In 1926, the New York Yankees, Newark Bears (AFL) and Brooklyn Horsemen played in the American Football League, and on the same year, the Brooklyn Lions played in the National Football League before the Horsemen and Lions merged in November and folded at season's end. The Lions' NFL franchise rights were given to the Yankees, who competed in the NFL from 1927 to 1928. When the Yankees folded, its rights were given to the existing barnstorming team Staten Island Stapletons, who played in the NFL until 1932 when it stopped league play and later folded as well.

In 1930, the NFL Brooklyn Dodgers began play at Ebbets Field. The team lasted until 1944, calling themselves the Brooklyn Tigers that last season but going winless. In 1945, the team was merged with the Boston Yanks and played one more home game in Brooklyn that season as the Yanks.

Another team going by the name New York Yankees played in the second AFL in 1936 and 1937. The league also had a Brooklyn Tigers club in 1936, but the team never played in Brooklyn and folded after only seven games. A third incarnation of the Yankees played in the third AFL in 1940 under the Yankees name, and then in 1941 as the New York Americans. Another version of the New York Yankees was a short-lived member of the American Association

In 1946, the new All-America Football Conference had yet another set of Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Yankees teams. These clubs lasted until 1948, after which they merged with each other. The renamed Brooklyn-New York Yankees folded after one season when the AAFC merged with the NFL.

The New York Bulldogs were founded in 1949, sharing the Polo Grounds with the New York Giants, and then being renamed as the New York Yanks and playing in the NFL in the 1950 and 1951 seasons. In 1952, the team was relocated to Texas and renamed as the Dallas Texans.

In 1974, New York briefly hosted a team known as the New York Stars for the short-lived World Football League, but in mid-season the team was relocated to Charlotte and became the Charlotte Hornets.

The short-lived United States Football League had a team in the New York area. The New Jersey Generals played at Giants Stadium in The Meadowlands from 1983 to 1985. At one point, the team was owned by future President Donald Trump. The team folded with the rest of the league.

In 1988, the New York Knights played for one season as part of the Arena Football League, and then ceased operations. In 1997, the AFL added two expansion franchises, the New York CityHawks, who played at Madison Square Garden, and the New Jersey Red Dogs, who played in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The CityHawks moved to Hartford, Connecticut and were renamed the New England Sea Wolves in 1999, and then relocated to Toronto in 2001, and renamed the Toronto Phantoms. The Red Dogs were renamed the New Jersey Gladiators in 2001, then relocated and became the Las Vegas Gladiators in 2003, before relocating again and being renamed the Cleveland Gladiators. When the Sea Wolves, who were owned by the Madison Square Garden Company and had their games televised in New York City on MSG Network, relocated to Toronto, the AFL's Iowa Barnstormers relocated to Long Island and were renamed the New York Dragons. The Dragons played in New York until 2008, when the league suspended operations; no team from New York (either the city or the state) played in the league from its 2010 revival until the Albany Empire, based in the state's capital, joined the AFL in 2018.

Shea Stadium and vicinity, with Manhattan in the background, 1981

The Jets are sometimes regarded as "Long Island's Team" supported by the fact that until 2008, the team trained in Hempstead at Hofstra University, and used to play at Shea Stadium (former home of the New York Mets baseball team) which is close to Nassau County. Statistically, the largest percentage of the Jets fanbase derives from Long Island, hence, the Jets generally receive more media coverage in that part of New York.[16] Fans of both the Giants and Jets traditionally root for both the New York Yankees and the New York Mets as well as both the New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets of the NBA and also both the New York Rangers and the New York Islanders of the NHL.

Along with New York's two NFL teams, NYC is home to the New York Sharks. [3] The NY Sharks are NYC's premier professional women's tackle football team. Established in 1999 the Sharks are the longest-running and winningest team in women's tackle football having won 3 conference titles (2002, 2003, 2004 IWFL East), 6 division titles (2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 IWFL) and one championship title(2002 IWFL). The Sharks play at many fields and have no official home stadium. The season for women's football is from April to June with playoffs and the championship game occurring from June to July. As of 2011 the Sharks are now with the WFA (Women's Football Alliance [4]) along with the Bay Area Bandits, Boston Militia, Chicago Force, Dallas Diamonds, DC Divas, Kansas City Tribe, Pittsburgh Passion, and the San Diego Surge in an effort to bring together the best franchises of women's football.

In 2001, the short-lived XFL experiment led to the New York/New Jersey Hitmen playing at Giants Stadium until the league folded.

