By r4m3v151t0R. sport. At Wednesday, December 18th 2019, 17:33:42 PM.
Soccer now nearly matches baseball’s popularity. Seven percent say it is their favorite sport to watch, the highest that sport has registered to date. Only once before have at least 7% of Americans named a sport other than football, basketball or baseball as their favorite — and that was auto racing in 1997. (Auto racing is now down to 2% of mentions.)
The 9% of Americans who mention baseball as their favorite sport to watch is the lowest percentage for the sport since Gallup first asked the question in 1937. Americans named baseball as the most popular sport in 1948 and 1960, but football claimed the top spot in 1972 and has been the public’s favorite ever since.
But the fact that the sport has weathered the attacks on it so far is no guarantee that it will do so over the long run. Football’s relatively low popularity among younger Americans, combined with ever-growing evidence of the physical and mental damage the sport does even at the high school level, could jeopardize its standing in the decades ahead.