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Cities With the Most Professional Sports Championships

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With the NBA and NHL playoffs in full swing once again, this spring will see new champions crowned in two of the US major sports. And with each title comes bragging rights and a boost to community pride for the cities that the winning teams call home.

A select few US metro areas have enjoyed bursts of success across multiple sports in recent years. In 2021, Tampa saw the NHL’s Lightning win their second straight Stanley Cup while the NFL’s Buccaneers captured the Super Bowl. Los Angeles has had recent titles from the NFL’s Rams (2022), MLB’s Dodgers (2020), and NBA’s Lakers (2020).

And the 2010s saw strong runs in the Bay Area, with MLB’S San Francisco Giants and the NBA’s Golden State Warriors each capturing three titles, and in Boston, which has enjoyed three titles for the NFL’s Patriots, two for the MLB’s Red Sox, and one for the NHL’s Bruins since 2010.

City Dominance

But geographic dominance in the major sports in the US is nothing new. Across 421 championships that have been awarded across the MLB, MLS, NBA, NFL, and NHL, nearly half have been won by teams from just six metropolitan areas: New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, and San Francisco.

These metros are among the nation’s largest and most historic, and in some cases have multiple teams competing in the same sport, which increases the chances of bringing home a title. But each of these locations has also enjoyed sustained excellence over time from one or more of their hometown teams.

Nearly half of all American pro sports championships have been won by just 6 major US metros

Nowhere is this clearer than in the New York metro. This is largely due to 27 championships from the New York Yankees — more than one-quarter of the World Series titles the MLB has ever awarded. Then there are another two from the New York Mets. And finally, there are six combined World Series wins by the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants before both franchises relocated to California.

Baseball is the core of the New York metropolitan area championship dominance. In fact, only Boston (39) has more total championships than New York has MLB championships alone. Only Montreal, with 25 titles from the NHL alone, comes close to New York’s single-sport dominance in baseball.

Only Boston has more total championships than New York has MLB championships

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State Dominance

The success of teams in Los Angeles and San Francisco, New York, and Boston have respectively pushed California, New York, and Massachusetts to the top of the list of states with the most titles.

Some other sports markets have been less fortunate. For example, Tennessee has four pro sports teams but has never won a championship in a major sport. And North Carolina is home to four teams who have combined for a single title.

New York leads all states with 57 total pro sports championships

Researchers at HotDog.com ranked US and Canadian metropolitan areas according to total professional sports championships. A location is attributed a championship for a championship won by a team that is branded to be from the location at the time that it won the championship.

All NFL championships since the NFL was founded in 1920 were included; all NBA championships since the NBA was founded in 1946 were included; all World Series were included, dating back to 1903; all NHL championships since the NHL was founded in 1917 were included; and all MLS championships since MLS’s first season in 1996 were included.

Only metros with at least one active NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, or MLS team were considered.

The data was sourced from pro-football-reference.com, basketball-reference.com, baseball-reference.com, hockey-reference.com, and fbref.com. In the event of a tie, the location with the most recent championship was ranked higher.

Metros With the Most Professional Sports Championships

Here are the cities with the most professional sports championships.

Baltimore, MD
Photo Credit: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

15. Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD

  • Total professional sports championships: 9
  • Total NFL championships: 5
  • Total NBA championships: 1
  • Total MLB championships: 3
  • Total NHL championships: 0
  • Total MLS championships: 0
  • Most recent championship: 2012

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Cleveland, OH
Photo Credit: Patricia Elaine Thomas / Shutterstock

14. Cleveland-Elyria, OH

  • Total professional sports championships: 9
  • Total NFL championships: 6
  • Total NBA championships: 1
  • Total MLB championships: 2
  • Total NHL championships: 0
  • Total MLS championships: 0
  • Most recent championship: 2015
Green Bay, WI
Photo Credit: Joe Ferrer / Shutterstock

13. Green Bay, WI

  • Total professional sports championships: 13
  • Total NFL championships: 13
  • Total NBA championships: 0
  • Total MLB championships: 0
  • Total NHL championships: 0
  • Total MLS championships: 0
  • Most recent championship: 2010
Washington, DC
Photo Credit: ESB Professional / Shutterstock

12. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV

  • Total professional sports championships: 13
  • Total NFL championships: 5
  • Total NBA championships: 1
  • Total MLB championships: 2
  • Total NHL championships: 1
  • Total MLS championships: 4
  • Most recent championship: 2019
St Louis, MO
Photo Credit: CE Photography / Shutterstock