The NFL's headquarters are located in New York City, at 345 Park Avenue in Manhattan.[17]

Ice hockey[edit]

The Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, was home to the New York Islanders from 1972–2015, and the New York Nets from 1972–1976

Ice hockey has a storied history and large following in the New York metropolitan area, which is unique in being the only metropolitan area and media market in the United States and Canada to feature three major league professional teams participating in the same sport. New York City is currently the full-time home to the New York Rangers, playing in Madison Square Garden in Manhattan, and part-time home to the New York Islanders, which currently split their home schedule between Barclays Center in Brooklyn and Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in the Nassau County community of Uniondale, New York. The New Jersey Devils play in Prudential Center in nearby Newark, New Jersey. All three teams are historically division rivals, having all been in the same division since the Devils moved to New Jersey from Denver in 1982. Currently, they play in the Metropolitan Division.

The Rangers, established in 1926, are one of the Original Six — a term given to the six NHL teams in existence before the league doubled its size in 1967. The primary fan base for the Rangers is in the City's five boroughs, Westchester County, much of Upstate New York, and parts of Connecticut, however they maintain a sizable following within parts of the market claimed by their two local rivals.

The Islanders, established in 1972, moved their home games to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn in the 2015–16 NHL season and provide their fans with an intense rivalry with the Rangers. The Islanders' primary fan base is in Nassau and Suffolk Counties on Long Island. The Islanders are planning to return to Nassau County by way of a new arena currently scheduled to open for the 2021–22 season near the Belmont Park horse racing track in Elmont, New York, adjacent to Queens. In the interim, the Islanders will be playing approximately half of their regular season schedule at the newly-renovated Nassau Coliseum in anticipation of the return to their traditional home jurisdiction.[18]

The Devils, established in 1982, provide area hockey fans with yet another intense rivalry involving the Rangers largely stemming from geographic proximity, a manifestation of a long-standing rivalry between the states of New York and New Jersey, and six playoff meetings in which the Rangers have won four. Both teams have achieved famous results for their respective fan bases in these meetings, including the 1994 Eastern Conference Finals, ending in a dramatic double-overtime goal by the Rangers' Stéphane Matteau during the 7th and deciding game. The Devils took a 3-2 series lead into Game 6 in New Jersey and jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the game. However, Mark Messier's famous guarantee and hat-trick led the Rangers to victory and a seventh game. As time wound down in Game 7, the Rangers were clinging to a 1-0 lead when New Jersey's Valeri Zelepukin tied the game with 7.7 seconds left in regulation to silence the Garden crowd and send the game into overtime, where Matteau won it for the Rangers. Most recently, in the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals, the Rangers would be in a very similar scenario, but would ultimately fail to overcome the 3-2 series deficit after trailing 2-0 and forcing overtime in Game 6 across the Hudson River at Prudential Center in Newark on a series-winning goal only 1:03 into overtime by Adam Henrique. The Devils' primary fan base resides throughout Northern and Central New Jersey.

The Islanders and Rangers had a bitter rivalry in the 1970s and the 1980s, as the Islanders won four consecutive Stanley Cup titles; the Rangers won their most recent NHL championship in the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals, the fourth Cup victory in that team's history. The two teams have met eight times in the playoffs, with the Islanders winning five of those matchups. Incidentally, as the Islanders and Devils have had little success simultaneously (the Devils’ Stanley Cup success occurred in the mid-late 1990s and early 2000s) throughout their respective histories and have faced off in the playoffs only once in the 1987-88 season in a series won by the Devils, this rivalry is perceived as an afterthought in the area particularly when compared to the Rangers’ rivalries with the Islanders and Devils.

The Metropolitan Riveters, established in 2015, are one of the four charter members of the National Women's Hockey League. They play their homes games in the Barnabas Health Hockey House,[19] at the Prudential Center in Newark beginning with the 2016–17 NWHL season. In 2017, the Riveters announced they were partnering with the New Jersey Devils becoming the first NWHL team to officially partner with an NHL team. In 2018, the Riveters won their first Isobel Cup title.

New York City also had a historical NHL team, the New York Americans (also known as the Amerks, and in 1941–42, the Brooklyn Americans), who played between 1925 and 1942. They were the first hockey team to play in the city, and for most of the life of the franchise shared Madison Square Garden with the Rangers. The franchise was never a big winner, and disbanded during World War II due to financial problems and a depleted roster. The World Hockey Association team called the New York Raiders and later the New York Golden Blades played at Madison Square Garden and Cherry Hill, New Jersey from 1972 until 1974 when they moved to San Diego. A few historical minor league hockey teams played in the New York area in the Eastern Hockey League. The New York Rovers started as a farm team of the Rangers in 1935 playing at Madison Square Garden. They moved to the Long Island Arena in 1959 and became the Long Island Ducks (ice hockey) until 1973. The New York Bobcats are a USA Hockey-Sanctioned Tier III Junior Ice Hockey Team at Twin Rinks in Eisenhower Park from 2000 to the present. The New York Apple Core are a Tier III Junior A Ice Hockey Team in Brewster, New York.

