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Encyclopedia > Major professional sports league

The term major professional sports league is used to describe the most important and well regarded leagues in the biggest professional sports in a country or region. It is best associate with the four major sports leagues in the U.S. with the largest fan bases and the most lucrative television contracts (and therefore, the largest revenues and player salaries). Professional sports are sports in which the participants receive payment for playing, as opposed to amateur sports where they are not. ... A list of professional sports leagues: Auto racing Champcars, formerly CART (Official Page) Formula One, Grand Prix racing (Official Site) IRL (Indy Racing League) (Official Page) NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing) (Official Page) NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) (Official Page) Baseball Major League Baseball Minor League Baseball... Fans of Janet Jackson, at Much Music in Toronto The word fan refers to someone who has an intense, occasionally overwhelming liking of a person, group of persons, work of art, idea, or trend. ...

Contents

North American leagues

The Big Four

In North America, the term is usually limited to team sports leagues even though sports not generally seen as "team" sports (e.g. golf, tennis and auto racing) are also very popular. Thus, the most commonly accepted list of major sports leagues is: World map showing North America A satellite composite image of North America. ... Womens Australian rules football is a team sport. ... Greg Norman on the 18th tee at St Andrews. ... A tennis net Tennis is a game played between either two players (singles) or two teams of two players (doubles). Players use a stringed racquet to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over a net into the opponents court. ... Racing cars redirects here. ...

Since the four leagues listed above are those listed as the major leagues, the sports they play (baseball, basketball, American football and ice hockey) are often referred to as the four major professional sports or even just the major sports by North Americans. As of 2005, thirteen American metropolitan areas have at least one team in each of the four leagues; these cities are sometimes said to have a Grand Slam. For other uses of National Football League, see National Football League (disambiguation). ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ... The All-America Football Conference (AAFC) was a professional American football league that challenged the rival National Football League from 1946 to 1949. ... AFL logo The American Football League (AFL) was a professional league of American football that operated from 1960 to 1969. ... Lions Stampeders Eskimos Roughriders Blue Bombers Tiger-Cats Argonauts Alouettes The Canadian Football League (CFL), also known by its French name, Ligue canadienne de football (LCF), is a professional sports league located in Canada that plays Canadian football, and is the second most popular sports league in Canada. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... American League The American League (or formally the American League of Professional Baseball Clubs) is one of two leagues that make up Major League Baseball in the United States of America and Canada. ... The National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs, or simply the National League, is the older of two leagues constituting Major League Baseball in the United States and Canada and the worlds oldest extant professional team sports league. ... The National Basketball Association (NBA) is the USAs premier mens professional basketball league. ... The National Basketball League was a professional basketball league in the United States from 1937 to 1949. ... For information about the ABA that began in 2000 see American Basketball Association (21st century). ... NHL redirects here. ... World Hockey Association logo The World Hockey Association (French: Association Mondiale de Hockey) was a professional ice hockey league that operated in North America from 1972 to 1979. ... A view of the playing field at Busch Stadium II St. ... Sara Giauro shoots a three-point shot, FIBA Europe Cup for Women Finals 2005. ... United States simply as football, is a competitive team sport that is both fast-paced and strategic. ... Ice hockey, known simply as hockey in areas where it is more common than field hockey, is a team sport played on ice. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... In the United States, the four prominent major professional sports leagues are the following: Major League Baseball (MLB) National Football League (NFL) National Basketball Association (NBA) National Hockey League (NHL) There are currently thirteen metropolitan areas that have at least one team in each major sports league. ... In the United States, the four prominent major professional sports leagues are the following: Major League Baseball (MLB) National Football League (NFL) National Basketball Association (NBA) National Hockey League (NHL) There are currently thirteen metropolitan areas that have at least one team in each major sports league. ...


The four major leagues combine for revenues that are hundreds of times greater than all other U.S. professional team sports leagues combined. The best players can become cultural icons to tens of millions of Americans plus millions of Canadians because the leagues enjoy a dominant place in U.S. popular culture combined with a significant place in Canadian popular culture. This article is being considered for deletion in accordance with Wikipedias deletion policy. ... This article is becoming very long. ... Canadian popular culture is mainly influenced by the United States and by its British and Canada is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world with a high immigration rate which allows for broad assimilation of cultures, especially from Asian countries. ...


In terms of overall league revenue, the NFL, MLB and the NBA rank as the three most lucrative sports leagues in the world (in that order). Based on June 2006 exchange rates the NHL ranks as the world's fifth most lucrative league, slightly behind the FA Premier League in English soccer. However, the Premier League has only 20 clubs — depending on exchange rates and what is defined as revenue, the Premier League's average per-team revenues are very close to, and could be ranked ahead of, the NBA's. For the Scottish equivalent see Scottish Premier League The FA Premier League (often referred to as the Barclays Premiership in England and the Barclays English Premier League or just simply The EPL internationally) is a league competition for football clubs located at the top of the English football league system... Motto: (French for God and my right) Anthem: God Save the King/Queen Capital London (de facto) Largest city London Official language(s) English (de facto) Unification    - by Athelstan AD 927  Area    - Total 130,395 km² (1st in UK)   50,346 sq mi  Population    - 2006 est. ... Football (soccer) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ...


The Fifth Element: Major League Soccer

Major League Soccer in the United States is probably the next biggest U.S. sports league after ice hockey (team sports) in terms of popularity, attendance, facilities, and media coverage. While soccer is a giant of sports participation in the US, it hasn't achieved the same level of success as a spectator sport, except for a brief stint with the NASL. MLS has, however, experienced tremendous growth and stabalization over the past couple of years, as well as a huge amount of publicity and coverage with the landmark $250 million dollar 2007 signing of David Beckham, new stadia, and new national TV deals, including ESPN. However, until all league teams have stadiums of their own, MLS raises their salary cap to compete with the biggest and best leagues in the world, MLS attracts more stars of that quality, more American soccer stars shine on the world stage, and MLS is featured more in the general public's eye, it will remain somewhat outside of what most Americans consider to be a major professional sports league. The next few years will show how this is coming along. For further details and facts about the league, see Major League Soccer. Nasl, or El Nasl, is one of the names given to the star Gamma-2 Sagittarii in the constellation Sagittarius NASL is a common abbreviation for the North American Soccer League, a defunct professional soccer league that operated between 1968 and 1984. ... David Beckham David Robert Joseph Beckham OBE (born May 2, 1975) is an English footballer born in Leytonstone, London. ... Major League Soccer (MLS) is a professional soccer league with teams in the United States and Canada. ...


Traits of the major North American leagues

Franchise stability

All four major leagues exhibit the stability of most of their franchises. No team from any of the four leagues has collapsed outright in decades. Although all four major leagues have had at least one franchise relocate to another city in the last decade, relocation of teams is generally uncommon compared to other leagues. It should be noted that all four major leagues have had frequent franchise collapses and relocations in their early histories, but these events ceased occurring with regularity by the time the leagues reached "major" status. In sport, a franchise is a club given permanent rights to play in a specific league. ... Relocation of professional sports teams, is a common practice in North America but not at all common in Europe. ...


The major sports leagues in the United States and Canada are different from most leagues outside North America in that there is no promotion and relegation system. The same teams compete in the leagues each year. The worst teams are not relegated each year to a second tier league, to be replaced by the best teams from the second tier league. One could even argue the worst teams are rewarded for their futility, as the worst teams receive a higher position in the following year's draft for new players, which in football and basketball, usually consists of players who have played the sport in college. A notable result of the "closed shop" aspect of the major leagues is that the franchises have average book values that are considerably more than those of the clubs of the FA Premier League (which as noted above has comparable average team revenues to the major North American leagues but also a relegation system). In most sports leagues around the world (with the North American professional leagues as the most important exception), relegation (or demotion) means the mandated transfer of the worst team(s) of a higher division into a lower division at the end of the season. ...


The last of the "big four" to fold outright were the original Baltimore Bullets in 1955, while the last team to cease operations were the Cleveland Barons (formerly the California Golden Seals), which were merged into the Minnesota North Stars (now the Dallas Stars) organization in 1978, two years after moving to Ohio from California. The last NHL team to fold outright were the New York Americans in 1942. (The NBA and NHL did however, merge with rival leagues in the 1970s. During these mergers only four franchises in each rival league, the American Basketball Association and World Hockey Association, survived: the remaining ABA and WHA franchises went out of business.) The Baltimore Bullets were a National Basketball Association team based in Baltimore, Maryland. ... The Oakland Seals were a team in the National Hockey League (NHL). ... The Minnesota North Stars were a team in the National Hockey League between 1967 and 1993. ... The Dallas Stars are a professional ice hockey team based in Dallas, Texas. ... Official language(s) None Capital Columbus Largest city Columbus Largest metro area Cleveland Area  Ranked 34th  - Total 44,825 sq mi (116,096 km²)  - Width 220 miles (355 km)  - Length 220 miles (355 km)  - % water 8. ... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Area  Ranked 3rd  - Total 158,302 sq mi (410,000 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 770 miles (1,240 km)  - % water 4. ... The New York Americans were a NHL hockey team, the third expansion team in league history and the second to play in the United States. ... For information about the ABA that began in 2000 see American Basketball Association (21st century). ... World Hockey Association logo The World Hockey Association (French: Association Mondiale de Hockey) was a professional ice hockey league that operated in North America from 1972 to 1979. ...


The last NFL team to fold were the Dallas Texans in 1952 and no MLB team has folded since 1899, when four National League teams ceased to exist. The Dallas Texans played in the National Football League for one season, 1952, with a record of 1–11. ... The National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs, or simply the National League, is the older of two leagues constituting Major League Baseball in the United States and Canada and the worlds oldest extant professional team sports league. ...


The four leagues all expanded within the last decade and currently have either 30 or, in the case of the NFL, 32 teams. The newest major league team is the Charlotte Bobcats, who joined the NBA in 2004. The newest NFL team is the Houston Texans, who became the NFL's 32nd team in 2002 after the NFL was unable to find a viable ownership group and stadium plan in Los Angeles. The newest NHL teams are the Columbus Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild, who began play in 2000, while the newest MLB teams are the Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Devil Rays, who joined the NL and AL respectively in 1998. The Charlotte Bobcats are a professional basketball team based in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA. They play in the Southeast Division, created because of the teams entry, of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association. ... City Houston, Texas Team colors Deep Steel Blue, Battle Red, and Liberty White Head Coach Gary Kubiak Owner Robert C. McNair General manager Rick Smith Mascot Toro League/Conference affiliations National Football League (2002–present) American Football Conference (2002-present) AFC South (2002-present) Team history Houston Texans (2002–present... Flag Seal Nickname: City of Angels Location Location within Los Angeles County in the state of California Coordinates , Government State County California Los Angeles County Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D) Geographical characteristics Area     City 1,290. ... The Columbus Blue Jackets are a professional ice hockey team based in Columbus, Ohio, United States. ... The Minnesota Wild are a professional ice hockey team based in Saint Paul, Minnesota. ... Major league affiliations National League (1998–present) West Division (1998–present) Current uniform Name Arizona Diamondbacks (1998–present) Ballpark Chase Field (1998–present) formerly known as Bank One Ballpark (1998-2005) Major league titles World Series titles (1) 2001 NL Pennants (1) 2001 West Division titles (3) 2002 â€¢ 2001 â€¢ 1999... Major league affiliations American League (1998–present) East Division (1998–present) Current uniform Retired Numbers 12 Name Tampa Bay Devil Rays (1998–present) Ballpark Tropicana Field (1998–present) Major league titles World Series titles (0) None AL Pennants (0) None Division titles (0) None Wild card berths (0) None The...


