Sports in Ohio

Ohio is home to many professional and college sports teams. The metropolitan areas of Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Columbus are home to major league professional sports teams in baseball, basketball, football, hockey, and soccer.

Major league sports teams

Ohio is home to major professional sports teams in baseball, basketball, football, hockey, soccer, lacrosse, and rugby union. The state's major professional sporting teams include: Cincinnati Reds (Major League Baseball),[1] Cleveland Indians (Major League Baseball),[2] Cincinnati Bengals (National Football League),[3] Cleveland Browns (National Football League),[3] Cleveland Cavaliers (National Basketball Association),[4] Columbus Blue Jackets (National Hockey League),[5] the Columbus Crew (Major League Soccer), and FC Cincinnati (Major League Soccer).[6]

Ohio played a central role in the development of both Major League Baseball and the National Football League. Baseball's first fully professional team, the Cincinnati Red Stockings of 1869, were organized in Ohio.[7] An informal early 20th century American football association, the Ohio League, was the direct predecessor of the NFL, although neither of Ohio's modern NFL franchises trace their roots to an Ohio League club. The Pro Football Hall of Fame is located in Canton.

Ohio teams have won 7 World Series (5 Cincinnati Reds, 2 Cleveland Indians), 9 NFL Championships ( 4 Cleveland Browns, 2 Canton Bulldogs, 1 Cleveland Rams, 1 Akron Pros, 1 Cleveland Bulldogs), 1 NBA Finals (Cleveland Cavaliers), 4 AAFC Championships (Cleveland Browns), 3 NBL Finals (2 Akron Firestone Non-Skids, 1 Akron Goodyear Wingfoots), 1 MLS Cup (Columbus Crew), 1 Negro World Series (Cleveland Buckeyes) and 1 Temple Cup (Cleveland Spiders).

Minor league teams

On a smaller scale, Ohio hosts minor league baseball, arena football, indoor football, mid-level hockey, and lower division soccer.

The minor league baseball teams include: Akron RubberDucks (affiliated with the Cleveland Indians), Lake Erie Crushers (independent), Columbus Clippers (affiliated with the Cleveland Indians), Dayton Dragons (affiliated with the Cincinnati Reds), Lake County Captains[8] (affiliated with the Cleveland Indians), Mahoning Valley Scrappers[9] (affiliated with the Cleveland Indians), and Toledo Mud Hens[10] (affiliated with the Detroit Tigers).

Ohio's minor professional football teams include: Canton Legends 2005-2008 (American Indoor Football Association), Cincinnati Marshals 2005-2007 (National Indoor Football League), Cincinnati Sizzle (Women's Football Alliance), Cleveland Fusion (Women's Football Alliance), Cleveland Gladiators (Arena Football League), Columbus Comets (Women's Football Alliance), Mahoning Valley Thunder 2006-2009 (af2), Marion Mayhem 2006-2010 (Continental Indoor Football League), and Miami Valley Silverbacks 2006-2012 (Continental Indoor Football League).

Ohio's minor league hockey teams include: Cleveland Monsters (American Hockey League), Cincinnati Cyclones (ECHL), and the Toledo Walleye (ECHL).

Ohio has been home to teams in many lower-division soccer leagues. The second-level USL Championship (USLC) currently has no teams in the state, but has had Ohio teams in the past. The Dayton Dutch Lions played in the league, then known as USL Pro, from 2011 to 2014, after which it moved to the league then known as the Premier Development League and now as USL League Two (USL2), where it remains today. From 2016 to 2018, FC Cincinnati played in the USLC, then known as the United Soccer League, before being replaced by the current MLS team of the same name. The aforementioned Dayton Dutch Lions are the only current USL2 team that plays in Ohio. A second current USL2 team, the Cincinnati Dutch Lions, played home games in Cincinnati from 2014 to 2016, but now plays at Northern Kentucky University. Other past Ohio teams in USL2 are the Cincinnati Riverhawks (1997), Cincinnati Kings (2008–2012), Cleveland Internationals (2004–2010), Dayton Gemini (2000–2002), and Toledo Slayers (2003–2005). Ohio also has Cleveland SC, FC Columbus, and Toledo Villa FC of the National Premier Soccer League, and Columbus Eagles FC, Cleveland Ambassadors, and Cincinnati Sirens FC of the Women's Premier Soccer League.

Ohio is also home to the Cleveland Comets, a minor professional softball club, of National Pro Fastpitch.

Individual sports

Notable drivers from Ohio include Mauri Rose, Frank Lockhart, Ted Horn, Bobby Rahal, Sam Hornish Jr. and Tim Richmond. The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course has hosted several auto racing championships, including CART World Series, IndyCar Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series, Can-Am, Formula 5000, IMSA GT Championship, American Le Mans Series and Rolex Sports Car Series.

The Grand Prix of Cleveland also hosted CART races from 1982 to 2007. The Eldora Speedway is a major dirt oval that hosts NASCAR Truck Series, World of Outlaws Sprint Cars and USAC Silver Crown Series races.

Ohio has several short ovals, including Eldora Speedway and Toledo Speedway. Notable dragstrips in Ohio include the National Trail Raceway and the Summit Motorsports Park.

Ohio hosts two PGA Tour events, the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and Memorial Tournament. Columbus native Jack Nicklaus won 18 major golf tournaments, whereas Urbana native Pete Dye is a prominent golf course architect.