The NHL's headquarters are also located in New York City, at the Exxon Building in Sixth Avenue.[20]


Professional soccer, as in the rest of the country, is rapidly growing in popularity in New York. The New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer (originally known as the "MetroStars" until the team's purchase by Austrian corporation Red Bull GmbH in 2006) have played in the metropolitan area since the league's founding in 1996. Since 2010 they have played at Red Bull Arena, a soccer-specific stadium in Harrison, New Jersey with a capacity of just over 25,000.[21] The Red Bulls have won the Supporters' Shield, awarded to the MLS regular season champion, on three occasions, most recently in 2018.

On May 21, 2013, MLS announced that the league's 20th team would be New York City FC, jointly owned by the English club Manchester City F.C. and the baseball team, the New York Yankees. They began playing in MLS in 2015 at Yankee Stadium, in the Bronx. Its eventual home stadium is yet to be determined, although team and city officials have stressed that a location within the five boroughs of New York City will be identified for the construction of a soccer-specific stadium which would be the permanent home stadium for the team.

The New York City area is also home to the New York Cosmos of the second-division North American Soccer League, whose first iteration was arguably the most popular American soccer team ever. Playing in the original North American Soccer League, the Cosmos were known for fielding some of the world's greatest players including Pelé, Franz Beckenbauer, and Giorgio Chinaglia. After reviving the club in 2010 from its dormant state post-1985, the New York Cosmos club returned to league play in 2013.[22] In 2013, the club won their sixth NASL championship at Soccer Bowl 2013.[23][24][25] The team played its first four seasons at James M. Shuart Stadium at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York before announcing a move to MCU Park in Brooklyn for 2017.[26][27]

Sky Blue FC is one of the eight charter teams and nine current members of the National Women's Soccer League, the third women's professional league in the US. The team plays its home games in New Jersey at Yurcak Field on the campus of Rutgers University. Its first NWSL season in 2013 ended in a playoff loss to the Western New York Flash. The organization had previously been charter members of NWSL's effective predecessor, Women's Professional Soccer. The league started play in 2009; Sky Blue became the league's inaugural champion despite finishing fourth in the league during the regular season, which meant that they had to play on the road in all three WPS playoff games.

The New York Power previously played for the Women's United Soccer Association at Mitchel Athletic Complex from 2000 to 2003. The Long Island Fury are a Women's Premier Soccer League Team started in 2005 at Mitchel Athletic Complex.

Major League Soccer's headquarters are located in New York City, at 420 Fifth Avenue.[28]

Major league teams[edit]

Location of major league teams in New York metropolitan area

The following New York metropolitan area sports teams play in one of the five major sports leagues in the United States, and are ranked by average attendance.

Club League Venue Location Founded Titles Attendance Local Cable Network
New York Giants NFL Football MetLife Stadium East Rutherford, New Jersey 1925 8 80,148 MSG Network
New York Jets 1960 1 76,957 SportsNet New York
XFL NYC XFL Football 2018 0
New York Yankees MLB Baseball Yankee Stadium Bronx, New York 1901 27 40,488 YES Network
New York City FC MLS Soccer 2013 0 29,016
New York Mets MLB Baseball Citi Field Queens, New York 1962 2 26,695 SportsNet New York
New York Knicks NBA Basketball Madison Square Garden Manhattan, New York 1946 2 19,812 MSG Network
New York Rangers NHL Hockey 1926 4 18,006
New York Red Bulls MLS Soccer Red Bull Arena Harrison, New Jersey 1995 0 19,421
Brooklyn Nets NBA Basketball Barclays Center[a] Brooklyn, New York 1967 2 17,251 YES Network
New York Islanders NHL Hockey 1972 4 14,740 MSG Plus
New Jersey Devils Prudential Center Newark, New Jersey 1974 3 15,257
New York Liberty WNBA Basketball Westchester County Center White Plains, New York 1997 0 8,949[b] MSG Network
Rugby United New York MLR Rugby union MCU Park Brooklyn, New York 2018 0 7,000
  1. ^ The Islanders are planning to move to a new venue in Elmont, New York, tentatively known as Belmont Park Arena, in 2021.
  2. ^ Attendance figures are for the team's former venue of Madison Square Garden. The Liberty's current primary home of Westchester County Center has a capacity of only 5,000.


