A southwestern capital with sports teams in all four major professional sports leagues

Name a southwestern capital with sports teams in all four major professional sports leagues. If you said Phoenix, you’d be correct! It also hosts a spring training league for Major League Baseball called the Cactus League. Other major sporting teams and events include PGA and LPGA golf, NASCAR racing, and marathons.

 

Basketball 

The Phoenix Suns are honored to be the first major sports team in Phoenix. They currently play at the Footprint Center.  The Suns have six members inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. They include Jerry Colangelo, Charles Barkley, Jerry Colangelo, Connie Hawkins, Gail Goodrich, Dennis Johnson, and Gus Johnson.

 

WNBA

One of the eight teams initially launching the Women’s National Basketball Association was the Phoenix Mercury. Six members from the team have been inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. They are Jennifer Gillon, Ann Meyers-Drysdale, Nancy Lieberman, Michelle Timms, Cheryl Miller, and Linda Sharp.

 

Football

NFL

The Cardinals are the oldest and continuously run professional football franchise in the United States. They currently play at the State Farm Stadium. The Cardinals made one championship appearance in Super Bowl XLIII on February 1, 2009.

 

Indoor football 

Phoenix also has an indoor football team named the Arizona Rattlers. They are part of the Indoor Football League (IFL) and play at the Talking Stick Resort Arena. In 2014, the Rattlers joined with the Tampa Bay Storm to become the only two teams to have won five AFL championships. 

 

College

Phoenix is also the site for two college football bowl games. They are the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl at the Sun Devil Stadium and the Fiesta Bowl at the University of Phoenix Stadium. Additionally, Phoenix is home to two NCAA Division I schools: Arizona State University (ASU) and Grand Canyon University (GCU).   

 

Hockey 

Formerly known as the Winnipeg Jets, the Arizona Coyotes of the National Hockey League (NHL) moved into the area in 1996.  They are a part of the Central Division in the Western Conference and currently play at the Mullett Arena.

 

Baseball 

The Arizona Diamondbacks of Major League Baseball started as an expansion team in 1998. Then in 2001, the Diamondbacks defeated the New York Yankees during the World Series to become the city’s first professional sports team to win a national championship!

 

Cactus League Spring Training

Currently, the area is the home base for Cactus League. In addition, they are one of the two spring training leagues for Major League Baseball. There are a total of fifteen MLB teams included in this league.

 

Minor Leagues

Phoenix hosts an amazing 19 minor league teams. During the regular season, 13 rookie teams of the Arizona League call Phoenix home. All MLB teams send their prospects to the Arizona Fall League’s six teams during the fall.  There have been famous major-leaguers that have played in the league throughout the years. The most notable of these was Michael Jordan in 1994.

 

Motorsports 

Built in 1964, The Phoenix International Raceway currently hosts several NASCAR events per season and the annual Fall NASCAR weekend.

 

Golf 

Phoenix also hosts several major professional golf events. These include the LPGA’s Founder’s Cup and The Phoenix Open of the PGA, one of the nation’s oldest golf tournaments.

 

Soccer

Phoenix’s soccer team, Phoenix Rising, is part of the USL United Soccer League. They currently play their games at the Wild Horse Pass Stadium.

 

Additional Sporting Events

As a new addition to the sports scene, the Phoenix Marathon is held as a qualifier for the Boston Marathon. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon has an event in Phoenix every January. 

When it comes to sports, Phoenix has you covered!  You name it, there’s a team for it in this beautiful southwest capital city.

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