Recent expansion franchises have commanded huge entry fees, which are generally held to represent the price the new team must pay to gain its share of the existing teams' often guaranteed revenue streams. The Houston Texans paid an unprecedented $700 million to join the NFL. By comparison, the Charlotte Bobcats paid $300 million to join the NBA. The Diamondbacks and Devil Rays paid $130 million each to join MLB while the Blue Jackets and Wild paid $80 million each to join the NHL. The United States dollar is the official currency of the United States. ...


Many sports analysts and owners believe that 30 is the optimal number of teams for a major league, which is only two below the maximum number any league has ever had. Thus, future expansion is by no means certain, especially by the NFL which is now over the 30-team threshold. The NFL is still anxious to return to Los Angeles (see below) but many believe that NFL officials would privately prefer to re-locate an existing team in order to avoid altering its current eight four-team division alignment. Even if expansion franchises could continue to command huge fees, as more teams join the leagues the owners' share of the fees is constantly reduced. Even if large markets remain without a team, a point could still be reached where one-time expansion revenues are offset by chronic stresses such as a drain on the talent pool (which could have a noticeable impact on the quality of play and thus start turning off fans) and saturation of the national television market (if the leagues are unable to negotiate higher fees from the television networks, then additional teams will simply cause the existing television revenue to be split into smaller shares).


Franchise locations

Major leagues tend to have franchises only in the largest cities and most heavily-populated market areas, with nearly all franchises in metropolitan areas of at least one million. Most teams are in metro areas having populations over two million — all metropolitan areas of this size or larger have at least one team. This typically means at least one franchise (and often two) per league in each of the New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles areas. There are two major exceptions: The NFL has not had a franchise in L.A. since 1995 and the Green Bay Packers survive in professional sports' smallest metropolitan area (less than 300,000) thanks to a unique community ownership, and their proximity to the larger Milwaukee area, not to mention the loyalty of their fanbase. The Packers are the last remaining link to the NFL's small-town Midwest roots — many such teams existed in the NFL before 1934; since then only the Packers remain. Nickname: Big Apple, Gotham, NYC Location in the state of New York Coordinates: Country United States State New York Boroughs The Bronx Brooklyn Manhattan Queens Staten Island Settled 1613  - Mayor Michael Bloomberg (R) Area    - City 1,214. ... Flag Seal Nickname: The Windy City Motto: Urbs In Horto (Latin: City in a Garden), I Will Location Location in Chicagoland and northern Illinois Coordinates , Government Country State Counties United States Illinois Cook, DuPage Mayor Richard M. Daley (D) Geographical characteristics Area     City 606. ... Nickname: City of Angels Location within Los Angeles County in the state of California Coordinates: State California County Los Angeles County  - Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Area    - City 1290. ... Green Bay is the county seat of Brown County in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. ... City Green Bay, Wisconsin Team colors Dark Green, Gold, and White Head Coach Mike McCarthy Owner 111,967 stockholders Chairman Bob Harlan General manager Ted Thompson Fight song Go! You Packers! Go! League/Conference affiliations Independent (1919-1920) National Football League (1921–present) Western Division (1933-1949) National Conference (1950... Nickname: Cream City, Mil Town, Brew City, The City of Festivals Location of Milwaukee in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin Coordinates: County Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett Area    - City (97 sq. ... Cheesehead is a nickname (sometimes used derogatorily) referring to a person from either Wisconsin or the Netherlands, referring to the large volume of cheese production in those locales. ...


The Utah Jazz are located in the smallest television market of any U.S. team (the Green Bay Packers' television market includes the much larger city of Milwaukee 120 miles / 200 km to its south). They relocated during a turbulent period in NBA history and have enjoyed strong support from a very large geographical area devoid of other major sport teams. Utah is also the least populous state with a team. The Utah Jazz is a professional basketball team based in Salt Lake City, Utah. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, the lead section of this article may need to be expanded. ...


Professional sport leagues as we know them today evolved during the decades between the Civil War and World War II, when the railroad was the main means of intercity transportation. As a result, virtually all major league teams were concentrated in the northeastern quarter of the United States, within roughly the radius of a day-long train ride. No MLB teams existed south or west of St. Louis, the NFL was confined to the Great Lakes and the Northeast, and the NBA (which didn't exist before 1946) spanned from the Quad Cities to Boston. The NHL remained confined to six cities in the Northeast, Great Lakes and eastern Canada, though during its earliest years it contested the Stanley Cup at season's end with teams from western Canada and the Pacific Northwest. College, minor-league and amateur teams existed from coast to coast in all four sports, but rarely played outside of their home region for regular season games. The American Civil War was fought in the United States from 1861 until 1865 between the northern states, popularly referred to as the U.S., the Union, the North, or the Yankees; and the seceding southern states, commonly referred to as the Confederate States of America, the CSA, the Confederacy... Combatants Allied Powers Axis Powers Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000,000 Total dead: 50,000,000 Military dead: 8,000,000 Civilian dead: 4,000,000 Total dead 12,000,000 World War II (abbreviated WWII), or the Second World War, was a worldwide conflict... This is the top-level page of WikiProject trains Rail tracks Rail transport refers to the land transport of passengers and goods along railways or railroads. ... Nickname: Gateway City, Gateway to the West, or Mound City Motto: Official website: http://stlouis. ... The Great Lakes from space The Great Lakes are a group of five large lakes in North America on or near the Canada-United States border. ... The Northeastern United States is a region of the United States of America defined by the US Census Bureau. ... The I-74 Bridge, connecting Bettendorf, Iowa and Moline, Illinois is located near the geographic center of the Quad Cities. ... Nickname: City on the Hill, Beantown, The Hub (of the Universe)1 Location in Massachusetts, USA Counties Suffolk County Mayor Thomas M. Menino (D) Area    - City 232. ... The Stanley Cup The Stanley Cup is the championship trophy of the National Hockey League (NHL), the major professional ice hockey league in Canada and the United States. ... The Pacific Northwest from space This page is about the region that includes parts of Canada and the US. For the US only region, see Northwestern United States The Pacific Northwest (abbreviated PNW, or PacNW) or Cascadia is a region in the northwest of North America. ...


As travel and settlement patterns changed, so did the geography of professional sports. With the arguable exception of the western hockey teams which competed for the Stanley Cup in the early 20th century, there were no major league teams in the far west until after World War II. The first west coast major-league franchise was the NFL's Los Angeles Rams, who moved from Cleveland in 1946. The same year, the All-America Football Conference began play, with teams in Los Angeles and San Francisco (not to mention the Miami Seahawks, who became the only southern-based major league franchise, although Louisville, Kentucky had previously had shortlived baseball and football teams). Baseball would not extend west until 1958 in the controversial move of both New York-based National League franchises. The NBA would follow in 1960 with the move of the Minneapolis Lakers to Los Angeles, while the NHL would not have a west coast presence until it doubled in size in 1967. With the exception of the Los Angeles Kings, the NHL's initial franchises in the Southern and Western United States were ultimately unsuccessful - teams in Oakland, Atlanta, Kansas City and Denver all re-located. From 1982 until 1991, the Kings were the only U.S.-based NHL franchise south of St. Louis and/or west of Bloomington, Minnesota. Combatants Allied Powers Axis Powers Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000,000 Total dead: 50,000,000 Military dead: 8,000,000 Civilian dead: 4,000,000 Total dead 12,000,000 World War II (abbreviated WWII), or the Second World War, was a worldwide conflict... Regional definitions vary from source to source. ... City St. ... Nickname: The Forest City Motto: Progress and Prosperity Location in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, USA Coordinates: Country United States State Ohio County Cuyahoga Founded 1796 Incorporated 1836 Mayor Frank G. Jackson (D) Area    - City 82. ... The All-America Football Conference (AAFC) was a professional American football league that challenged the rival National Football League from 1946 to 1949. ... The Los Angeles Dons were an American football team in the now defunct All-America Football Conference from 1946 - 1949 that played in the Los Angeles Coliseum. ... City San Francisco, California Other nicknames Niners, The Red And Gold, Bay Bombers Team colors Cardinal red, metallic gold and black Head Coach Mike Nolan Owner Denise DeBartolo York and John York General manager none Mascot Sourdough Sam League/Conference affiliations All-America Football Conference (1946-1949) Western Division (1946... The Miami Seahawks were an original member of the All-America Football Conference, a league that formed in 1946 and merged into the NFL in 1950. ... Louisville redirects here. ... A view of the playing field at Busch Stadium II St. ... Louisville, Kentucky had two National Football League teams. ... Lakers logo 1966-1991 Lakers alternate logo 2002- The Los Angeles Lakers are a professional basketball team, based in Los Angeles, California, who play in the National Basketball Association. ... The National Hockey League added six new franchises for the 1967-68 NHL season, doubling the size of the league. ... The Los Angeles Kings are a professional ice hockey team based in Los Angeles, California, USA. They play in the National Hockey League (NHL). ... location in Hennepin County, Minnesota Coordinates: Country United States State Minnesota County Hennepin Founded 1843 Incorporated 1858 Mayor Gene Winstead Area    - City 99. ... Capital Saint Paul Largest city Minneapolis Area  Ranked 12th  - Total 87,014 sq mi (225,365 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 400 miles (645 km)  - % water 8. ...