Throughout the twentieth century, the city has had several historic sports venues: the original Yankee Stadium, home of the New York Yankees from 1923 to 2008, before the team moved into their new stadium in 2009; Ebbets Field, home of the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1913 until 1957, which was torn down in 1960; and the Polo Grounds in northern Harlem, which was the home of the New York Giants of Major League Baseball from 1911 to 1957 (and the first home of the New York Mets) before being demolished in 1964. The Mets, who previously played at Shea Stadium, moved into the newly constructed Citi Field in 2009. Also the current Madison Square Garden, atop Pennsylvania Station in Midtown Manhattan, is actually the fourth separate building to use that name; the first two were near Madison Square, hence the name, and the third was at 50th Street and Eighth Avenue.

The 2000s have seen almost a complete revamping of the area's major sporting venues. This began in 2007, when the Devils moved to Newark, New Jersey and opened the Prudential Center. In 2009, both the Mets and Yankees opened new baseball stadiums adjacent to their old homes, with the Mets replacing Shea Stadium with Citi Field and the Yankees building a new Yankee Stadium. In 2010, the Jets and Giants moved to a new shared facility called New Meadowlands Stadium (now MetLife Stadium) and the Red Bulls opened their own soccer-specific stadium in Harrison, New Jersey called Red Bull Arena (the three had previously shared Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey). In 2012, the Nets moved from New Jersey to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and became the Brooklyn Nets. The Islanders left Nassau County, and followed the Nets into Brooklyn in 2015.

Other sports-related renovations and construction work is as follows:

  • Madison Square Garden, the home of the Knicks and Rangers, underwent a massive renovation from 2010 to 2013 which finished in time for the 2013–14 NHL and NBA seasons. The $850 million transformation included a rebuilding of the seating bowl and concourses, new luxury suites, new LED scoreboard and ribbon boards, and two new spectator bridges that span 65 feet (20 m) above the arena on each side of the playing surface.
  • On August 15, 2013, the Nassau County government announced that Forest City Ratner had won the bid for the renovation of the Nassau Coliseum, which was vacated by the Islanders in 2015, pending approval from the Nassau legislature and the Hempstead town government.[29][30] Ratner's proposal called for a reduction of the Coliseum's seating capacity to 13,000 and an aesthetic revamp of the arena's interior and concrete facade designed by SHoP Architects, the firm which designed the Barclays Center, which would cost the group approximately $89 million. As part of his bid, the Islanders would play 6 games per season in the arena, the Brooklyn Nets would play one exhibition game, and a minor league hockey team would call the arena home.[31][32]
  • Previously Major League Soccer was spearheading the search for a new soccer-specific stadium within city limits for use by the 20th MLS expansion team. After narrowing the locations down to six, amongst them being Pier 40 in Manhattan, Greenpoint in Brooklyn and the area near Citi Field in Queens, the league zeroed in on the dilapidated Fountain of Industry site in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens in June 2012.[33] The site was also previously discussed as a possible location for the New York Jets to build a stadium after their West Side Stadium project fell through, but the Jets opted to remain in New Jersey instead.[34] However, the Flushing site faced opposition from local communities regarding the usage of park space, as well as the New York Mets, who play nearby, and the project is possibly dead.[35] The New York City FC expansion team has since taken over the stadium search, with the Bronx as a possible location for a stadium.[36]
  • The Islanders now plan to return to Nassau County in 2021, when a new arena adjacent to the Belmont Park horse racing track in Elmont is scheduled to open.[37]

Other sports[edit]

Many sports are associated with New York's immigrant communities. Stickball, a street version of baseball, was popularized by youths in working-class Italian, German, and Irish neighborhoods in the 1930s. In recent years, several amateur cricket leagues have emerged with the arrival of immigrants from South Asia and the Caribbean.[38]


The New York Excelsior (NYXL) is an American professional Overwatch esports team based in New York City, New York. The Excelsior competes in the Overwatch League as a member of the league's Atlantic Division. The team is one of twelve founding members of the Overwatch League.

Auto racing[edit]

The CART series held a race at the Meadowlands from 1984 to 1991. ISC and NASCAR unsuccessfully attempted to build a speedway in Staten Island. Another possible Meadowlands speedway project (Liberty Speedway) was discussed but abandoned in the early 2000s.

Plans called for a Formula One race known as the Grand Prix of America, to be held on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River, to be held starting in 2014, but those plans have been indefinitely shelved. The race was to be held on the Port Imperial Street Circuit, a 3.2-mile (5.1 km) circuit to be built using existing streets in Weehawken and West New York around Weehawken Port Imperial.

