Sports in Colorado includes professional teams, college sports, and individual sports from the Denver Metropolitan Area and other cities.
Colorado is the least populous state with a franchise in each of the major professional sports leagues. The state is able to support the teams because it contains a large metropolitan area with a higher population than any other city within 550 miles (885 km). Therefore, many of the residents in the surrounding states support the teams in Denver, as shown by the reach of the Broncos' radio network.
|Denver Broncos||Denver||September 9, 1960||Football||National Football League|
|Denver Barbarians||Denver||Spring 1967||Rugby union||Rugby Super League|
|Denver Nuggets||Denver||September 27, 1967||Basketball||National Basketball Association|
|Colorado Rockies||Denver||April 5, 1993||Baseball||Major League Baseball|
|Colorado Avalanche||Denver||October 6, 1995||Ice hockey||National Hockey League|
|Colorado Rapids||Commerce City||April 13, 1996||Soccer||Major League Soccer|
|Colorado Rumble FC||Denver||December 2018||Indoor soccer||Major Arena Soccer League 2|
|Denver Bulldogs||Denver||Summer 1998||Australian rules football||USAFL|
|Colorado Mammoth||Denver||January 3, 2003||Lacrosse||National Lacrosse League|
|Colorado Eagles||Loveland||October 17, 2003||Ice hockey||American Hockey League|
|Rocky Mountain Rollergirls||Denver||July 2005||Roller derby||Women's Flat Track Derby Association|
|Denver Outlaws||Denver||May 20, 2006||Lacrosse||Major League Lacrosse|
|Boulder County Bombers||Boulder||November 2011||Roller derby||Women's Flat Track Derby Association|
|Grand Junction Rockies||Grand Junction||June 18, 2012||Baseball||Pioneer League (Rookie, Minor League Baseball)|
|Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC||Colorado Springs||March 28, 2015||Soccer||USL Championship|
|Rocky Mountain Vibes||Colorado Springs||June 2019||Baseball||Pioneer League (Rookie, Minor League Baseball)|
|Aurora Cavalry||Basketball||International Basketball League|
|Colorado 14ers (won championship in their final season of 2008–09; moved to Frisco, Texas, went on hiatus in 2009–10, and resumed play in 2010–11 as the Texas Legends)||Basketball||NBA Development League|
|Colorado Chill (folded along with the NWBL)||Basketball||National Women's Basketball League|
|Colorado Crossover||Basketball||International Basketball League|
|Colorado Crush (suspended operations with the AFL in 2009, and did not return after league's hiatus ended)||Arena football||Arena Football League|
|Colorado Rapids U23's||Soccer||USL Premier Development League|
|Colorado Raptors||Rugby union||Major League Rugby|
|Colorado Rockies (NHL) (moved to East Rutherford, New Jersey, and became the New Jersey Devils)||Ice hockey||National Hockey League|
|Colorado Xplosion (won the Western Conference Championship in inaugural season)||Women's Basketball||American Basketball League (1996–1998)|
|Colorado Springs Blizzard||Soccer||USL Premier Development League|
|Colorado Springs Sky Sox (relocated to San Antonio after the 2018 season as the San Antonio Missions)||Baseball||Pacific Coast League (Triple-A, Minor League Baseball)|
|Denver Grizzlies (moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, later moved to Cleveland, Ohio, and became the Lake Erie/Cleveland Monsters)||Ice hockey||International Hockey League (1945–2001)|
|Denver Spurs (moved to Ottawa, Ontario and became the Ottawa Civics for the rest of the team's existence)||Ice hockey||World Hockey Association/Central Hockey League/Western Hockey League|
|Denver Cutthroats||Ice hockey||Central Hockey League|
|Denver Dynamite (Inaugural AFL member; folded after four seasons)||Arena football||Arena Football League|
|Denver Gold (United States Football League member, 1983–1985)||Football||United States Football League|
|Denver Bears/Denver Zephyrs (moved to New Orleans and became the New Orleans Zephyrs; now playing as the New Orleans Baby Cakes in the New Orleans suburb of Metairie, Louisiana)||Baseball||American Association/Pacific Coast League|
|Denver Racquets 1974 Champions (moved to Phoenix 1975)||Tennis||World Team Tennis|
|Denver Stampede||Rugby union||PRO Rugby|
|Rocky Mountain Rage||Ice hockey||Central Hockey League|
Colorado is home to five NCAA Division I schools, plus a number of additional schools competing at lower levels. One school that competes at the lowest NCAA level, Division III, operates two Division I teams.
