Besides the glitz and glamour of Hollywood and the beautiful people showing off their chiseled bodies in Santa Monica and Venice Beach, there’s another type of performance art in Los Angeles that’s every bit as entertaining and comes with a competitive edge. Make no mistake about it, Los Angeles is a city for sports fans, with enough teams and games to satisfy even the most die-hard sports nut. If you’re looking to inject some sport into your time in L.A., this is what you need to know.
Basketball – NBA
There are two major b-ball teams in Los Angeles that compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) – the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers – and you either support one or the other. By far, the Lakers are the more popular team, thanks in part to players such as Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal having donned the yellow and purple singlet in the past. Recently however, the Clippers have been growing in popularity too. Both teams call the Staples Center home and tickets for any game with either team should be secured as early as possible to avoid disappointment. The 2016/2017 NBA season runs from 25 October 2016 to 12 April 2017, with playoffs between 15 April 2017 and 29 May 2017. The finals will be played between 1 and 18 June 2017.
Ice Hockey – NHL
The people of Los Angeles are so sports mad that they even have their own ice hockey team, the Los Angeles Kings, in the National Hockey League (NHL) – strange in a city that sees on average around 284 sunny days per year! Like the Lakers and the Clippers, the Kings also call the Staples Center home. The 2016/2017 NHL season runs from 12 October 2016 to 9 April 2017, with the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs starting on 12 April 2017 and lasting until mid-June. The Kings have developed intense rivalries with the two other Californian teams in the NHL – the Anaheim Ducks and the San Jose Sharks – so tickets to any of these games are guaranteed to be lots of fun.
Baseball – MLB
There’s perhaps no other sport that’s as iconic to the USA than baseball. And in Los Angeles, baseball is big deal, with two teams representing the city in the Major League Baseball (MLB) competition. The Los Angeles Angels call the Angel Stadium of Anaheim home, whilst the Los Angeles Dodgers swing their bats at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Interestingly, the Dodgers were formed in Brooklyn in 1883 and moved to sunny L.A. just before the 1958 season. Their biggest rivals are the San Francisco Giants and, of course, the Los Angeles Angels – the atmosphere at these games will be electric! The 2017 MLB season will run from 2 April 2017 to 1 October 2017.
American Football – NFL
The Los Angeles Rams represent the City of Angeles in the National Football League (NFL) and call the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum home. With a team worth around $2.9 billion, the Rams are the 6th most valuable team in the NFL – just two places below their fierce rivals, the San Francisco 49ers, who place at number four. The 2016/2017 NFL season runs from 8 September 2016 to 1 January 2017, and playoffs will begin on 7 January before the biggest game on the NFL calendar – the Super Bowl – kicks off on 5 February 2017.
Soccer – MLS
Although not as popular as baseball, football, basketball or ice hockey, professional soccer is growing in popularity in the USA, and Los Angeles’s own team, LA Galaxy, are strong contenders in the nation’s Major League Soccer (MLS) competition. Catapulting the club to international fame was the signing of David Beckham back in 2007 from Real Madrid, which was the highest profile club signing in the history of the MLS. LA Galaxy call the StubHub Center home and the 2017 MLS season is expected to run from March 2017 to December 2017. The new season will see two new teams – Atlanta United and Minnesota United – join the league.