On September 21, 2016, the FIA, Formula E, and New York City government officials announced that the New York City ePrix would be held in July 2017 at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, with a track layout presented. The New York ePrix became the city's first automobile race since 1896. On July 15–16, 2017, the Formula E race was held in Red Hook, Brooklyn. It is the first FIA-sanctioned race to be held in New York City. Sam Bird won both races.


New York is home to many competitive fencing clubs. Fencers Club offers all three weapons (épée, foil and saber), Manhattan Fencing Center [39] offers foil and saber, and New York Athletic Club offers épée and saber. Other fencing clubs in New York are Sheridan Fencing Academy (Upper East Side), New York Fencing Academy (Coney Island), South Brooklyn Fencing, Brooklyn Bridge Fencing Center, Brooklyn Fencing Center, Tim Morehouse Fencing Club (Upper West Side).

Horse racing[edit]

Aqueduct Racetrack (the Big A) and Belmont Park feature horse racing all months of the year except August. Aqueduct is located within the city limits in Ozone Park, while Belmont is situated just outside the city, in Elmont, New York. Harness racing is offered at Yonkers Raceway north of the city and Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, New Jersey.


The U.S. Open and The Barclays have been played at the Bethpage Black Course at Bethpage State Park along with the PGA Championship and Ryder Cup. There are golf facilities at the Rockaway Hunting Club, Piping Rock Club, Eisenhower Park, Westchester Country Club, Inwood Country Club, Sebonack Golf Club, Fresh Meadow Country Club, Trump National Golf Club Westchester, Quaker Ridge Golf Club, Pound Ridge Golf Club, Pelham Country Club, Garden City Golf Club, Hempstead Country Club, Cantiague Park, North Woodmere Park, Bay Park, Christopher Morley Park, Cherry Valley Golf Links, Cherry Valley Club in Garden City, Garden City Country Club, Dunwoodie, Salisbury Links, St. Andrews Golf Club, ColdStream Golf Club, Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, Sleepy Hollow Country Club, Meadow Brook Golf Club, Scarsdale Golf Club, Wheatley Hills Golf Club, Glen Oaks Golf Club, Seawane Country Club, and Plandome Country Club among others.


The New York metropolitan area is also home to a Major League Lacrosse team called the New York Lizards, formerly the Long Island Lizards. The New Jersey Pride of the same league played in Piscataway, New Jersey but suspended operations after the 2008 season. The New York Titans also played in the New York area before moving to Orlando. The New York Saints were members of the National Lacrosse League at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum from 1987 to 2003. They were previously the New Jersey Saints.


Polo has a long history in the New York area, especially on Long Island. The Meadowbrook Polo Club was originally located in East Meadow and Jericho, and is currently located in Old Westbury. The Rockaway Hunting Club and Piping Rock Club are other polo and golf courses on Long Island.

Rugby league[edit]

The City contributes actively with two semi professional rugby league football sides, New York Raiders, who play at Andrews Field, and the New York Knights, who play at Hudson River Park's Pier 40 in Manhattan. The Raiders have yet to win a trophy while the Knights have won the Championship twice in 2002 and 2009. New York City consistently produces players of international standard who play in the United States national rugby league team.

Rugby union[edit]

The city has two division one rugby union teams, the New York Athletic Club RFC, which was established in 1973 and the Old Blue, both who play in the Rugby Super League (rugby union). The city has other amateur rugby union clubs as well, paying in the Metropolitan New York Rugby Football Union. The clubs have contributed to the national team, the Eagles, who have participated at the Rugby World Cup.


The New York City Marathon is an annual marathon foot race run over a 42.2 km (26.2 mi) course through the five boroughs of New York City. Next to the Boston Marathon, it is considered the preeminent long-distance annual running event in the United States.

The race is produced by the New York Road Runners and has been run every year since 1970. In recent years, it has also been sponsored by financial giant ING. It is held on the first Sunday of November and attracts professional competitors and amateurs from all over the world. Because of the popularity of the race, participation is limited to 35,000 entrants chosen by a lottery system, with preference given to previous participants.

The Millrose Games is an annual indoor track and field meet held on the first Friday in February in Madison Square Garden since its opening in 1968, and at previous versions of the Garden since 1914. The games were started when employees of the Wanamaker's department store formed the Millrose Track Club to hold a meet. The featured event is the Wanamaker Mile.