Since then, as newer, fast-growing Sunbelt areas such as Phoenix and Dallas became prominent, the major sports leagues expanded or franchises relocated (usually quite controversially) to service these communities. Most major areas are well-represented, with all but seven continental U.S. metropolitan agglomerations over one million people hosting at least one major sports franchise. As of 2006, the largest metropolitan area without a major professional sports franchise is California's Inland Empire. However, since this area is adjacent to the Los Angeles metro area and serves as a local market for those teams, no major league franchise is likely to move there without purporting to represent L.A. The most populous independent metropolitan area outside of a major franchise's local market is the Hampton Roads region of Virginia, nearly 200 miles from the nearest major sports teams in Washington, D.C. It previously hosted a successful franchise in the American Basketball Association. Virginia is also the most populous state without a team within its borders. Categories: Stub | Belt regions of the United States ... Nickname: Valley of the Sun Location in Maricopa County and the state of Arizona Coordinates: Country United States State Arizona Counties Maricopa Incorporated February 25, 1881  - Mayor Phil Gordon (D) Area    - City 1230. ...      Nickname: Big D Location in the state of Texas Country United States State Texas Counties Dallas, Collin, Denton, Kaufman, and Rockwall Mayor Laura Miller Area    - City 997. ... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Area  Ranked 3rd  - Total 158,302 sq mi (410,000 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 770 miles (1,240 km)  - % water 4. ... The Inland Empire and its regions within The Inland Empire refers to the region in Southern California located in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. ... Hampton Roads, from state map of pre-civil war Virginia circa 1858 Hampton Roads is the name of both a body of water and the land areas which surround it in southeastern Virginia in the USA. Hampton Roads is notable for its huge ice-free harbor, for U.S. naval... Official language(s) English Capital Richmond Largest city Virginia Beach Area  Ranked 35th  - Total 42,793 sq mi (110,862 km²)  - Width 200 miles (320 km)  - Length 430 miles (690 km)  - % water 7. ... Nickname: DC, The District Motto: Justitia Omnibus (Justice for All) Location of Washington, D.C., in relation to the states Maryland and Virginia Coordinates: Federal District District of Columbia  - Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D)  - City Council Chairperson: Vincent C. Gray (D) Ward 1: Jim Graham (D) Ward 2: Jack Evans... For information about the ABA that began in 2000 see American Basketball Association (21st century). ...


Another large metropolitan area without any major league franchises is Las Vegas, which is expected to surpass the Hampton Roads area in metropolitan population before the 2010 Census to become the largest metropolis without a franchise. Despite the area's explosive growth, all four leagues are wary of placing a team there due to the city's legal gambling industry, which includes sports betting. In the U.S. especially, as contrasted with Europe, for a professional sports organization to have any association, real or perceived, with gambling interests has been taboo ever since the 1919 World Series scandal and all four leagues forbid its personnel to have any type of contact or association with anything related to gambling of any kind. Additionally, the city's abundance of entertainment options might make it difficult for a Las Vegas-based team to attract a large audience. For other uses around the city, see Las Vegas metropolitan area and Las Vegas Strip. ... Sports betting is the general activity of predicting sports results by making a wager on the outcome of a sporting event. ... A taboo is a strong social prohibition (or ban) against words, objects, actions, discussions, or people that are considered undesirable by a group, culture, or society. ... The 1919 World Series was played between the Chicago White Sox of the American League and the Cincinnati Reds of the National League. ...


When the WHA and NHL merged, the NHL inherited teams in Canadian metro areas that were under one million in population at the time, these being Edmonton, Winnipeg and Quebec City. The NHL later added teams in Calgary (via relocation from Atlanta) and Ottawa (via expansion). The distinctive place hockey holds in Canadian culture allowed these franchises to compete with teams in larger cities for some time. However, the teams in Winnipeg and Quebec City were eventually moved to the U.S. The three remaining "small market" Canadian teams have survived largely because their markets are growing rapidly — all three metro areas in question are now over one million in population and are thus comparable in size to some of the smaller American metro areas with teams in other leagues such as Salt Lake City, Jacksonville and Memphis. Edmonton is the capital of Alberta, a Canadian province. ... Nickname: The Peg, Winterpeg Motto: Unum Cum Virtute Multorum (One With the Strength of Many) Coordinates: Country Canada Province Manitoba Region Winnipeg Capital Region Established, 1738 (Fort Rouge) Renamed 1822 (Fort Garry) Incorporated 1873 (City of Winnipeg)  - City Mayor Sam Katz  - Governing Body Winnipeg City Council  - MPs List of MPs... Motto : « Don de Dieu feray valoir Â» (I shall put Gods gift to good use) Site in the province of Quebec Official logo Country  Canada Province Québec Agglomeration Quebec City Statute of the city Capitale-Nationale Administrative Region Capitale-Nationale Constitution date 1833 Geographical code 24 23027 Founder Foundation... Calgary is the largest city in the province of Alberta, Canada. ... Nickname: Hotlanta, The Big Peach, The ATL, A-Town Location in Fulton County in the state of Georgia Coordinates: Country United States State Georgia Counties Fulton, Dekalb  - Mayor Shirley Franklin (D) Area    - City 343. ... Motto: Advance Ottawa/Ottawa en avant Location of the City of Ottawa in the Province of Ontario Coordinates: Country Canada Province Ontario Established 1850 as Town of Bytown Incorporated 1855 as City of Ottawa Amalgamated January 1, 2001 Mayor Larry OBrien Local government Ottawa City Council (21 councillors) MPs... Ice hockey, known simply as hockey in areas where it is more common than field hockey, is a team sport played on ice. ... It has been said that Canadian culture rests solely in the effort to distinguish itself from its southern neighbour, the United States. ... Salt Lake City redirects here. ... Motto: Where Florida Begins Location in the state of Florida Coordinates: Country United States State Florida County Duval  - Mayor John Peyton (R) Area    - City 2,264. ... For other uses, see Memphis (disambiguation). ...


Although Calgary and Edmonton remain the two smallest television markets of any of the major leagues as of 2006, any "small market" disadvantage in the two Albertan cities has been largely off-set in recent years by the fact that the oil-driven Albertan economy is one of the fastest growing in the world, and not uncoincidentally Alberta also has an unusually large proportion of high-income earners. High resource prices have contributed to a rapid appreciation of the Canadian dollar against its U.S. counterpart, mitigating the financial problems brought on by unfavourable exchange rates which plagued many Canadian franchises in the 1990s. Alberta's GDP per capita is the highest of any Canadian province or U.S. state even after exchange rates are taken into account. Alberta's total GDP is over C$200 billion as of 2005 and expected to exceed US$200 billion in 2006, surpassing Indiana which, perhaps not coincidentally, also has two teams. Alberta's economy is well over twice the size of Utah's (less than $90 billion as of 2006), thus it is not difficult to explain how Alberta can support two major league teams if Indiana can also support two and Utah can support one. Motto: Fortis et liber (Latin: Strong and free) Official languages English (see below) Flower   Wild rose Tree Lodgepole Pine Bird Great Horned Owl Capital Edmonton Largest city Calgary Lieutenant-Governor Norman Kwong Premier Ed Stelmach (PC) Parliamentary representation  - House seats  - Senate seats 28 6 Area Total  - Land  - Water  (% of total... Drilling rig in northern Alberta Canadian Oil Patch is how the Oil and Gas Industry is called in Canada, especially in Alberta where it is also called the Alberta Oil Patch or simply, the patch. The term refers especially to upstream operations (exploration and production of oil and gas), and... The Alberta Advantage is a phrase coined by the government of the province of Alberta, Canada to describe Albertas prosperous circumstance at the beginning of the 21st century. ... ISO 4217 Code CAD User(s) Canada Inflation 2. ... This article is 150 kilobytes or more in size. ... Canada consists of ten provinces and three territories. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Chief Justice Associate Justices Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures State Courts Counties, Cities, and Towns Other countries Politics Portal      A state of the United States is any one of the fifty subnational entities of the... Official language(s) English Capital Indianapolis Largest city Indianapolis Area  Ranked 38th  - Total 36,418 sq mi (94,321 km²)  - Width 140 miles (225 km)  - Length 270 miles (435 km)  - % water 1. ...


The first Major League Baseball team in Canada was the Montreal Expos, who began play in 1969 and were one of the most unprofitable franchises in the sport. They became the Washington Nationals in 2005. The Toronto Blue Jays, who began play in 1977, have done much better. The Montreal Expos (French: Les Expos de Montréal) were a Major League Baseball team located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada from 1969 to 2004. ... Major league affiliations National League (1969–present) East Division (1969–present) Current uniform Name Washington Nationals (2005–present) Montreal Expos (1969-2004) Ballpark RFK Stadium (2005–present) Hiram Bithorn Stadium[3] (San Juan) (2003-2004) Olympic Stadium (Montreal) (1977-2004) Jarry Park (Montreal) (1969-1976) [3] The Expos played twenty... Major league affiliations American League (1977–present) East Division (1977–present) Current uniform Name Toronto Blue Jays (1977–present) Ballpark Rogers Centre (f. ...


The Toronto Huskies were a charter member of what is now known as the NBA, but they only lasted from 1946 to 1947. The NBA returned to Toronto in 1995 when the Raptors joined the league. The same year, the Vancouver Grizzlies began play: they moved to Memphis in 2001. The Toronto Huskies were a Basketball Association of America (a forerunner of the modern NBA) team based in Toronto, Ontario. ... The Toronto Raptors are a professional basketball team based in Toronto, Ontario. ... The Memphis Grizzlies are a professional basketball team based in Memphis, Tennessee. ...


The NHL has operated on both sides of the Canadian-American border since 1924, and there were strong American-based clubs even before the NHL was founded in 1917. The first US-based club to compete for the Stanley Cup was the Portland Rosebuds of the Pacific Coast Hockey League, who lost the 1916 series to the Montreal Canadiens (then of the National Hockey Association.) The next year, the PCHA's Seattle Metropolitans took the Cup away from the Canadiens. The Boston Bruins are the oldest United States based franchise in the NHL, having played in the league since 1924. The Portland Rosebuds were an ice hockey team based in Portland, Oregon which played in the Pacific Coast Hockey Association from 1914 to 1918. ... The Pacific Coast Hockey League was an amateur ice hockey league with teams in western United States and Canada that played from 1944 to 1952. ... The Montreal Canadiens are the oldest established National Hockey League (NHL) franchise. ... This article is part of the Evolution of the NHL series. ... The Seattle Metropolitans were an ice hockey team based in Seattle, Washington which played in the Pacific Coast Hockey Association from 1915 to 1924. ... The Boston Bruins are a professional ice hockey team based in Boston, Massachusetts. ...


The NFL has never attempted to enter the Canadian market, leaving Canada to the Canadian Football League, which plays under significantly different rules than those used in the United States. The CFL was formed in the 1950s from the merger of two competing leagues, one based in the west and the other in the east. The CFL briefly expanded south of the border in the mid-1990s: the venture was unsuccessful, although the Baltimore Stallions (aka "CFL Colts") did win a Grey Cup before becoming the third (and current) incarnation of the Montreal Alouettes. The CFL and NFL forged a working relationship less than a year later, with the NFL providing an interest-free loan to the CFL in exchange for the right to sign CFL players entering the option year of theit contracts. Recently, there has been speculation that an NFL franchise would be located in Toronto, to balance out a new team in Los Angeles. No other U.S. metro area with more than half of Toronto's population lacks an NFL team. Lions Stampeders Eskimos Roughriders Blue Bombers Tiger-Cats Argonauts Alouettes The Canadian Football League (CFL), also known by its French name, Ligue canadienne de football (LCF), is a professional sports league located in Canada that plays Canadian football, and is the second most popular sports league in Canada. ... The CFLs American teams used a modified league logo. ... The Montreal Alouettes (French, Alouettes de Montréal) refers to a team in the Canadian Football League based in Montreal, Quebec. ... Then Prime Minister Joe Clark presents the 1979 Grey Cup to victorious Edmonton Eskimos Danny Kepley and Tom Wilkinson. ... The Montreal Alouettes (French: Alouettes de Montréal) are a Canadian Football League team based in Montreal, Quebec. ... Nickname: City of Angels Location within Los Angeles County in the state of California Coordinates: State California County Los Angeles County  - Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Area    - City 1290. ...


