The Most Popular American Sports in the UK

By Swindon Link - 15 November 2022

Sport

Like the rest of the UK, Swindon is a town that loves sport. Both playing them, and watching professional teams compete, are popular among Swindonians. This is why many from the town tune in to watch on games on TV, while many others get in on the action by placing bets on matches.

A large group of fans from Swindon also use sites like oddschecker to help them find the best bet offers and promotions to use when placing wagers on games. 

 

Here in Swindon and much of the rest of the country, there are several sports that stand head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to popularity. Naturally, the most obvious is football, though cricket, rugby, and tennis all closely follow behind. 

 

But American sports are slowly but surely finding their way across the pond, with many UK citizens falling in love with the action-packed shows that most major league American sports have available on tap. 

 

American Football

Gridiron football, the competition referred to as “football” in the US and “American football” everywhere else has been slowly building a presence here in the UK over the last couple of decades. 

 

Early attempts involved the creation of an entirely separate European NFL competition, using teams that called major cities in the likes of Britain, France, and Germany home. This initiative was probably ahead of the curve, though, as many spectators struggled with the unique rules and format. 

 

Today, however, regular season NFL games are played in London, with tens of thousands of spectators filling the stadium for each match. 

 

The Super Bowl is also seeing growing viewing figures, helping British broadcasters to justify investing even more in their coverage. 

 

Basketball

Basketball is a sport that is played right around the world, but it’s America’s NBA that hogs all the limelight. 

 

British fans love the NBA just as much as they do their own domestic competitions. In fact, UK and European leagues are often used as springboards for the most talented players from this side of the Atlantic to find a path into the North American league. 

 

The NBA even hosted a game in London until 2019. However, it will be moved to Paris from 2023. 

 

Ice Hockey

Ice hockey is not a sport often associated with the UK, despite the fact that it was an English person that helped to codify and popularise the game. He was so important to ice hockey that the Stanley Cup, the NHL’s biggest prize, is named after him. 

 

Unlike the other two, ice hockey does make it into the top-ten most popular sports in the UK with several teams dotted around the country. 

 

This is despite the fact that the sport has struggled financially over the years, with many teams and leagues folding. 

 

Like the NBA, the NHL is popular among fans in Britain, with many seeing the American competition as the highest tier for the sport.

 

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