11. St Louis, MO-IL

  • Total professional sports championships: 14
  • Total NFL championships: 1
  • Total NBA championships: 1
  • Total MLB championships: 11
  • Total NHL championships: 1
  • Total MLS championships: 0
  • Most recent championship: 2018
Pittsburgh, PA
Photo Credit: Jason Sponseller / Shutterstock

10. Pittsburgh, PA

  • Total professional sports championships: 16
  • Total NFL championships: 6
  • Total NBA championships: 0
  • Total MLB championships: 5
  • Total NHL championships: 5
  • Total MLS championships: 0
  • Most recent championship: 2016
Philadelphia, PA
Photo Credit: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

9. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD

  • Total professional sports championships: 17
  • Total NFL championships: 4
  • Total NBA championships: 4
  • Total MLB championships: 7
  • Total NHL championships: 2
  • Total MLS championships: 0
  • Most recent championship: 2017
Toronto, Ontario
Photo Credit: S-F / Shutterstock

8. Toronto, ON

  • Total professional sports championships: 17
  • Total NFL championships: 0
  • Total NBA championships: 1
  • Total MLB championships: 2
  • Total NHL championships: 13
  • Total MLS championships: 1
  • Most recent championship: 2018
San Francisco, CA
Photo Credit: GagliardiPhotography / Shutterstock

7. San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA

  • Total professional sports championships: 18
  • Total NFL championships: 7
  • Total NBA championships: 4
  • Total MLB championships: 7
  • Total NHL championships: 0
  • Total MLS championships: 0
  • Most recent championship: 2017
Detroit, MI
Photo Credit: Ivan Cholakov / Shutterstock

6. Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI

  • Total professional sports championships: 22
  • Total NFL championships: 4
  • Total NBA championships: 3
  • Total MLB championships: 4
  • Total NHL championships: 11
  • Total MLS championships: 0
  • Most recent championship: 2007
Montreal, Quebec
Photo Credit: BakerJarvis / Shutterstock

5. Montreal, QC

  • Total professional sports championships: 25
  • Total NFL championships: 0
  • Total NBA championships: 0
  • Total MLB championships: 0
  • Total NHL championships: 25
  • Total MLS championships: 0
  • Most recent championship: 1992
Chicago, IL
Photo Credit: Richard Cavalleri / Shutterstock

4. Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI

  • Total professional sports championships: 30
  • Total NFL championships: 11
  • Total NBA championships: 6
  • Total MLB championships: 6
  • Total NHL championships: 6
  • Total MLS championships: 1
  • Most recent championship: 2016
Los Angeles, CA
Photo Credit: Eric Urquhart / Shutterstock

3. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA

  • Total professional sports championships: 30
  • Total NFL championships: 3
  • Total NBA championships: 12
  • Total MLB championships: 7
  • Total NHL championships: 3
  • Total MLS championships: 5
  • Most recent championship: 2021
Boston, MA
Photo Credit: Songquan Deng / Shutterstock

2. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH

  • Total professional sports championships: 39
  • Total NFL championships: 6
  • Total NBA championships: 17
  • Total MLB championships: 10
  • Total NHL championships: 6
  • Total MLS championships: 0
  • Most recent championship: 2018
New York
Photo Credit: TierneyMJ / Shutterstock

1. New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA

  • Total professional sports championships: 58
  • Total NFL championships: 9
  • Total NBA championships: 2
  • Total MLB championships: 35
  • Total NHL championships: 11
  • Total MLS championships: 1
  • Most recent championship: 2021

Methodology and Detailed Findings

Researchers ranked US and Canadian metropolitan areas according to total professional sports championships. A location is attributed a championship for a championship won by a team that is branded to be from the location at the time that it won the championship.

All NFL championships since the NFL was founded in 1920 were included; all NBA championships since the NBA was founded in 1946 were included; all World Series were included, dating back to 1903; all NHL championships since the NHL was founded in 1917 were included; and all MLS championships since MLS’s first season in 1996 were included.

Only metros with at least one active NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, or MLS team were considered.

The data was sourced from pro-football-reference.com, basketball-reference.com, baseball-reference.com, hockey-reference.com, and fbref.com. In the event of a tie, the location with the most recent championship was ranked higher.

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Featured image photo credit: tomertu / Shutterstock

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By Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer specializing in technology, business, and film/television. You can see his writing on low-budget and weird film at Psychotronic Review — and many other places.

Contact Frank with thoughts, questions, and story ideas at [email protected]

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