The U.S. Tennis Open is the fourth and final event of the Grand Slam tennis tournaments and is held annually in late summer at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Park in Queens. The main tournament consists of five championships: men's and women's singles, men's and women's doubles and mixed doubles, with additional tournaments for junior and wheelchair players.

The National Tennis Center, open to the public whenever the USTA is not holding an event, features the world's largest stadium built specifically for the sport, the 22,547-seat Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The New York Empire began play in World TeamTennis (WTT) in 2016. Home matches were played at Forest Hills Stadium in Queens.

Other teams have represented the New York City metropolitan area in WTT in the past. The New York Sets, who changed their name to New York Apples in 1977, were a charter franchise of the league and played from 1974 to 1978. The Sets originally played their home matches at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum before splitting their home schedule between the Coliseum and Madison Square Garden. By the 1978 season, many home matches were played in the Felt Forum with those featuring marquee opponents played in the Garden's main arena. The franchise won the league championship in 1976 and 1977, and featured star players Billie Jean King, Virginia Wade, Sandy Mayer and Phil Dent. The two title-winning teams were coached by Fred Stolle. Following the 1978 season, the Apples announced they were folding. Soon afterward, WTT suspended operations, and there were no 1979 or 1980 seasons.

The New Jersey Stars joined WTT as an expansion franchise in 1987, playing their home matches in Franklin Township, Somerset County, New Jersey. The team went 0–14 in its inaugural season but, with a completely remade roster, reached the TeamTennis Final in 1988. Home matches were moved to Chatham Borough, New Jersey in 1989, when the team was led by Tracy Austin. The signing of Martina Navratilova in 1994, produced immediate results on the court as the Stars won the league title in both 1994 and 1995. However, the team was unable to build a fan base and relocated, as two-time defending WTT champions, to become the Delaware Smash for the 1996 season.

The New York Hamptons were added as a WTT expansion franchise in 2000, playing their home matches in East Quogue, New York. They moved to Amagansett in 2002. In 2003, Sportime NY became the team's majority owner. Home matches were moved to Mamaroneck in Westchester County, and the team's name was changed to the New York Sportimes. Led by Martina Hingis, the Sportimes won the 2005 WTT title. In 2009, the Sportimes moved to New York City, playing their home matches on Randall's Island. Before the 2011 season, the Sportimes merged with the New York Buzz, which had been based in the Capital District since 1995. Following the merger, the team played some of its home matches on Randall's Island and others in either Albany or Troy, New York. Following the 2013 season, the team was sold, and the new owner relocated it and renamed it the San Diego Aviators. Ironically, the Aviators won their first league title after relocation in New York City at Forest Hills Stadium, which was selected as the site for the 2016 WTT Final to welcome the expansion New York Empire to the league.


The New York Rumble is one of eight professional Ultimate teams that compete in Major League Ultimate. The team played in the MLU's inaugural season in 2013.[40]

Other sports[edit]

The Suffolk Sting are a professional inline hockey team and part of the PIHA. They play at the Rapid Fire Arena on Long Island.

The New York Arrows represented the New York area in the Major Soccer League (MISL) from 1978 to 1984 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum

The New Jersey Rockets played in the MISL with their home games in East Rutherford, New Jersey during the 1981-82 season. The Rockets filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code late in the season and folded shortly thereafter.

The New York Express played indoor soccer in the Major Indoor Soccer League at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in 1986-1987.

The Long Island Academy play at Competition Field at Adelphi University in the National Premier Soccer League as of 2006.

The Long Island Jawz played Roller Hockey at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in 1996.

The Long Island Rough Riders and Long Island Rough Riders (UWS) play soccer and women's soccer since 1994 at Cy Donnelly Stadium in South Huntington, and formerly at Belson Stadium, Mitchel Athletic Complex, Michael Tully Field, Citibank Park and Stony Brook University Stadium.

The Long Island Roller Rebels started in 2005 as a roller derby league featuring four teams: All Stars (A team, Rock-A-Betty Bruisers (B team), Ladies of Laceration, Wicked Wheelers and were aided by the Gotham Girls Roller Derby. They play in Old Bethpage.

Gaelic games have been played in New York since the foundation of the Gaelic Athletic Association. New York is considered a GAA county and plays in the Connacht Senior Football Championship.

The United States Australian Football League is the biggest League of Australian rules football in the United States and the New York team is called The New York Magpies it is affiliated with the Collingwood Football Club.

Squash is organized by the New York Squash which was formerly known as New York Metropolitan Squash Racquets Association which was founded in 1924 and incorporated in 1932. This organization is a not for profit.[41]

There is a thriving field hockey competition in New York City,[citation needed] played predominantly by European and Commonwealth expats. The North East Field Hockey Association plays games at Columbia University, Hofstra University, DeWitt Clinton High School and Drew University. Teams from New York also regularly compete in indoor and outdoor tournaments around the country.