Ownership restrictions

All four major leagues have strict rules regarding who may own a team, and also place some restrictions on what other sort of activities the owners may engage in. To prevent the perception of being in a conflict of interest, the major leagues generally do not allow anyone to own a stake in more than one franchise, a rule adopted after several high-profile controversies involving ownership of multiple baseball teams in the 1890s. Notably, Major League Soccer has been unable to adopt this sort of league structure — it operates as a single entity league and for the sake of stability has been forced to allow soccer enthusiatsts such as Lamar Hunt to own multiple teams at least for now (see below). However, there was one recent exception to this rule in the major leagues — after being blocked in their bid to eliminate or "contract" two franchises in 2001, Major League Baseball purchased the Montreal Expos from its owners. Although MLB eventually relocated the team to Washington, D.C., the franchise (now known as the Nationals) remained owned by the other 29 MLB clubs. In May 2006, the team was sold to a local group lead by Theodore N. Lerner. A conflict of interest is a situation in which someone in a position of trust, such as a lawyer, a politician, or an executive or director of a corporation, has competing professional or personal interests. ... The Cleveland Spiders were a Major League Baseball team which played between 1887 and 1899 in Cleveland, Ohio. ... The 1890s were sometimes referred to as the Mauve Decade, because William Henry Perkins aniline dye allowed the widespread use of that colour in fashion, and also as the Gay Nineties, under the then-current usage of the word gay which referred simply to merriment and frivolity, with no... Major League Soccer (MLS) is a professional soccer league with teams in the United States and Canada. ... Lamar Hunt is one of the most influential sports promoters in the United States. ... The Montreal Expos (French: Les Expos de Montréal) were a Major League Baseball team located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada from 1969 to 2004. ... Nickname: DC, The District Motto: Justitia Omnibus (Justice for All) Location of Washington, D.C., in relation to the states Maryland and Virginia Coordinates: Federal District District of Columbia  - Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D)  - City Council Chairperson: Vincent C. Gray (D) Ward 1: Jim Graham (D) Ward 2: Jack Evans... Major league affiliations National League (1969–present) East Division (1969–present) Current uniform Name Washington Nationals (2005–present) Montreal Expos (1969-2004) Ballpark RFK Stadium (2005–present) Hiram Bithorn Stadium[3] (San Juan) (2003-2004) Olympic Stadium (Montreal) (1977-2004) Jarry Park (Montreal) (1969-1976) [3] The Expos played twenty... Theodore N. Lerner (born c. ...


All four leagues grant some sort of territorial exclusivity to their owners, precluding the addition of another team in the same area unless the current team's owners consent, which is generally obtained in exchange for compensation and/or residual rights regarding the new franchise. For example, to obtain the consent of Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos to place an MLB team in Washington (which is about 35 miles from Oriole Park at Camden Yards), a deal was struck under the terms of which television and radio broadcast rights to Nationals games are handled by the Orioles franchise, who formed a new network (the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network) to produce and distribute the games for both franchises on local affiliates and cable/satellite systems. Major league affiliations American League (1901–present) East Division (1969–present) Current uniform Retired Numbers 4,5,8,20,22,33 Name Baltimore Orioles (1954–present) St. ... Peter Angelos (born July 4, 1929) is a trial lawyer and the current owner of the Baltimore Orioles, a baseball team in the American League East Division. ... Oriole Park at Camden Yards is a baseball stadium located in Baltimore, Maryland ( ), which was constructed to replace the aging Memorial Stadium. ... Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN) is a joint network that broadcasts both Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals games in the Washington/Baltimore area. ...


Some leagues, such as the NFL have even stronger ownership restrictions. The NFL currently forbids large ownership groups or publicly-traded corporations from purchasing NFL teams. This policy allows the league office to deal with individual owners instead of boards of directors, although the Packers' ownership group was grandfathered into the current policy. The NFL also forbids its majority owners from owning any sports teams (except for soccer teams and Arena Football League teams) in other NFL cities, and prohibits owners from investing in casinos or being otherwise involved in gambling operations. (NFL owners may freely own soccer teams without league restrictions because Lamar Hunt won a court challenge stemming from his investment in the old North American Soccer League. When he died in December 2006, he owned 2 teams in Major League Soccer, based in Dallas and Columbus, and he had only sold a third team, in Kansas City, less than four months before.) In relation to a company, a director is an officer of the company charged with the conduct and management of its affairs. ... In American English, a Grandfather clause is an exception that allows an old rule to continue to apply to some existing situations, when a new rule will apply to all future situations. ... The Arena Football League (AFL) was founded in 1987 as an American football indoor league. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Gambling or Gaming [1] has had many different meanings depending on the cultural and historical context in which it is used. ... North American Soccer League or (NASL) was a professional soccer league with teams in the United States and Canada that operated from 1968 to 1984. ... Major League Soccer (MLS) is a professional soccer league with teams in the United States and Canada. ... Year founded 1995 as Dallas Burn League Major League Soccer Nickname Hoops, FCD, Toros Stadium Pizza Hut Park Coach Steve Morrow Owner Clark Hunt First Game Dallas Burn 0–0 San Jose Clash (Cotton Bowl; April 14, 1996) Largest Win Dallas Burn 5–0 Kansas City Wizards (Cotton Bowl; July... Year founded 1994 League Major League Soccer Nickname Crew Stadium Columbus Crew Stadium Coach Sigi Schmid, 2006 Owner Lamar Hunt First Game Columbus Crew 4–0 D.C. United (Ohio Stadium; April 13, 1996) Largest Win Columbus Crew 6–1 New England Revolution (Ohio Stadium; August 8, 1998) Columbus Crew... Year founded 1995 League Major League Soccer Nickname Wizards Stadium Arrowhead Stadium Coach Brian Bliss, 2006 (interim) Owner OnGoal, LLC. First Game Kansas City Wiz 3–0 Colorado Rapids (Arrowhead Stadium; April 13, 1996) Largest Win Kansas City Wizards 6–0 MetroStars (Arrowhead Stadium; June 20, 1999) Worst Defeat Kansas...


Regarding territorial rights, the main concern for many team owners has become television revenue although the possibility of reduced ticket sales remains a concern for some teams. Because the National Football League shares all of its television revenue equally, and most of its teams sell out their stadiums with little difficulty, some NFL owners are seen as being less reluctant to share their territories. For example, the return of the NFL to Baltimore in 1996 attracted no serious opposition from the Washington Redskins organization. For other uses of National Football League, see National Football League (disambiguation). ... Nickname: Monument City, Charm City, Mob Town[1][2] Motto: The Greatest City in America[3], Get in on it. ... City Landover, Maryland Other nicknames The Skins Team colors Burgundy and Gold Head Coach Joe Gibbs Owner Dan Snyder Fight song Hail to the Redskins League/Conference affiliations National Football League (1932–present) Eastern Division (1933-1949) American Conference (1950-1952) Eastern Conference (1953-1969) Capitol Division (1967-1969) National...


Weathering challenges from rival leagues

All of the majors have bested at least one rival league formed with the intention of being just as "big" as the established league, often by signing away star players and by locating franchises in cities that were already part of the existing league. In many cases, the major leagues have absorbed the most successful franchises from its failing rival, or merged outright with it.