The Cincinnati Masters is an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 and WTA Premier 5 tennis tournament.

Former professional teams

Former major league teams:

College football

Ohio has eight NCAA Division I FBS college football teams, divided among three different conferences. It has also experienced considerable success in the secondary and tertiary tiers of college football divisions.

In FBS, representing the Big Ten, the Ohio State Buckeyes football team ranks 5th among all-time winningest programs, with eight national championships and seven Heisman Trophy winners. Their biggest rivals are the Michigan Wolverines, whom they traditionally play each year as the last game of their regular season schedule.

Ohio has six teams represented in the Mid-American Conference: the Akron Zips, Bowling Green Falcons, Kent State Golden Flashes, Miami RedHawks, Ohio Bobcats and Toledo Rockets. The MAC headquarters are in Cleveland.

The Cincinnati Bearcats represent the state in the American Athletic Conference.

The Youngstown State Penguins have been a perennial power at the Division I FCS level in the Missouri Valley Football Conference, having won four FCS titles.

In NCAA Division III, the Mount Union Purple Raiders boast a record-setting 13 national championships, most recently in 2017. Since 1996, the Purple Raiders have advanced to the Division III title game in all but three seasons, and appeared in 11 consecutive title games (2005–2015). They also boast two record winning streaks for D-III—55 straight wins overall from 2000 to 2003, and 112 straight regular-season wins from 2005 to 2016 (the latter breaking the school's own record of 110, set from 1994 to 2005).[11]

Stadiums and arenas

Ohio Stadium Columbus104,944FootballOhio State Buckeyes1922
FirstEnergy Stadium Cleveland73,200FootballCleveland Browns1999
Paul Brown Stadium Cincinnati65,790FootballCincinnati Bengals2000
Great American Ball Park Cincinnati42,059BaseballCincinnati Reds2003
Nippert Stadium Cincinnati40,000FootballCincinnati Bearcats
FC Cincinnati
Progressive Field Cleveland38,000BaseballCleveland Indians1994
Rubber Bowl Akron31,000FootballHigh school1940
InfoCision Stadium – Summa Field Akron30,000FootballAkron Zips football2009
Doyt Perry Stadium Bowling Green28,599FootballBowling Green Falcons1966
Glass Bowl Toledo26,248FootballToledo Rockets1937
Dix Stadium Kent25,319FootballKent State Golden Flashes1969
Fred C. Yager Stadium Oxford24,286FootballMiami RedHawks1983
Peden Stadium Athens24,000FootballOhio Bobcats1929
Stambaugh Stadium Youngstown20,630FootballYoungstown State Penguins1982
Quicken Loans Arena Cleveland20,562ArenaCleveland Cavaliers
Cleveland Monsters
Mapfre Stadium Columbus20,455SoccerColumbus Crew1999
Nationwide Arena Columbus19,500ArenaColumbus Blue Jackets2000
Value City Arena Columbus18,809ArenaOhio State Buckeyes1998
U.S. Bank Arena Cincinnati17,000ArenaCincinnati Cyclones1975
Wolstein Center Cleveland13,610ArenaCleveland State Vikings1991
UD Arena Dayton13,455ArenaDayton Flyers
NCAA First Four
Fifth Third Arena Cincinnati13,176ArenaCincinnati Bearcats1989
Nutter Center Dayton10,464ArenaWright State Raiders1990
Fifth Third Field Toledo10,300BaseballToledo Mud Hens2002
Cintas Center Cincinnati10,250ArenaXavier Musketeers2000
Huntington Park Columbus10,000BaseballColumbus Clippers2009
Canal Park Akron9,097BaseballAkron RubberDucks1997
Savage Arena Toledo9,000ArenaToledo Rockets 1976
Fifth Third Field Dayton8,500BaseballDayton Dragons2000
Huntington Center Toledo8,000ArenaToledo Walleye2009
James A. Rhodes Arena Akron5,500ArenaAkron Zips1983
Taft Coliseum Columbus5,000ArenaHigh school1918
Former venues
Future venues

See also


  1. "The Official Site of the Cincinnati Reds". Major League Baseball. Retrieved March 28, 2009.
  2. "The Official Site of the Cleveland Indians". Major League Baseball. Retrieved March 28, 2009.
  3. "NFL Teams". National Football League. Retrieved March 28, 2009.
  4. " Team Index". National Basketball Association. Retrieved March 28, 2009.
  5. "NHL Teams". National Hockey League. Retrieved March 28, 2009.
  6. "Major League Soccer Teams". Major League Soccer. Archived from the original on February 21, 2009. Retrieved March 28, 2009.
  7. Griffith, Grant (2007). "Legend of the Cincinnati Red Stockings". Cincinnati Vintage Base Ball Club. Archived from the original on July 24, 2008. Retrieved March 28, 2009.
  8. "Lake County Captains". Minor League Baseball. Retrieved March 28, 2009.
  9. "Mahoning Valley Scrappers". Minor League Baseball. Retrieved March 28, 2009.
  10. "The Toledo Mud Hens". Toledo Mud Hens. Retrieved March 28, 2009.
  11. "Team Records: Additional Records" (PDF). 2016 Division III Football Records. NCAA. p. 13. Retrieved October 7, 2016.
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