New York City Sports
Although in much of the rest of the country American football has become the most popular professional sport, in New York City baseball arguably still stirs the most passion and interest. A "Subway Series" between city teams is a time of great excitement, and any World Series championship by either the New York Yankees or the New York Mets is considered to be worthy of the highest celebration, including a ticker-tape parade for the victorious team. For most American baseball fans, the most intense rivalry is between the Yankees and the Boston Red Sox, but in the city the rivalry between the Yankees and the Mets almost as fierce. Outsiders are frequently unaware that few baseball fans in New York are fans of both teams at once.
The New York metropolitan area is the only one in the United States with more than one team in each of the four major sports, with nine such franchises. At Madison Square Garden, 'the world's most famous arena,' New Yorkers can see the New York Knicks play NBA basketball, the New York Rangers play hockey, and the New York Liberty of the WNBA. New York's NFL teams, the New York Giants and New York Jets, play at Giants Stadium in New Jersey's Meadowlands, along with Major League Soccer's MetroStars. At the Continental Airlines Arena also in the Meadowlands the New Jersey Nets play NBA basketball and the New Jersey Devils play NHL hockey. The New York Islanders are the third NHL team in the Metro area; they play their home games in Nassau Coliseum on Long Island. Nassau Coliseum is also the home of the New York Dragons of the Arena Football League. Aqueduct Racetrack and Belmont Park feature horse racing all months of the year except August.
New York City is also home to two minor league baseball teams that play in the short-season Class A New York - Penn League. The Brooklyn Cyclones are a New York Mets affiliate, and the Staten Island Yankees are affiliated with the New York Yankees.
New York has also buried more sports history than most American cities ever experience: Ebbets Field, home of the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1913 until 1957, was torn down in 1960, and the Polo Grounds in northern Harlem, just across the river from the Bronx's Yankee Stadium, was the home of the New York Giants of Major League Baseball from 1911 to 1957 (and the first home of the New York Mets) before being demolished in 1964. Also, many outsiders are unaware that the current Madison Square Garden is actually the fourth separate building to use that name; the first two were near Madison Square, hence the name, and the third was at 50th Street and Eighth Avenue.
Current sports issues include Bruce Ratner's proposal to move the New Jersey Nets to a new Brooklyn Nets Arena, and a proposal to build a West Side Stadium in Manhattan for the New York Jets in 2008. Both of these construction proposals have stirred considerable opposition, and may have had an impact on the City's bid to host the 2012 Summer Olympics (which went to London in the end). The West Side Stadium plan has been abandonded. After searching for other possible sites to locate a stadium, such as Flushing Meadows in Queens, the Jets finally signed an agreement with the Giants to build a new stadium to host both teams in the Meadowlands.
New York City was also the host of the 1998 Goodwill Games.