The Federal League was the last major attempt to establish an independent major league in baseball in the United States in direct competition with and opposition to the established National and American Leagues in 1914 and 1915. ... See also: 1913 in sports, 1915 in sports and the list of years in sports. Baseball April 22 - Baltimore Orioles Babe Ruth, age 19, pitches his first professional game Football (Australian Rules) Victorian Football League Carlton wins the 18th VFL Premiership (Carlton 6. ... The Continental League was a proposed third major league for baseball. ... Combatants Allied Powers Axis Powers Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000,000 Total dead: 50,000,000 Military dead: 8,000,000 Civilian dead: 4,000,000 Total dead 12,000,000 World War II (abbreviated WWII), or the Second World War, was a worldwide conflict... A Gentlemens agreement is an informal agreement between two parties. ... In 1920, the owners of Major League Baseball, in order to reestablish confidence of fans in the sport following the Black Sox Scandal, established the office of Commissioner of Baseball. ... Kenesaw Mountain Landis Kenesaw Mountain Landis (20 November 1866 – 25 November 1944) was an American jurist who served as a federal judge from 1905 to 1922, and subsequently as the first commissioner of Major League Baseball. ... An African American (also Afro-American, Black American, or simply black) is a member of an ethnic group in the United States whose ancestors, usually in predominant part, were indigenous to Africa. ... Part of the History of baseball series. ... Barnstorming was a popular form of entertainment in the 1920s in which stunt pilots would perform tricks with airplanes, often in groups as a flying circus. ... Jack Roosevelt Jackie Robinson (January 31, 1919 - October 24, 1972) became the first black Major League Baseball player of the modern era in 1947. ... The baseball color line was the policy, unwritten for nearly its entire duration, which excluded African American baseball players from organized baseball in the United States before 1946. ... Year 1947 (MCMXLVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1947 calendar). ... For information about the ABA that began in 2000 see American Basketball Association (21st century). ... The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979, inclusive. ... The Denver Nuggets are a professional basketball team based in Denver, Colorado. ... The Indiana Pacers are a professional basketball team that plays in the National Basketball Association (NBA). ... The New Jersey Nets are a professional basketball team based in East Rutherford, New Jersey. ... The San Antonio Spurs are an American professional basketball team based in San Antonio, Texas. ... Sara Giauro shoots a three-point shot, FIBA Europe Cup for Women Finals 2005 In basketball, a three-point field goal, three-pointer, three-point shot, or simply three is a field goal made from beyond the three point line, a designated semi-ellipsoid arc radiating from the basket. ... AFL logo The American Football League (AFL) was a professional league of American football that operated from 1960 to 1969. ... See also: 1959 in sports, other events of 1960, 1961 in sports and the list of years in sports. // Auto Racing Stock car racing: Junior Johnson won the Daytona 500 NASCAR Championship - Rex White Indianapolis 500 - Jim Rathmann USAC Racing - A.J. Foyt won the season championship Formula One Championship... See also: 1969 in sports, other events of 1970, 1971 in sports and the list of years in sports. // Auto Racing Stock car racing: Pete Hamilton won the Daytona 500 NASCAR Championship - Bobby Isaac Indianapolis 500 - Al Unser, Sr. ... The winning Super Bowl team receives the Vince Lombardi Trophy. ... The All-America Football Conference (AAFC) was a professional American football league that challenged the rival National Football League from 1946 to 1949. ... See also: 1945 in sports, other events of 1946, 1947 in sports and the list of years in sports. // Baseball January 23: Hall of Fame election: The writers vote again fails to select an inductee, despite a newly revamped voting process. ... See also: 1948 in sports, other events of 1949, 1950 in sports and the list of years in sports. // Auto racing The first 24 hours of Le Mans is held since the beginning of World War II. Luigi Chinetti and Lord Seldson win the race in a Ferrari 166M. Baseball... WFL logo The World Football League was an American football league that played in 1974 and part of 1975. ... See also: 1973 in sports, other events of 1974, 1975 in sports and the list of years in sports. // Auto Racing Stock car racing: Richard Petty won the Daytona 500 NASCAR Championship - Richard Petty IROC Championship - inaugural year won by Mark Donohue Indianapolis 500 - Johnny Rutherford USAC Racing - Bobby Unser... See also: 1974 in sports, other events of 1975, 1976 in sports and the list of years in sports. // Athletics August 12, In Gothenburg, Sweden, New Zealander, John Walker set a new world record becoming the first man to break 3:50 for the mile when he clocked 3:49. ... The United States Football League was a professional American football league that played three seasons between 1983 and 1985. ... See also: 1981 in sports, other events of 1982, 1983 in sports and the list of years in sports. // Auto Racing Stock car racing: NASCAR Championship - Darrell Waltrip Bobby Allison won the Daytona 500 CART Racing - Rick Mears won the season championship Indianapolis 500 - Gordon Johncock Formula One Champion - Keke... See also: 1984 in sports, other events of 1985, 1986 in sports and the list of years in sports. // Auto Racing Stock car racing: Bill Elliott won the Daytona 500 NASCAR Championship - Darrell Waltrip Ken Schrader enters NASCAR CART Racing - Al Unser Sr won the season championship Indianapolis 500 - Danny... Lions Stampeders Eskimos Roughriders Blue Bombers Tiger-Cats Argonauts Alouettes The Canadian Football League (CFL), also known by its French name, Ligue canadienne de football (LCF), is a professional sports league located in Canada that plays Canadian football, and is the second most popular sports league in Canada. ... The CFLs American teams used a modified league logo. ... See also: 1992 in sports, other events of 1993, 1994 in sports and the list of years in sports. // Athletics February 11 - Irina Privalova sets a new womens 60m indoors world record August 13 - August 22 - World Championships held in Stuttgart Auto Racing Stock car racing: Dale Jarrett won... See also: 1994 in sports, other events of 1995, 1996 in sports and the list of years in sports. // Auto Racing Stock car racing: Sterling Marlin won the Daytona 500 NASCAR Championship - Jeff Gordon CART racing - season championship won by Jacques Villeneuve Indianapolis 500 - Jacques Villeneuve. ... The XFL was a professional American football league that played for one season in 2001. ... See also: 2000 in sports, other events of 2001, 2002 in sports and the list of years in sports. // Auto Racing Stock car racing: Michael Waltrip won the Daytona 500, a race that also saw the death of seven-time NASCAR champion Dale Earnhardt in an unspectacular crash during the... For historical information about the Cleveland Browns (including all-time records, Hall of Famers, notable players and coaching history, see Cleveland Browns Archives Browns redirects here. ... City San Francisco, California Other nicknames Niners, The Red And Gold, Bay Bombers Team colors Cardinal red, metallic gold and black Head Coach Mike Nolan Owner Denise DeBartolo York and John York General manager none Mascot Sourdough Sam League/Conference affiliations All-America Football Conference (1946-1949) Western Division (1946... City St. ... Nickname: The Forest City Motto: Progress and Prosperity Location in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, USA Coordinates: Country United States State Ohio County Cuyahoga Founded 1796 Incorporated 1836 Mayor Frank G. Jackson (D) Area    - City 82. ... Nickname: City of Angels Location within Los Angeles County in the state of California Coordinates: State California County Los Angeles County  - Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Area    - City 1290. ... City Glendale, Arizona Other nicknames The Cards, The Birds, Big Red Team colors Cardinal Red, Black, and White Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt Owner William V. Bidwill General manager Rod Graves Mascot Big Red League/Conference affiliations National Football League (1920–present) Western Division (1933-1949) American Conference (1950-1952) Eastern... City Jacksonville, Florida Other nicknames The Jags Team colors Teal, Black, and Gold Head Coach Jack Del Rio Owner Wayne Weaver General manager James Harris Mascot Jaxson de Ville League/Conference affiliations National Football League (1995–present) American Football Conference (1995-present) AFC Central (1995-2001) AFC South (2002-present... City Baltimore, Maryland Team colors Purple, Black, and Gold Head Coach Brian Billick Owner Steve Bisciotti General manager Ozzie Newsome Mascot Edgar, Allan, and Poe League/Conference affiliations National Football League (1996–present) American Football Conference (1996-present) AFC Central (1996-2001) AFC North (2002-present) Team history Baltimore Ravens... World Hockey Association logo The World Hockey Association (French: Association Mondiale de Hockey) was a professional ice hockey league that operated in North America from 1972 to 1979. ... The Western Hockey League was a minor pro ice hockey league that operated from 1952 to 1974. ... The National Hockey League added six new franchises for the 1967-68 NHL season, doubling the size of the league. ... Robert Marvin Hull (born January 3, 1939) was a Canadian ice hockey player. ... Derek Sanderson (born June 16, 1946), is a former Canadian ice hockey center who is now a bank executive. ... John A. Ziegler, Jr (born February 9, 1934 in Grosse Pointe, Michigan) is a former President of the NHL. In 1977, Ziegler became the fourth president of the NHL, succeeding Clarence Campbell. ... The Edmonton Oilers are a professional ice hockey team based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. ... The Quebec Nordiques (pronounced ; translated into English as Northmen or Northerners) were a professional ice hockey team based in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. ... The Colorado Avalanche are a professional ice hockey team based in Denver, Colorado. ... The Hartford Whalers (known as the New England Whalers as a World Hockey Association (WHA) franchise from 1972-79), was a National Hockey League (NHL) team that played from 1979-97. ... The Carolina Hurricanes are a National Hockey League team in Raleigh, North Carolina. ... The Winnipeg Jets were an ice hockey franchise that existed in both the World Hockey Association and the National Hockey League. ... The Phoenix Coyotes are a professional ice hockey team based in the Phoenix suburb of Glendale. ... Mark John Douglas Moose Messier (born January 18, 1961, in St. ... Wayne Douglas Gretzky, OC (born January 26, 1961) is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey player who is currently part-owner and head coach of the Phoenix Coyotes. ... Mark Howe (born May 28, 1955, in Detroit, Michigan) is a retired American professional ice hockey defenseman who played 16 seasons in the National Hockey League and 6 seasons in the World Hockey Association. ... Mike Liut (born January 7, 1956 in Weston, Ontario) was a Canadian ice hockey goaltender. ...

Minor league systems

All the major leagues are distinguished from the minor league systems they utilize to develop and train personnel.

  • The vast majority of MLB players are developed through the minor league baseball system. Prospective players traditionally were drafted or (before the first MLB draft in 1965) signed to a contract with a MLB team directly after high school and then assigned to the appropriate minor league level for development. With the growth of college baseball in the past few decades, more and more players opt to play at the collegiate level and delay entry into the MLB draft. Individual teams' large scouting staffs have given way to smaller staffs and subscriptions to commercial player scouting services. Entering the majors directly from high school or college is almost unknown; most of the few that have were quickly reassigned to the minors. MLB clubs have also recruited many players from the Japanese leagues.
  • College and high school basketball produce most of the NBA's talent, though minimum age rules have ended the NBA's practice of drafting players directly from high school beginning in 2006. The NBA D-League supplies the NBA to an extent, though NBA teams more frequently recruit talent from European and Latin American professional leagues.
  • Semi-pro football and minor leagues such as the Continental Football League once flourished up to the 1950s, but today the source for almost all NFL players is college football. The NFL does maintain its own six-team minor league, NFL Europa, which also serves the dual purpose of introducing the game of American football in European markets. NFL teams also recruit a number of players from indoor leagues, and occasionally signs players from the Canadian Football League.
  • Each NHL team has an affiliate in North America's top-tier minor hockey league, the American Hockey League, and in lower leagues such as the Central Hockey League or ECHL. For decades, the traditional route to the NHL went through the Canadian Hockey League (CHL), generally regarded as the world's premier competition for 15- through 20-year-olds. In recent decades, NHL teams have drafted and/or signed prospects from top European amateur and professional organizations, and a growing number of NHL hopefuls are forgoing the professional CHL in favor of NCAA Division I college hockey. Regardless of which route hockey players take to sign an NHL contract, almost all are initially assigned to an affiliate in their NHL team's minor league system for development.

A Class A California League game in San Jose, California (1994) Minor baseball leagues are North American professional baseball leagues that compete at a level below that of Major League Baseball. ... A contract is a legally binding exchange of promises or agreement between parties. ... Main article: Secondary education High school is a name used in some parts of the world, and particularly in North America, to describe the last segment of compulsory secondary education. ... College baseball is baseball as played on the intercollegiate level at institutions of higher education, predominantly in the United States. ... A number of professional baseball players were able to skip a career in the minor leagues before appearing in their first major league baseball game. ... Part of the History of baseball series. ... College basketball most often refers to the American basketball competitive governance structure established by the National Collegiate Athletic Association, or NCAA. // The game of basketball was devised by Dr. James Naismith in 1891. ... Main article: Secondary education High school is a name used in some parts of the world, and particularly in North America, to describe the last segment of compulsory secondary education. ... The 2006 NBA Draft was held on June 28 at the Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York City. ... The National Basketball Association Development League, more commonly known as the NBA Development League, NBA D-League, or just D-League, is the NBAs officially sponsored and operated developmental basketball organization. ... World map exhibiting the location of Europe. ... Latin America consists of the countries of South America and some of North America (including Central America and some the islands of the Caribbean) whose inhabitants mostly speak Romance languages, although Native American languages are also spoken. ... The Continental Football League was an American football league played in North America from 1965 through 1969. ... A college football game between Colorado State University and the Air Force Academy. ... NFL Europa is an American football league which operates in Europe. ... United States simply as football, is a competitive team sport that is both fast-paced and strategic. ... Indoor football is a variation of American football with rules modified to make it suitable for play within basketball gymnasiums and, particularly, ice hockey arenas. ... Lions Stampeders Eskimos Roughriders Blue Bombers Tiger-Cats Argonauts Alouettes The Canadian Football League (CFL), also known by its French name, Ligue canadienne de football (LCF), is a professional sports league located in Canada that plays Canadian football, and is the second most popular sports league in Canada. ... The American Hockey League (AHL) is regarded as the top professional hockey league in North America outside the National Hockey League (NHL) for which it serves as the primary developmental circuit. ... For other leagues with the same name, see Central Hockey League (disambiguation). ... The ECHL (formerly the East Coast Hockey League) is a professional ice hockey league based in Princeton, New Jersey, with teams scattered across the United States and Canada, generally regarded as a tier below the American Hockey League. ... The Canadian Hockey League is an umbrella organization for three North American Major Junior A Tier I hockey leagues for players of 15 to 20 years of age. ... The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA, often said NC-Double-A) is a voluntary association of about 1200 institutions, conferences, organizations and individuals that organizes the athletics programs of many colleges and universities in the United States. ...