|Air Force Falcons||United States Air Force Academy||Colorado Springs||Mountain West|
|Colorado Buffaloes||University of Colorado Boulder||Boulder||Pac-12|
|Colorado College Tigers||Colorado College||Colorado Springs|| NCHC (men's ice hockey)|
Mountain West (women's soccer)
|Colorado State Rams||Colorado State University||Fort Collins||Mountain West|
|Denver Pioneers||University of Denver||Denver||Summit|
|Northern Colorado Bears||University of Northern Colorado||Greeley||Big Sky|
The Unser family includes Al Unser, Al Unser Jr., Bobby Unser, Robby Unser and Louis Unser, and have won the Indianapolis 500 among other motorsports events.
The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is a major motorsports event held at the Pikes Peak roads. Notable drivers include Mario Andretti, Michèle Mouton, Walter Röhrl, Ari Vatanen, Nobuhiro Tajima, Stig Blomqvist, Sébastien Loeb and Romain Dumas in addition to the Unsers.
Meanwhile, the Pikes Peak International Raceway has hosted motorsport events including IndyCar Series, NASCAR Busch Series, NASCAR Truck Series, AMA Superbike Championship and USAC Silver Crown Series.
The Cherry Hills Country Club has hosted professional golf tournaments such as the U.S. Open, U.S. Senior Open, U.S. Women's Open and PGA Championship.
The Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC), commonly known as the Rocky Mountain Conference (RMC) from approximately 1910 through the late 1960s, is a collegiate athletic conference which operates in the western United States, mostly in Colorado with members in Nebraska, New Mexico, South Dakota, and Utah. It participates in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)'s Division II.
NCAA Division I (D-I) is the highest level of intercollegiate athletics sanctioned by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in the United States. D-I schools include the major collegiate athletic powers, with larger budgets, more elaborate facilities and more athletic scholarships than Divisions II and III as well as many smaller schools committed to the highest level of intercollegiate competition.
NCAA Division III (D-III) is a division of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in the United States. D-III consists of athletic programs at colleges and universities that choose not to offer athletic scholarships to their student-athletes.
In college football, the Power Five conferences are five athletic conferences which are considered to be the elite in collegiate football in the United States. They are part of the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of NCAA Division I, the highest level of collegiate football in the nation. The conferences are the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), Big Ten Conference, Big 12 Conference, Pac-12 Conference, and Southeastern Conference (SEC). The term "Power Five" is not defined by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), and the origin of the term is unknown. It has been used in its current meaning since at least 2006. The term is also occasionally used in other college sports, although in many non-football sports, most notably basketball, anywhere from six to eight conferences may be considered "high-major".
The Clarkson Golden Knights are composed of 20 teams representing Clarkson University in intercollegiate athletics, including men and women's alpine skiing, basketball, cross country, ice hockey, lacrosse, nordic skiing, soccer, and swimming. Men's sports include baseball and golf. Women's sports include softball and volleyball. The Golden Knights compete in the NCAA Division III and are members of the Liberty League for all sports except ice hockey, which competes in NCAA Division I, as a member of ECAC Hockey.
The Penn State Nittany Lions are the athletic teams of Pennsylvania State University, except for the women's basketball team, known as the Lady Lions. The school colors are navy blue and white. The school mascot is the Nittany Lion. The intercollegiate athletics logo was commissioned in 1983.
