By Daniela Paredez. sport. At Wednesday, December 18th 2019, 16:29:43 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.)
For the past half-century, football has been America’s game, unrivaled by any other spectator sport. Even the challenges it currently faces have had only a small effect on Americans’ likelihood to consider it their favorite spectator sport. Though Gallup’s October polling showed a decline in the percentage of Americans saying they are fans of professional football, the drop-off did not occur among college football fans, and it may not have included the hardcore NFL fans who consider it their favorite sport.
And for all spectator sports in the U.S., there is one other sobering statistic to consider. The number of Americans who say they do not have a favorite sport has grown from 8% in 2000 to 15% now — an increase larger than for any sport during that time.