New York is considered to be the "world capital" of one-wall handball.[citation needed]

The New York Emperors Stickball League has nine stickball teams in New york City.

College sports[edit]

Although the New York area is home to numerous colleges, many of which have rich athletic histories, college sports is a somewhat less visible part of the regional sports landscape.

The following NCAA Division I schools are located in the metropolitan area, as most broadly defined. The following details about the table should be noted:

  • Schools are in New York state unless otherwise indicated.
  • The "Conference" column includes each school's primary affiliation.
  • All affiliations listed here current as of the 2018–19 school year.
  • The "Football" column indicates the following:
Team School City Conference Football
Army Black Knights United States Military Academy West Point Patriot League FBS (independent)
Columbia Lions Columbia University New York City (Manhattan) Ivy League FCS
Fairfield Stags Fairfield University Fairfield, Connecticut MAAC No
Fairleigh Dickinson Knights Fairleigh Dickinson University[a 1] Teaneck, New Jersey Northeast No
Fordham Rams Fordham University New York City (The Bronx) Atlantic 10 FCS (Patriot League)
Hofstra Pride Hofstra University Hempstead CAA No
Iona Gaels Iona College New Rochelle MAAC No
LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds[a 2] Long Island University Brooklyn New York City (Brooklyn)[a 3] Northeast No[a 4]
Manhattan Jaspers and Lady Jaspers Manhattan College New York City (The Bronx) MAAC No
Monmouth Hawks Monmouth University West Long Branch, New Jersey MAAC FCS (Big South)
NJIT Highlanders New Jersey Institute of Technology Newark, New Jersey ASUN No
Princeton Tigers Princeton University Princeton, New Jersey Ivy League FCS
Quinnipiac Bobcats Quinnipiac University Hamden, Connecticut MAAC No
Rider Broncs Rider University Lawrenceville, New Jersey MAAC No
Rutgers Scarlet Knights Rutgers University[a 5] Piscataway, New Jersey Big Ten FBS
Sacred Heart Pioneers Sacred Heart University Fairfield, Connecticut Northeast FCS
St. Francis Brooklyn Terriers St. Francis College New York City (Brooklyn) Northeast No
St. John's Red Storm St. John's University New York City (Queens) Big East No
Saint Peter's Peacocks and Peahens Saint Peter's University Jersey City, New Jersey MAAC No
Seton Hall Pirates Seton Hall University South Orange, New Jersey Big East No
Stony Brook Seawolves Stony Brook University Stony Brook America East FCS (CAA)
Wagner Seahawks Wagner College New York City (Staten Island) Northeast FCS
Yale Bulldogs Yale University New Haven, Connecticut Ivy League FCS
  1. ^ More accurately, the Knights represent the university's Metropolitan Campus, which straddles Teaneck and Hackensack. FDU's Florham Campus, located in Madison, New Jersey, has a separate NCAA Division III athletic program.
  2. ^ After the 2018–19 school year, Long Island University will merge its two athletic programs—the current LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds and the NCAA Division II LIU Post Pioneers—into a single D-I program that will compete under the LIU name. The unified LIU program will adopt a new nickname in the coming months. All varsity sports sponsored by either campus will continue to be sponsored by the unified program.[42]
  3. ^ Following the athletic merger, some LIU sports will be based at the Brooklyn campus and others at the Post campus in Brookville, New York.[43]
  4. ^ The LIU Post football program will become the unified LIU football program, competing alongside the bulk of the school's sports as an FCS program in the Northeast Conference.[42]
  5. ^ More accurately, the Scarlet Knights represent the school's main campus, Rutgers University–New Brunswick, which is divided between New Brunswick and Piscataway. Most of the athletic facilities are in Piscataway. The other two campuses of Rutgers, in Camden and Newark, have separate memberships in NCAA Division III.

Sports culture[edit]

Although in much of the rest of the country American football has surpassed baseball as the most popular professional sport, in New York baseball arguably still stirs the most passion and interest.[weasel words] A championship win by any major sports team is considered to be worthy of the highest celebration, including a ticker-tape parade for the victorious team. In the past, ticker-tape parades have been held for the Yankees, Mets, Giants and Rangers. New Yorkers, however, tend to rally around any of the local teams who win (such as the 1994 Stanley Cup champions New York Rangers, or the 2007 New York Giants).


Due to their geographic locations, New York has intense sports rivalries with the cities of Boston and Philadelphia.