Sports in Minnesota include professional teams in all major sports, Olympic Games contenders and medalists, especially in the Winter Olympics, collegiate teams in major and small-school conferences and associations and active amateur teams and individual sports. The State of Minnesota has a team in all five major professional leagues. Along with professional sports, there are numerous collegiate teams including the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers in the NCAA Division I, Minnesota State Mavericks in NCAA Division I and NCAA Division II and many others across the Minnesota public and private colleges and universities.
The Miami RedHawks are the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I intercollegiate athletic teams that represent Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, United States. Miami is a member of the Mid-American Conference (MAC) East Division and sponsors teams in nine men's and ten women's NCAA sanctioned sports; the RedHawks hockey team is a member of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference. The football team competes in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), the highest level for college football. The Redhawks are arch-rivals with the Ohio Bobcats. In box scores for sporting events, the RedHawks sports teams are usually referred to as Miami (OH) to differentiate from the Miami Hurricanes, a Division I school in Florida.
The city of Denver, Colorado, and the wider Denver metropolitan area is home to many sports teams.
The Air Force Falcons are the athletic teams that represent the United States Air Force Academy. The intercollegiate program has 17 men's and 10 women's NCAA-sanctioned teams. The current athletic director is Nathan Pine. The majority of the Falcons teams compete as members of the Mountain West Conference.
The Denver Pioneers are the sports teams of the University of Denver (DU). They play in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I. Denver is a member of The Summit League for men's and women's basketball, swimming and diving, men's and women's soccer, tennis and golf for both men and women, plus women's volleyball. Other DU teams play in various conferences in the sports that are not sponsored by The Summit. The men's ice hockey team is a charter member of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC), which formed in 2011 with play beginning in 2013. The lacrosse teams for men and women are members of the Big East Conference; the men began Big East play in the 2013–14 school year, while the women left the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) after the 2016 lacrosse season. Men's and women's skiing compete in the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association, while the women's gymnastics team became an affiliate of the Big 12 Conference starting with the 2015–16 season.
The Lindenwood Lions and Lady Lions are the intercollegiate athletic teams of Lindenwood University, located in St. Charles, Missouri. The school is primarily a member of the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Valley Conference, although women's ice hockey and gymnastics and men's volleyball compete in NCAA Division I. The Lions joined the NCAA and the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) in the summer of 2013, after completing the transition process from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC). On October 4, 2018, Lindenwood announced it would be leaving the MIAA for the Great Lakes Valley Conference effective July 1, 2019.
The Colorado College Tigers are composed of 16 teams representing Colorado College in intercollegiate athletics, including men and women's basketball, cross country, lacrosse, soccer, swimming & diving, tennis, and track and field. Men's sports include ice hockey. Women's sports include volleyball. The Tigers compete in the NCAA Division III and are members of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference for all sports except men's ice hockey and women's soccer, which compete in NCAA Division I. The men's ice hockey team is a member of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference, while the women's soccer team is a member of the Mountain West Conference.
The Mercyhurst Lakers, representing Mercyhurst University which is located in Erie, Pennsylvania, are composed of 24 teams in intercollegiate athletics, including men's and women's basketball, cross country, golf, ice hockey, lacrosse, rowing, soccer, tennis, and water polo. Men's sports include baseball, football, and wrestling. Women's sports include field hockey, softball, and volleyball. The Lakers compete in the NCAA Division II and are members of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) for all sports except ice hockey, which competes in NCAA Division I, and water polo, a sport in which the NCAA holds single all-divisions national championships for men and women. The men's ice hockey team is a member of Atlantic Hockey, while the women's ice hockey team is a member of College Hockey America. The men's water polo team plays in the Collegiate Water Polo Association, and the women's water polo team plays in the Western Water Polo Association.
Upstate New York is a storied region in North American athletics.
The VMI Keydets are the athletic teams that represent the Virginia Military Institute. All sports participate in the NCAA Division I, and all but four compete in the Southern Conference. VMI fields teams in sixteen different sports, ten for men and six for women.
The TCNJ Lions are the athletic teams representing The College of New Jersey (TCNJ). They are a member of the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) and compete within Division III of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
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