Television exposure

All four of the major sports have had television contracts with at least one of the original "big three" U.S. broadcast television networks (CBS, NBC, and ABC) since those networks' early years, indicative of the sports' widespread appeal since their inception, continuing today additionally with FOX. Regular season games, as well as important contests such as championship and all-star games are often televised in prime time. In the last generation, fast-growing cable and satellite networks have taken a larger chunk of the major sports' pie. Three of the four major sports now have entire sports networks dedicated just to each of them. NBA TV launched in 1999, with NFL Network and NHL Network following. Major League Baseball had announced plans for their own network, but then dropped them to attempt to start a national sports network with FOX. Those plans were dropped as well, after MLB and FOX failed to acquire a late season package of NFL games that went to NFL Network. CBS is one of the largest radio and television networks in the United States. ... NBC (an abbreviation for National Broadcasting Company, its former corporate name) is an American television network headquartered in the GE Building in New York Citys Rockefeller Center. ... The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) operates television and radio networks in the United States and is also shown on basic cable in Canada. ... For the animal, see Fox. ... An all-star game is an exhibition game played by the best players in their respective sports league. ... Prime time is the block of programming on television during the middle of the evening. ... NBA TV is a television network that is dedicated to showcasing the sport of basketball in the United States. ... NFL Network is an American specialty channel owned and operated by the National Football League (NFL) and is also shown in Canada and Mexico. ... NHL Network is a Canadian category 2 digital cable television channel devoted to hockey from the past and the present. ...


Comparing the sizes of television contracts, the NFL is by far the largest (reportedly $2.2 billion US for the 2012 season), with the NBA and MLB second and third ($500 million and $479 million respectively). The NHL is in a distant fourth place ($120 million), a disparity those who wish to exclude the NHL from the major leagues often point to. However, the NHL began airing games on NBC starting in January 2006 and the NHL Network, currently only available in Canada, will soon be available to U.S. cable and satellite subscribers. In addition, many regular season NHL games are broadcast on regional sports networks (such as FSN), which can vary on contract worth by region or team. NHL Network is a Canadian category 2 digital cable television channel devoted to hockey from the past and the present. ... Fox Sports Net headquarters in Los Angeles. ...


High player salaries

The average annual salary for players in the four major leagues is about $2.9 million in 2004, although player salaries can range from $300,000 for backup players to $20 million for superstars. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... ISO 4217 Code USD User(s) the United States, the British Virgin Islands, East Timor, Ecuador, El Salvador, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau, Panama, Turks and Caicos Islands, and the insular areas of the United States Inflation 3. ...

  • NBA players have the highest average player salaries of the four leagues at $4.9 million; however, their teams also have the smallest rosters.
  • The NFL has the highest average team payroll and a salary cap that will exceed $100 million for the first time under the new collective bargaining agreement with the NFL's players union. However, NFL payrolls distributed among rosters that are far larger than the other three leagues, making their players among the lowest paid on the average at $1.3 million (although this average is likely to increase under the new CBA).
  • Following the settlement of the 2004-05 NHL lockout, NHL players were also due to be paid about $1.3 million on average, although this too is set to increase because the lockout did not have the adverse effect on league revenues that was expected. Before the lockout, NHL player salaries were approaching MLB averages.
  • MLB is in the middle at about $2.5 million per player. MLB is now alone among the major leagues in that it lacks any form of a salary cap and has enacted only modest forms of revenue sharing and luxury taxes, and compared to the other leagues there is a far greater disparity between MLB payrolls. The New York Yankees had the highest payroll of any American sports team in 2006 when they paid $194 million in players' salaries - nearly twice the NFL salary cap and nearly thirteen times the payroll of the Florida Marlins who spent about $15 million (significantly less than the mandatory minimum team payrolls in the NFL and NHL).

Please wikify (format) this article or section as suggested in the Guide to layout and the Manual of Style. ... In sports, a salary cap (often called a wage cap in the United Kingdom) is a limit on the amount of money a team can spend on player salaries, either as a per-player limit or a total limit for the teams roster (or both). ... The Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) is the contract between the NHL and the NHLPA that defines the structure of procedural, financial, and disciplinary relationships between the NHL, its teams, and its players. ... The National Football League Players Association, or NFLPA, is the labor union of players in footballs National Football League. ... The 2004-05 NHL lockout resulted in the cancellation of what would have been the 88th season of the National Hockey League (NHL). ... In sports, a salary cap (often called a wage cap in the United Kingdom) is a limit on the amount of money a team can spend on player salaries, either as a per-player limit or a total limit for the teams roster (or both). ... Revenue sharing is the splitting of operating profits and losses between the general partner and limited partners in a limited partnership. ... A luxury tax in the sports sense is a surcharge put on the aggregate payroll of a team to the extent to which it exceeds a predetermined guideline level set by the league. ... Major league affiliations American League (1901–present) East Division (1969–present) Current uniform Retired Numbers 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 23, 32, 37, 44, 49 Name New York Yankees (1913–present) New York Highlanders (1903-1912) Baltimore Orioles (1901-1902) (Also referred to as Americans... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ... Major league affiliations National League (1993–present) East Division (1993–present) Current uniform Retired Numbers 5 42 (neither for a Marlins player) Name Florida Marlins (1993–present) Ballpark Dolphin Stadium (1993–present) also known as Dolphins Stadium (2005-2006) also known as Pro Player Stadium (1996-2004) also known as...

Dominance of the respective sports

One other trait that each of the four leagues share is that they are the premier competitions of their respective sport on the world stage.


There are thriving professional ice hockey, baseball, and basketball leagues around the world but none are in a position to challenge their North American counterparts for dominance on or off the playing surface. Major League Baseball is increasingly luring away the stars from the Japanese leagues, the European hockey leagues have become a major source of star talent for National Hockey League clubs and the National Basketball Association frequently recruits talent from professional leagues in Europe and Latin America although prominent NBA figures have acknowledged that the gap between the NBA and the Euroleague (a Europe-wide competition for elite clubs) may be narrowing. [1] Part of the History of baseball series. ... World map exhibiting the location of Europe. ... Latin America consists of the countries of South America and some of North America (including Central America and some the islands of the Caribbean) whose inhabitants mostly speak Romance languages, although Native American languages are also spoken. ... The Euroleague is a high-calibre professional basketball league with teams from thirteen different European countries. ...


The perceived lack of competition from the rest of the world has contributed to the long-standing but controversial practice of the American media dubbing the champions of MLB, the NBA and the NFL the world champions. The early Stanley Cup champions from both the NHL and the early leagues the NHL eventually displaced were also called world champions in the early decades of professional hockey by Americans and Canadians alike. However, that practice fell out of favor in the latter half of the 20th century. The International Ice Hockey Federation has proposed a world championship playoff between the Stanley Cup winners and the champions of the European Hockey League (see below). A champion (identical to the French, from the late Latin campio) is one who has repeatedly come out first among contestants in challenges (especially the winner of a tournament or other competition) or other test, one who is outstandingly skilled in their field. ... The Stanley Cup The Stanley Cup is the championship trophy of the National Hockey League (NHL), the major professional ice hockey league in Canada and the United States. ... The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) was founded in 1908 and is the worldwide governing body for ice hockey and in-line hockey. ... Category: ...


If the popularity of baseball and basketball keeps growing in various countries outside of the United States, some think that the NBA and MLB may begin to place franchises in foreign markets (other than Canada, where each league already has a franchise in Toronto). The popularity of baseball in Southeast Asia and Central America is growing, along with the talent of prospective players from the regions. Meanwhile, the popularity of basketball has grown to be the second highest in the world (following football (soccer)).[citation needed] Football (soccer) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ...


However, one major detractor against foreign expansion by MLB or the NBA is that the sports in question enjoy much of their popularity in relatively poor countries that would probably be unable to financially support a sports franchise using the American model. The only clear exception to this would be the popularity of baseball in Japan, but well-established baseball leagues already exist in that country.


Due to the popularity of hockey in some of the most prosperous parts of Europe, many believe that the major league with the best chance of success outside North America would be the NHL. This has led to the possibility of European NHL franchises being discussed in the past, although NHL officials have repeatedly said they have no current plans to create a European division. The most that has come out of this has been the Soviet All-Stars tour in the 1970s, where the Red Army squads played NHL teams in exhibition games[2]. As mentioned above, the IIHF has proposed that instead of a direct NHL presence in Europe a world championship playoff between the Stanley Cup winners and the champions of the European Hockey League should be held each year. [3] The NHL's position on this proposal is not entirely clear, but many believe that the players union would be unlikely to support it. Category: ... The National Hockey League Players Association or NHLPA is a labour union that represents the interests of the hockey players in the National Hockey League of North America. ...


Recently talks about NBA franchises being located in Europe have intensified. For logistical reasons it would be necessary to have a minimum of two and probably four or more teams in Europe, so that visiting North American teams could have a "European Swing." Possible cities for such expansion include London, Paris, Barcelona, Madrid, Cologne, Berlin, Rome and Moscow. Although current NBA commissioner David Stern and former NBA star Michael Jordan are among those who have endorsed the concept of NBA teams in Europe, increasing cooperation between the NBA and ULEB, the body that organizes the Euroleague, may make a permanent NBA presence in Europe less likely, at least for the foreseeable future. In 2005, the two bodies agreed to organize a summer competition known as the NBA Europe Live Tour featuring four NBA teams and four Euroleague clubs, with the first competition taking place in 2006. [4] This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... City flag City coat of arms Motto: Fluctuat nec mergitur (Latin: Tossed by the waves, she does not sink) Paris Eiffel tower as seen from the esplanade du Trocadéro. ... Location Coordinates : Time Zone : CET (GMT +1) - summer: CEST (GMT +2) General information Native name Barcelona (Catalan) Spanish name Barcelona Nickname Ciutat Comtal (Catalan) Ciudad Condal (Spanish) Postal code 08001-08080 Area code 34 (Spain) + 93 (Barcelona) Website http://www. ... Location Coordinates : 40° 23’N , 3°43′0″W Time Zone : CET (GMT +1) - summer: CEST (GMT +2) General information Native name Villa de Madrid (Spanish) Spanish name Villa de Madrid Founded 9th century Postal code 28001-28080 Area code 34 (Spain) + 91 (Madrid) Website http://www. ... For other uses, see Cologne (disambiguation). ... Berlin is the capital city and one of the sixteen states of the Federal Republic of Germany. ... Nickname: The Eternal City Motto: SPQR: Senatus PopulusQue Romanus Location of the city of Rome (yellow) within the Province of Rome (red) and region of Lazio (grey) Coordinates: Region Lazio Province Province of Rome Founded 21 April 753 BC  - Mayor Walter Veltroni Area    - City 1285 km²  (580 sq mi)  - Urban... Location Position of Moscow in Europe Government Country District Subdivision Russia Central Federal District Federal City Mayor Yuriy Luzhkov Geographical characteristics Area  - City 1,081 km² Population  - City (2007)    - Density 10,469,000   8537. ... David Joel Stern (born September 22, 1942) is an American lawyer and has been the Commissioner of the National Basketball Association (NBA) since 1984. ... For other persons named Michael Jordan, see Michael Jordan (disambiguation). ... The ULEBwas founded in 1991, with the aim to help the cooperation and development of European professional basketball leagues. ... The NBA Europe Live Tour was an international basketball exhibition and competition produced jointly by the National Basketball Association and the Euroleague. ...


