Top 5 Most Popular Sports in Pennsylvania

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Sports have been heavily embroidered in the American culture. In fact, sports take first place as the favorite social activity for the average US citizen, and it’s an instrument that unites people of all ages, genders, and backgrounds. However, on the contrary to most parts of the world, soccer is not the most popular sport in the US. Americans prefer football, baseball, and basketball over soccer, and the American sports market is valued at over $80.5 billion as of 2022. 


As one of the states hosting the earliest moments of football history, Pennsylvania is very keen on football as well. Besides football, Pennsylvanians enjoy all kinds of sports, and considering that online gambling is legalized in Pennsylvania, they can engage in legal online PA gambling as well and place bets on their favorites.


Check out which are the most popular sports in Pennsylvania, both in broadcast viewership audience and participation.


1. Ice Hockey


Although many consider ice hockey to be the sport of the North, ice hockey is hugely popular in the Keystone state. About 5% of Americans consider ice hockey to be their favorite sport, and it’s the case in Pennsylvania too. The first PA team to participate in the NHL were the Philadelphia Quakers, who iced in the NHL in the 1930-1931 season.


However, the first true PA hockey team to participate in the NHL is the Philadelphia Flyers, who have been competing for the Stanley cup since the first big expansion post the original-six era in the 1967-1968 season. 


The Flyers compete in the Metropolitan Division in the Eastern Conference, and with 16 division championships, 8 conference championships, and 2 Stanley Cups, they’re one of the most successful teams in the league. 

With the establishment of so many new online casinos in PA, punters can bet on the Flyers at some of the best PA online sportsbooks — even while watching games live at the Wells Fargo Center.


2. Soccer


Soccer is undoubtedly the most popular sport in the world, but it didn’t enjoy such a reputation in the US only until recent years. However, it has slowly been gaining popularity in Pennsylvania in the past two decades, and statistics show that soccer is now the fourth most popular sport in the US, including PA. 


Although there have been many amateur teams before that, the first professional Pennsylvania team to join the MLS was Philadelphia Union, which joined the league as an expansion team in 2010. Despite the lack of major success, the stands at Subaru Park are regularly filled to the last spot. Besides, the stadium is just a two-minute walk from Harrah’s Chester, a popular venue that also hosts a real money online casino PA where bettors can place wagers on MLS games.


Despite the broadcasting viewership success, soccer is increasingly popular as a participation sport across the state, with statistics showing an increase in the number of participants in outdoor soccer in the US.


3. Baseball


Baseball may be the national sport in the US, but it’s a fact that it has lost a bit of its soul and public interest since the fall in investment and numerous disputes — both in broadcast viewership and participation.


However, despite the slight decline, baseball is still vastly popular in America, and the same can be said for Pennsylvania. There are currently 25 professional baseball teams registered in the state, with two of them participating in the MLB — the Philadelphia Phillies and the Pittsburgh Pirates. Both of them have been among the eight National League franchises that originated in the nineteenth century, and they hold a rivalry dating to the 1900s. The Pirates are currently competing in the NL Central division, while the Phillies are competing in the NL East division, but the rivalry is still going strong, thus further fueling the popularity of baseball in the Keystone state.

Expectedly, baseball fans are eager to place a wager on their favorite when the derby game is on the schedule, and numerous Pennsylvania online casinos offer odds for MLB games. Besides, major sportsbooks often offer in-game betting for those who want to bet and play live casino PA.

4. Basketball

Basketball is the second most popular sport across the US and in Pennsylvania as well. Although there’s only one PA men’s basketball team currently competing in the NBA, the Philadelphia 76ers, basketball is hugely popular in terms of viewership and participation — especially in the Philadelphia area.


The 76ers have won three NBA championships and produced some of the best NBA players in history, including legends such as Wilt Chamberlain, Kobe Bryant, and Paul Arizin. The 76ers’ rebuild process that’s been taking place in the past few years aims to bring the championship back to Philadelphia, and many believe that head coach Doc Rivers has what it takes to bring the team to its former glory.

Eager punters can find odds for NBA games at many new online casinos PA, where they can also enjoy legal and safe betting in a market that’s regulated by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

5. Football

Football is undoubtedly, the most popular sport across the US, including in Pennsylvania. Consequently, its Major League, the NFL, is the most popular league in terms of broadcast viewership audience, and Pennsylvania has two teams in the NFL: the Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Both franchises entered the league in 1933, have enjoyed great success, and have fans from all over the world.

Following the legalization of online sports betting in the state, all legal sportsbooks offer odds for NFL and NCAA, with an abundance of betting markets and betting types available. Betting on live casino online PA has become one of the most popular funtime activities for Pennsylvanians, and the excitement that football brings is only further fueled by the fact that you can place a real money bet on your team.