Ask anyone what the world’s most popular sport is and the likelihood is that they will supply you with the right answer. Football or soccer, as it is sometimes referred to, enjoys the number 1 spot with around 3.5 billion fans worldwide. That is half the population of the planet. The most popular American sport is baseball with around 500 million fans worldwide, however, in the UK there is a growing passion for American sports and here we take a look at what they are and why they are loved.
NBA Basketball at the O2 Arena
Back in the 90’s the American National Basketball Association (NBA) played some pre-season games in the UK. The move was an attempt to “spread the word” and the NBA have been building on the games popularity in the UK ever since. The result? The Brit’s now love basketball for its high octane action, colourful characters and requirement for high levels of skill and athleticism.
In January 2018 the Philadelphia 76ers played the Boston Celtics at a packed O2 Arena in London. Interestingly the game was attended by several high profile faces from the football world including, Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester City player Raheem Sterling. In the end Boston beat Philadelphia 114 to 103, in a closely fought game.
NFL 2018 UK Games Schedule
Look to the American National Football League (NFL) and you will see a similar story. In April an exciting schedule of games, to be played in the UK, was announced and will be hosted by some of the country’s biggest venues including Wembley Arena. Season tickets for the games are already sold out, but there are still single game tickets available for those who are interested.
The lure of American football can be summed up with one simple question. What could be more exciting than the explosive action to be seen when 2 teams of giants clash? To give some perspective, Terrell Brown of the St Louis Rams stands at 6 feet, 10 inches and weighs in at over 400 pounds – that’s over 28 stones.
UK Participation in US Sports
Other American sports that have growing popularity in the UK include baseball and ice hockey, although it could be argued that the latter did, in fact, originate in Canada. Both are, of course great to watch in their own right, ice hockey being fast and furious. The more leisurely pace of a baseball game and all of its tactical intricacies, is more akin to watching a cricket match. Brit’s aren’t just watching American sports though, they are playing them and the growth in demand for kit from stockists like Proline Skates is testament to that.
For further evidence of the growth in popularity of US sports in the UK, take a walk around some of the parks in your local area. It won’t be long before you come across one that has a basketball court and therein a group of people who have taken the time out to “shoot some hoops”.