Decades before professional baseball became popular, New York and Boston claimed distinctive versions of bat-and-ball games. A variant of baseball known as The Massachusetts Game was played in New England in the 1850s, while New York teams played by the Knickerbocker Rules set up by Alexander Cartwright. The New York rules eventually became the basis for the modern sport of baseball.

Teams in Boston and New York offer some of the best rivalries in their respective sports, none are more famous, however, then the longtime feud between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox in Major League Baseball. The viciousness and fierceness of the rivalry has led to the New York–Boston rivalry being evident between the New York Jets and the New England Patriots in the National Football League and the New York Knicks and the Boston Celtics in the National Basketball Association.[44] The New York Rangers have been longtime rivals with the Boston Bruins also due to the fact that both teams are members of the National Hockey League's Original Six franchises, but this has been eclipsed by the Metropolitan Division rivalries in recent years.

The rivalry has also spread to other teams not in the same league, The 1986 World Series between the New York Mets and the Boston Red Sox is considered a classic especially the 6th game and the famous Bill Buckner error. The New York Giants and New England Patriots have played two classic Super Bowls: Super Bowl XLII which features the Helmet Catch and Super Bowl XLVI, There is also a rivalry between the Boston Celtics and the Brooklyn Nets.


In each of the four sports leagues, there is intra-division competition between teams from New York and Philadelphia, as seen in the rivalries between the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies in Major League Baseball, the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles in the National Football League, and the New York Rangers and the Philadelphia Flyers in the National Hockey League.[45] There is also a rivalry between the New York Knicks and the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association, although it is not as intense as the other three rivalries. There is another rivalry between the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers.

In the first season of the Overwatch League the Philadelphia Fusion was the first team to beat the previously undefeated New York Excelsior in regular season play. Excelsior was a strong team throughout the season, bringing home two of the four stage titles and entering the post-season playoffs at the highest seed. However, in a surprise upset Philadelphia knocked New York out of the playoffs and went on to come in second place in the finals as both the first and last team to defeat New York in the 2018 season.[46]

The metropolitan area's three NHL teams tend to be primary rivals with one another, although they each have their own rivalry with the Flyers. Unlike baseball and football, the local teams in the New York area are in the same division and are therefore in direct competition with one another.

Olympic bids[edit]

New York and Los Angeles submitted bids to the USOC for the 1984 Summer Olympics. The USOC voted to submit Los Angeles' bid to the IOC, which was the only bid for those games. While Los Angeles secured the right to host the 1984 Summer Olympics, New York served as host of the 1984 Summer Paralympics.[47]

In 2005, New York City bid to host the 2012 Summer Olympics, but lost to London. It was the first time the USOC submitted a bid from New York City to the IOC. Upon the USOC reaching a new revenue-sharing agreement with the IOC in May 2012, New York was mentioned as a potential candidate for the 2024 Summer Olympics,[48][49] but the city declined to submit a bid to the USOC. Los Angeles was selected as the American candidate for the 2024 Olympics and ultimately secured the right to host the 2028 Summer Olympics.

See also[edit]


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  2. ^ (PDF). Siena College Research Institute Retrieved 21 May 2017. Missing or empty |title= (help); External link in |website= (help)
  3. ^ The NAIA men's basketball tournament predates the NIT by one year, but it was established as a tournament for smaller schools, and the NAIA remains a governing body for smaller institutions.
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  9. ^ Frommer, Harvey; Frommer, Frederic J. (2004). Red Sox vs. Yankees: The Great Rivalry. Sports Publishing, LLC. p. 78. ISBN 1-58261-767-8.
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  24. ^ Morris, Niel (November 10, 2013). "Sixth Senna: New York Cosmos win NASL Soccer Bowl 2013 over Atlanta Silverbacks 1-0". INDY Week.
  25. ^ Galarcep, Ives. "Marco Senna's stunning goal helped lead the New York Cosmos to the 2013 Soccer Bowl title, beating the Atlanta Silverbacks 1-0 to claim the NASL championship".
  26. ^ Bell, Jack (July 12, 2012). "Cosmos to Play in N.A.S.L. in '13". The New York Times.
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  30. ^ Michael Fornabaio (August 15, 2013). "Despite relocation speculation, Sound Tigers remain committed to Bridgeport – Connecticut Post". Retrieved October 25, 2013.
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  41. ^ "New York Squash". Retrieved April 6, 2012.
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  44. ^ Steinberg, Dan (February 2, 2008). "Baseball's Fault Lines Show Stress In Arizona". The Washington Post. p. E11.
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External links[edit]