St. Louis is one of the nation’s great sports cities. The baseball Cardinals are one of the best-known and most successful major league franchises in all of sports, but St. Louis also has great traditions in football, hockey and soccer.
In addition to having popular professional sports teams, Greater St. Louis also has happy fans. The St. Louis Blues and the St. Louis Cardinals ranked high in fan satisfaction for 2013 (No. 12 and No. 26 respectively) on ESPN The Magazine's 10th annual “Ultimate Standings” survey. The survey ranked fan satisfaction among 122 MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL franchises based on feedback on eight major categories: bang for the buck, fan relations, team ownership, affordability, stadium experience, players, coaches, and title track. Busch Stadium, a retro-style ballpark, opened in 2006 and has already hosted two World Series, in 2006 and 2011, both of which the Cardinals won. In 2009 the 80th MLB All-Star Game was held at Busch Stadium. At a press conference surrounding the All-Star events, Commissioner Bud Selig said, "[St. Louis] is a remarkable baseball town. The Commissioner is always supposed to be neutral, but there are some great baseball cities; there is no city with a greater history, tradition and presence than St. Louis."
Greater St. Louis is also home to numerous colleges that compete nationally, including the Washington University Bears, Saint Louis University Billikens, University of Missouri St. Louis Tritons, Lindenwood Lions, and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Cougars. Its central location nationally and world-class venues have supported St. Louis as a popular host city to numerous NCAA Division I college championships:
- 2000 Men's Wrestling Championship
- 2001 Women's Basketball Final Four®
- 2004 Men's Wrestling Championship
- 2005 Men's Wrestling Championship
- 2005 Men's Basketball Final Four®
- 2006 Men's Soccer College Cup®
- 2007 Men's Hockey Frozen Four®
- 2008 Men's Wrestling Championship
- 2009 Men's Wrestling Championship
- 2009 Women's Basketball Final Four®
- 2011 Women's Volleyball Championship