The Favorite Sport in the U.S.A.

It's the eternal debate among sports fans: football or baseball?

Most die-hard fans will always say both. But if they are forced to choose, football wins. Big time.

Fully 33 percent of those who follow at least one sport say professional football is their favorite spectator sport.

Coming in a distant second is baseball, which is favored by 15 percent. Baseball may be as American as mom and apple pie, but it's football we love the most, according to this 2016 Harris Poll of 2,252 adults.

Our favorite sports and the percentage who like them the best:

  • Professional football: 33 percent
  • Professional baseball: 15 percent
  • College football: 10 percent
  • Auto racing: 6 percent
  • Men's professional basketball and ice hockey (tie): 5 percent
  • Men's college basketball and men's soccer (tie): 4 percent
  • Boxing and men's golf (tie): 3 percent
  • Swimming and track and field (tie): 2 percent
  • Coming in at a mere 1 percent are horse racing, women's soccer, women's college basketball, women's pro basketball and men's tennis.

Fun facts to know and tell:

  • Since this question was first asked in 1985, professional football has increased from 24 percent of sports fans saying it was their favorite sport then to 33 percent saying so now.

  • Baseball has gone down in popularity from 23 percent saying it was their favorite sport in 1985 to 15 percent today.

  • This is sad! Three sports-- bowling, women's tennis and women's golf--have so few fans they come in at less than 1 percent.

--From the Editors at Netscape

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