The Sport of California – Part 1

California is blessed with a climate that is perfect for outdoor activities and sports. Within the State there are twenty professional sport franchisers which is more than any other State in the country. The Olympic Games has been held in California on three occasions. In 1960 The Winter Olympics were held in the Lake Tahoe region. The Summer Olympic Games were held in 1932 and 1984 in Los Angeles. The Football World Cup was held in the States in 1994 with the final being held in California at the Rose Bowl.

David Beckham celebrating a cup win with Galaxy team mates

Football is very popular in this region of the United States as there are so many people who come from Mexico. There are two Californian sides who play in the Major Soccer League, The San Jose Earth quakes and the LA Galaxy. In the 22 years since the league first started it has been won twice by the earthquakes and five times by the Galaxy. The LA Galaxy are infamous in trying to lure the best players in the world to play for them in Los Angeles. Major transfers have included Steven Gerrard from England and Robbie Keane from the Republic of Ireland.

However, their biggest signing occurred in 2007 when they secured the services of England captain David Beckham on a 32 million-dollar 5-year contract.  This made them a household name on the world soccer stage and in Beckham’s time there they won the title twice. Baseball is very popular in California with five teams playing Major League Baseball. The Los Angeles Dodgers, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the Oakland Athletics, the San Diego Padres and the San Francisco Giants.

A packed Dodgers Stadium at sun set

In the 2017 season the LA Dodgers led the league attendances with an average crowd of 46,500 packing into Dodgers Stadium for each of the 81 home games. Third in the list came the San Francisco Giants with an average attendance of 40,800. In the recent 2017 World Series the Dodgers lost to the Houston Astros, and the last of their 6 series titles stretches back to 1988. The last time a Californian side won the World Series was in 2014 when the Giants were victorious. The Californian team with the most series wins is the Oakland Athletics with 9 titles but their last pennant came in 1989.

The second most successful team in National basketball is the Los Angeles Lakers. They have won 16 titles in their 31 final appearances. The most successful team are the Boston Celtics who have won 17 of the 21 finals they have appeared in. As well as the Lakers, California is also home to the Golden State Warriors, the Los Angeles Clippers, and the Sacramento Kings. The Golden State Warriors have had their home in the bay area of San Francisco since 1971.

Playing their home games at the Oracle arena in Oakland the Warriors won their fourth NBA championship in 2017 by defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers in a convincing 4-1 series win. In the last three seasons the Warriors have appeared in each final winning two but losing in 2016. All sport is loved in California as the community is such an eclectic mix of different nationalities. This means that whatever sport is being played it will attract great interest in a major section of the population.