Break Out the Face Paint: Raleigh is the South’s #1 Sportiest City

Sports are a big deal in the United States, both professional and leisure, and Americans seem to have a “can do” attitude when it comes to sports. It is that very spirit that is at work behind the recent article of The Sportiest Cities in Americaranking 100 American metropolitan cities by their enthusiasm for sports by a select criteria.

Raleigh beat out 97 other U.S. cities to claim the #3 spot overall, as well as the #1 Sportiest City in the South. A quick history lesson takes us back to 1997 when the city received its first and only major professional sports team, the Carolina Hurricanes hockey team. Two decades later and the Hurricanes have fought their way to the top to become a Stanley Cup championship (2005-06 season).

North Carolina State University provides yet another competitive team for locals to cheer for, with it’s football and basketball teams among the most recognizable.

Raleigh residents are far from strictly spectators, they’re an active group themselves. The city has an average of 6.1 basketball hoops per 10,000 residents, the seventh-most hoops per capita in the country! It also has 1.9 recreation and senior centers per 20,000 residents, putting it among the top 10 in the U.S.

Be inspired by Raleigh’s zest for an active lifestyle by putting your own two feet to work at the annual Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh Half Marathon presented by WRAL, April 7-8, 2018!

Register today and get ready to ROCK around the block.


The methodology for the rankings included the percentage of people with little to no leisure time activity, percentage of people with vigorous activity 5 or more days a week; ratio of sports spending to average total of household spending; percentage of people participating in spectator activities, attending games, tailgating, fantasy leagues; percentage of people participating playing sports; ratio of sports related business to total business; acres of parkland per resident, park spending per resident.