New Yorkers like Ron Phillips New York have hosted countless moments and memories. It has been a city of winning, celebrating, and championships. At least for the majority of sports teams in New York, they have all won at least one championship each – except for baseball – but not to worry, that will come with time. New York is home to some of the largest stadiums in North America. There are a few stadiums that hold over 100,000 fans and one that can fit up to a measly 82,566 – made for soccer games. It has been the spot of many classic games and top talent in sports history. It has been the sight of memorable moments such as Joe Namath saying, “I guarantee we will win,” and then he did just that. It was the stage of some dramas, such as Game 7 of the 1994 Stanley Cup finals, the Rangers vs. Vancouver, with heartbreak for New York fans everywhere at their loss.
New York has hosted many classic games, if not memorable moments in all sports from hockey to football to basketball and others. The most recent game of note was the Rangers vs. Capitals game seven which ended in a loss for New York fans but had New York on their feet cheering on their team to an eventual win. What does this all mean? It means that New York is one of the best sports cities in North America, if not the world. It has many resources and fans that drive the success of teams. The teams in New York have been so successful due to their rich history and passionate fans. In this paper, I will be discussing the success of sports teams in New York from a historical perspective, an economic impact aspect, and finally, from a popularity standpoint.
First off, let’s take a look at the history of professional sports in New York. New York City has hosted many memorable moments and top talent in the world of sports. It all started with this man, Jim Thorpe – elected to the Hall of Fame in 1983. Jim Thorpe was a multi talented athlete winning two gold medals during the 1912 Olympics held in Sweden- one for pentathlon and decathlon. He played baseball and football. He was a great all around athlete, and in 1983 he earned his place in the Hall of Fame for his contribution to sports in New York City.
Another major contributor to the success of sports in New York is Vince Lombardi. Lombardi was one of the greatest coaches in NFL history, winning five championships with two different teams; the New York Giants and the Green Bay Packers. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1971 for his coaching abilities. These are just two major contributors to New York, with there being many more- Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Lou Gehrig, Joe Dimaggio, etc.
On February 2nd, 1960, at Madison Square Garden – hockey history was made. This was the first game in the history of the NHL to be played on artificial ice inside. The Rangers defeated the Montreal Canadians 3-1 with 11,000 fans in attendance at this game-breaking NHL records while doing so. Back then, it was not like today, where MSG is packed night in and night out for hockey games.