A major obstacle for anyone trying to establish either an NBA or NHL presence in Europe is that with soccer being in the dominant position that it enjoys on that continent, building state of the art indoor arenas suitable for ice hockey and/or basketball has not become a priority in European cities until very recently. No arena likely to meet the standards of either league existed anywhere in Europe until the Manchester Evening News Arena opened in 1995, followed by Cologne's Kölnarena in 1998. Two more NBA/NHL-caliber arenas opened in 2004—the Olympic Indoor Hall in Athens and Sazka Arena in Prague—and another such arena, Belgrade Arena opened in 2005. A new arena is scheduled to open in London by 2007, and plans are in the works for NBA/NHL-caliber venues in Berlin, Moscow and Madrid. The state of the art is the highest level of development, as of a device, technique, or scientific field, achieved at a particular time. ... The following is a list of indoor arenas. ... The Manchester Evening News Arena or M.E.N. Arena (commonly referred to as just The M.E.N. or simply Manchester Arena) is a large indoor arena situated in Manchester, England. ... 1995 (MCMXCV) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Kölnarena is an arena in Koln, Germany. ... 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year of the Ocean. ... 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Athens Olympic Sports Complex is the central group of facilities for the 2004 Summer Olympics. ... Sazka Arena in Prague is one of the most modern multifunctional arenas in Europe built for the 2004 Mens World Ice Hockey Championships. ... The brand new Belgrade Arena (Serbian Cyrillic: Београдска арена, Serbian Latin: Beogradska arena) is now the biggest and most up-to-date sports complex in Belgrade, Serbia, and is designed as a universal hall for all sports events, including; basketball, handball, volleyball, tennis, athletics, an ice rink, and a hall for cultural... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Millennium Dome, with the Canary Wharf complex in the background, seen from the River Thames Aerial view of the Millennium Dome The Millennium Dome, seen from the Isle of Dogs. ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD (or CE) era. ...


The NFL has the least international exposure of the Big Four, American football being the least international of the four sports, yet it is the most popular professional league in the United States. In the 1950s and 1960s, selected NFL teams would travel north to Canada to play a CFL team in pre-season "American Bowl" games. The NFL has also attempted to promote its game worldwide by scheduling selected pre-season games since 1976 in Mexico, Europe, Australia, and Japan [5] and through NFL Europa, although the latter has largely failed outside Germany. Starting in 2005, the NFL has begun holding one regular season game in Mexico City. The 2005 matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals drew a crowd of over 103,000 to Azteca Stadium, making it the largest attendance at an NFL regular season game [6]. (A 1994 crowd of over 112,000 at Azteca Stadium is the largest to attend a pre-season game.) Additional overseas regular season games in other countries have been proposed for as early as 2007. [7][8] The NFL has a working agreement with the Canadian Football League (CFL), which is second in popularity only to the NHL in that country. There has also been speculation that a franchise would be located in Toronto, to balance out returning a team to Los Angeles (the only metro area in the U.S. larger than Toronto, or even larger than half Toronto's size that lacks an NFL team). Despite this, the prospect of foreign NFL franchises in the relative near future is unlikely due to gridiron football's lack of popularity outside of Canada and the US. An exhibition game is the North American term for a sporting event in which there is no gain or loss from whether the competitors are victorious or not in the competition. ... NFL Europa is an American football league which operates in Europe. ... It has been suggested that Mexican Federal District be merged into this article or section. ... Aztec Stadium, safe stadium. ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD (or CE) era. ... Lions Stampeders Eskimos Roughriders Blue Bombers Tiger-Cats Argonauts Alouettes The Canadian Football League (CFL), also known by its French name, Ligue canadienne de football (LCF), is a professional sports league located in Canada that plays Canadian football, and is the second most popular sports league in Canada. ... Nickname: City of Angels Location within Los Angeles County in the state of California Coordinates: State California County Los Angeles County  - Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Area    - City 1290. ...


Major professional sports leagues outside North America

Australia

The term major sports is commonly used in Australia to denote the most popular sports of that country. Football (soccer), Australian rules football, cricket, rugby league and rugby union are team sports that are considered "major" by most Australians. The men's national football team advanced to the second round of 2006 FIFA World Cup, providing a significant boost for the new Aussie professional league, the A-League. Football (soccer) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... The Big Men Fly - high marking is a key skill and spectator attribute of Aussie Rules Precise field and goal kicking using the oval shaped ball is the most important skill in Aussie Rules Footy Australian rules football, also known as Australian football, Aussie rules, or simply football or footy... For the insect, see Cricket (insect). ... Rugby league is a team sport played by two teams of 17 players, with 13 on the field at any one time and 4 on the bench (reserves). ... A rugby union scrum. ... First international New Zealand 3 - 1 Australia (Dunedin, New Zealand; June 17, 1922) Biggest win Australia 31 - 0 American Samoa (Coffs Harbour, Australia; April 11, 2001) Qualifier for 2002 World Cup (International Record) Biggest defeat Australia 0 - 8 South Africa (Adelaide, Australia; September 17, 1955) World Cup Appearances 2 (First... Qualifying countries The Italian team celebrating with the cup, July 9 2006 The 2006 FIFA World Cup was the 18th staging of the FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international association football world championship tournament. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ...


Historical regionality

Strong regional identification with different football codes has led to corresponding regional attitudes to these sports. Prior to the 1990s, rugby league was almost exclusively a sport of the "northern" states, that is, those states north of the Murray River (New South Wales and Queensland, and also the Australian Capital Territory). Sydney was and remains the focus of elite competition in that sport. In the other states (Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia, and also the Northern Territory) the dominant winter sport was, and still is, Australian rules football. Melbourne is the heartland of "Aussie Rules". Rugby league is a team sport played by two teams of 17 players, with 13 on the field at any one time and 4 on the bench (reserves). ... The Murray River, or River Murray, is Australias second-longest river in its own right (the longest being its tributary the Darling). ... Capital Sydney Government Const. ... Capital Brisbane Government Const. ... Capital Canberra Government Const. ... The Sydney Opera House on Sydney Harbour Sydney (pronounced ) is the most populous city in Australia with a metropolitan area population of over 4. ... Capital Melbourne Government Const. ... Capital Hobart Government Const. ... Emblems: Hairy Nosed Wombat (faunal); Leafy Seadragon (marine); Piping Shrike (bird: unofficial); Sturts Desert Pea (floral); Opal (gemstone) Motto: United for the Common Wealth Slogan or Nickname: Festival State Other Australian states and territories Capital Adelaide Government Const. ... Capital Perth Government Const. ... Capital Darwin Government Const. ... The Big Men Fly - high marking is a key skill and spectator attribute of Aussie Rules Precise field and goal kicking using the oval shaped ball is the most important skill in Aussie Rules Footy Australian rules football, also known as Australian football, Aussie rules, or simply football or footy... Melbournes Yarra River is a popular area for walking, jogging, cycling, rowing and for relaxing on the banks with a picnic Melbourne (pronounced ) is the second most populous city in Australia, with a metropolitan area population of approximately 3. ...


Several factors since 1990 have eroded the regional boundaries between these football codes, although the support systems and minor (including junior and schools) competitions in each state and city still reflect the biases of the last 100+ years. The recent factors of change include:

  • More widespread media coverage of each sport, particularly since the advent of pay television in 1995.
  • The maturation of each code's elite competition from being a city/suburban league to a national league, although rugby league has failed to maintain national league franchises in either Perth or Adelaide.
  • The change from amateurism to professionalism in rugby union, and the advent of an elite interprovincial competition — now known as the Super 14 — involving teams from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, has greatly widened the knowledge and appeal of that sport to make it a market rival for rugby league and Australian rules football.
  • The great increase in the marketing and promotion effort of all top-level sports in Australia, which has made teams and players into household names in contrast with earlier eras where news of one region's sports leagues would rarely be reported in another region.

Pay television, or pay-TV, usually refers to subscription-based television services, usually provided by both analogue and digital cable and satellite, but also increasingly by digital terrestrial methods. ... Rugby league is a team sport played by two teams of 17 players, with 13 on the field at any one time and 4 on the bench (reserves). ... The Perth skyline veiwed from the Swan River This article is about the urban area of Perth, Western Australia. ... For other uses, see Adelaide (disambiguation). ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Amateur. ... A profession is a specialized work function within society, generally performed by a professional. ... A rugby union scrum. ... The Super 14 is the largest rugby union championship in the southern hemisphere, consisting of provincial teams from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. ... Rugby league is a team sport played by two teams of 17 players, with 13 on the field at any one time and 4 on the bench (reserves). ... The Big Men Fly - high marking is a key skill and spectator attribute of Aussie Rules Precise field and goal kicking using the oval shaped ball is the most important skill in Aussie Rules Footy Australian rules football, also known as Australian football, Aussie rules, or simply football or footy...

Japan

Even though sports such as boxing and sumo wrestling are popular, baseball is the most popular team sport, and NPB (Nippon Professional Baseball) is considered a major league among Asians. The total revenue and attendance records of NPB, as well as its popularity in its home market, are competitive with those of other major leagues in North America and Europe, such as the NFL and English Premiership. Boxing, also called prizefighting (when referring to professional boxing), the sweet science (a common nickname among fans) or the gentlemans sport (used mainly in England), is a sport and martial art in which two participants of similar weight classification fight each other with their fists in a series of... A sumo match Sumo (相撲 Sumō), or sumo wrestling, is today a competition contact sport wherein two wrestlers or rikishi face off in a circular area. ... A view of the playing field at Busch Stadium II St. ... Part of the History of baseball series. ... // This article lists the attendances at many sports competitions around the world. ...


The second most popular and important team sport is soccer; the local J. League is the most financially successful of leagues in East Asia. An interesting trait of these two major leagues is that J. League uses promotion and relegation like the major European leagues, but NPB, owing to its American origins, does not (franchises are awarded in the American style but do not have regional criteria; most teams are located in the Tokyo or Osaka metropolitan areas, and are differentiated by the company sponsoring them). Football (soccer) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... The Japan Professional Football League ), or J.LEAGUE ), is the top professional football (soccer) league in Japan and one of the most successful leagues in Asian club football. ...   , literally Eastern capital) is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, the home of the Japanese Imperial Family, and the de facto[1] capital of Japan. ... For other uses, see Osaka (disambiguation). ...


Europe, Africa and Latin America

Association Football

In Association Football (soccer), the term "major leagues" would apply (and is occasionally used) to refer to the strongest domestic leagues. In Europe, the media almost always define the top divisions of England (FA Premier League), Italy (Serie A) and Spain (La Liga) as major leagues. The French (Ligue 1) and German (Bundesliga) top leagues are not generally regarded as being quite of the same calibre as the first three, but are usually defined as major leagues too, due to the stature of France and Germany in world football terms. The top teams from each of the national leagues compete in the UEFA Champions League, which operates at the continental level (participation in the Champions League as well as the second-tier UEFA Cup is concurrent with continuing national league and cup commitments). The G-14 is a grouping of 18 of Europe's top teams. Its membership currently includes three clubs from each of the "big five" leagues as well as two from the Netherlands and one from Portugal. The latter two leagues are occasionally included in the synoptic reports of media outlets covering the "major leagues". Scotland is sometimes mentioned as a top league, owing to the fact that its two biggest clubs (Celtic and Rangers) generate revenue and support on par with wealthy clubs from the bigger countries. Football (soccer) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... World map exhibiting the location of Europe. ... For the Scottish equivalent see Scottish Premier League The FA Premier League (often referred to as the Barclays Premiership in England and the Barclays English Premier League or just simply The EPL internationally) is a league competition for football clubs located at the top of the English football league system... This article is about the Italian football (soccer) league. ... Liga de Fútbol Profesional (Professional Football League), commonly known as La Liga, is the professional football league in Spain and is widely regarded as one of the best leagues in the world. ... Ligue 1 (Première Division or Division 1 until 2003) is the top division of French football, one of two divisions making up the LFP, the other being Ligue 2. ... In German football, the Bundesliga (Federal League) is the highest level league club competition where play determines the national champions. ... UEFA Champions League (which used to be named and is often called the European Cup) is an annual club football competition organized by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) for the most successful football clubs in Europe. ... The UEFA Cup is a football competition for European club teams, organized by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Look up Synopsis on Wiktionary, the free dictionary A synopsis (Greek συνοψις, synopsis, a seeing-together) is a brief summary or overview. ... The Scottish Premier League (SPL) is the top division within the current structure of football in Scotland. ... Celtic F.C. (pronounced seltic, not keltic) is perhaps the most famous Scottish football club. ... Rangers Football Club is among the worlds most successful football clubs. ...


UEFA, the sport's governing body for Europe, maintains lists of coefficients to compare the performances of national teams, leagues and individual clubs. The league coefficients are used for determining how many teams from each domestic league may compete in the Champions League and UEFA Cup. The top five leagues using these rankings are those of Spain, Italy and England (4 CL entries each) followed by France and Germany (3 CL entries each). Portugal is sixth and also gets three CL entries, while the Netherlands is seventh and currently entitled to two CL entries. There is currently a significant gap between the coefficients of the Dutch league and the top league of Greece, which is currently ranked eighth. The Union of European Football Associations, almost always referred to by the acronym UEFA (pronounced (you-AY-fuh) or (oo-Ay-fuh) or ), is the administrative and controlling body for European football. ... World map exhibiting the location of Europe. ... In European football, the UEFA coefficients are statistics used for ranking and seeding teams in club and international competitions. ... This is a list of the mens national football (soccer) teams in the world. ... Offical Logo The Super League (Greek: ) is the highest professional football league in Greece. ...


In South America, the Brazilian and Argentine leagues could be considered as "major leagues" for international football, comparable to the strongest European leagues. However, recent decades have seen an enormous diaspora of South America's top players due to the limited financial resources of the continent's best clubs. Nowadays, virtually all of the great Brazilian and Argentine stars play in Europe. Nevertheless, Brazilian and Argentine clubs still are strong enough to be competitive with the best European clubs in the FIFA Club World Cup. In fact, the last two editions of the Club World Cup were won by Brazilian sides, with São Paulo defeating Liverpool in the 2005 final and Internacional Porto Alegre defeating Barcelona in the 2006 final. The Copa Libertadores is South America's equivalent of the UEFA Champions League, and it is known for its rugged competitiveness. Historically, Uruguayan clubs were also major powers in the continent, but financial and technical crises in Uruguayan football in recent decades have enlarged the gap between them and the Brazilians and Argentines. South America South America is a continent crossed by the equator, with most of its area in the Southern Hemisphere. ... The FIFA Club World Cup (formerly the FIFA Club World Championship) is a football competition contested between the leading clubs from all 6 continental confederations. ... São Paulos Mascot São Paulo Futebol Clube, usually called São Paulo FC or just São Paulo, is a very traditional Brazilian football team from São Paulo, founded on January 25, 1930, and Re-founded on December 16, 1935. ... Liverpool Football Club is a football club based in Liverpool, in the north west of England. ... The FIFA Club World Championship 2005 was a football tournament held in Japan between 11 and 18 December 2005 and won by Brazilian club São Paulo FC. It is FIFAs biggest club (i. ... Internacional are a Brazilian football team from Porto Alegre in Rio Grande do Sul, founded on April 4, 1909. ... Futbol Club Barcelona, known familiarly as Barça (IPA: baɾsa), is a Catalan sports club based in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. ... The FIFA Club World Cup 2006 was a football tournament held in Japan between 10 and 17 December 2006. ... The Copa Libertadores de América (also known as Copa Toyota Libertadores) (Portuguese: Taça Libertadores da América, English: Liberators of America Cup) is an international football cup competition played annually by the top clubs of South America. ...


Rugby union

The pinnacle of rugby has always been international matches between teams representing their country. However, since the sport turned professional in 1995, several successful leagues have developed.


The top five professional leagues in rugby union are considered to be the Guinness Premiership (England), Top 14 (France), Magners League (Ireland, Scotland and Wales), Currie Cup (South Africa) and Air New Zealand Cup (New Zealand). The nations represented by these leagues are seven of the ten nations recognised as "Tier One" by the sport's governing body, the International Rugby Board. The other three Tier One nations are Argentina, Australia, and Italy. Australia has yet to establish a major domestic league of its own, with the Australian Rugby Championship being the latest attempt. Italy has a professional league in the Super 10, but it is generally considered well below the main five leagues in quality. Unlike the other Tier One countries, Argentina has kept its domestic game amateur. While that country has many professionals, they all play club rugby overseas, primarily in European leagues. A rugby union scrum. ... The Guinness Premiership is the present name for the leading rugby union league competition for English clubs. ... The Top 14 is a rugby union club competition which is played throughout France. ... The Celtic League (also known as the Magners League for sponsorship reasons) is an annual rugby union competition involving regional sides from Ireland, Scotland and Wales. ... For the cricket competition originally known as the Currie Cup, see SuperSport Series. ... The Air New Zealand Cup (also referred to by its previous name of the National Provincial Championship, its abbreviation of NPC, or for sponsorship reasons as the Air New Zealand NPC) is New Zealands professional domestic rugby union competition. ... The IRB logo. ... The Australian Rugby Championship rugby union competition that will commence in Australia in July 2007. ... The Super 10 is the national rugby union competition in Italy. ...


The leading teams from the European leagues also take part in the Heineken Cup, a transnational competition. The Super 14, consisting of teams from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, is organised on a slightly different basis. The competition operates via an American- or Australian-style franchise system, with each team representing a large geographic area within its country. Each New Zealand and South African franchise draws players from one or more teams (typically more than one) in its country's domestic competition. The Australian franchises will eventually draw players from the Australian Rugby Championship sides. Other professional leagues such as the Top League in Japan are considered well below the main five leagues in terms of quality. The Heineken Cup sponsored by Heineken (known as the H Cup in France due to alcohol advertising laws) is an annual rugby union competition involving leading club, regional and provincial teams from the Six Nations: England, France, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, and Italy. ... The Super 14 is the largest rugby union championship in the southern hemisphere, consisting of provincial teams from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. ... In an effort to drive up the overall standard of Japanese rugby and improve the results of the Japan national rugby union team, the Japan Rugby Football Union has recently created a new semi-professional 12-team league, called the Top League. ...


Other sports

In most other countries, the concept of a set of major sports does not really exist. Football (soccer) is, in some countries, so dominant that other sports cannot compete. In a small number of other countries, a different sport has a similarly dominant position (e.g., Cricket in India and Pakistan, basketball in Lithuania or ice hockey in Finland). Many, however, will have two or three other sports that are popular on a national basis, and receive similar attention to soccer where the national team is competing, or during its 'off-season'. For example, rugby union and cricket compete for attention in England; Gaelic football, rugby union and hurling are popular in Ireland. Considering the European Union as a whole, football (soccer), basketball, Rugby Union and ice hockey have the most widespread popularity. Football (soccer) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... For the insect, see Cricket (insect). ... Sara Giauro shoots a three-point shot, FIBA Europe Cup for Women Finals 2005. ... Ice hockey, known simply as hockey in areas where it is more common than field hockey, is a team sport played on ice. ... A rugby union scrum. ... For the insect, see Cricket (insect). ... Motto: (French for God and my right) Anthem: God Save the King/Queen Capital London (de facto) Largest city London Official language(s) English (de facto) Unification    - by Athelstan AD 927  Area    - Total 130,395 km² (1st in UK)   50,346 sq mi  Population    - 2006 est. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... For the Cornish sport, see Cornish Hurling. ...


References

See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
Reference.com/Encyclopedia/Major North American professional sports leagues (7430 words)
The designation as to whether a league is a major or minor league is made by the national or international governing body for that sport, not by the popular perception of that sport (e.g., TV ratings or number of articles in the daily newspaper).
There are two major exceptions: The NFL has not had a franchise in L.A. since 1995 and the Green Bay Packers survive in professional sports' smallest metropolitan area (less than 300,000) thanks to a unique community ownership, and their proximity to the larger Milwaukee area, not to mention the loyalty of their fanbase.
Major League Baseball is increasingly luring away the stars from the Japanese leagues, the European hockey leagues have become a major source of star talent for National Hockey League clubs and the National Basketball Association frequently recruits talent from professional leagues in Europe and Latin America.
NationMaster - Encyclopedia: National Hockey League (704 words)
The term major professional sports league is used to describe the most important and well regarded leagues in the biggest professional sports in a country or region.
The league was founded in 1917 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada with four teams, and through a series of expansions, reductions and relocations is now composed of 30 teams, 24 of which are based in the United States and six in Canada.
Because the sport originated in Canada, Canadians have historically constituted a large majority of the players in the NHL.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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