Maybe it’s the climate, or the blue skies or the way the fog rolls in, but for a small city, there are more Bay Area sports teams than even the biggest sports fan could possibly support. If your plan is to get in a little sporting action – the type that gets played on pitches and sports fields that is – here’s a run-down. Let’s start with the biggies.

American Football

We need to be sure to add the American rider because there are loads of soccer teams in the area, and they think they’re real football. Anyway, first and foremost has to be the San Francisco 49ers. The local football team since 1946, winners of five Superbowl trophies with a mascot known as Sourdough Sam in homage to the city’s famous sourdough bread.

Here’s the weird thing, the team plays in Santa Clara which is 40 miles away. It is a politics and money thing. The 49ers were home in Candlestick Park and then it got renamed and everything started to go awry. There were negotiations to go back to the site, but they fell through, and Santa Clara leaped into the breach. Levi’s got the stadium name and somehow being named after the eponymous jeans company is somehow better than being named after a cell phone.

The other team the Oakland Raiders left the Bay Area for a while but then came back and the Oakland Raiders stadium is now back in Oakland. They are not quite the high flyers as their cousins across the bay, but still, they managed to win three Superbowl championships.

Photo Credit: By John Martinez Pavliga 


Like football, there are two baseball teams; Oakland Athletics who play at the Oakland Coliseum and The San Francisco Giants who play at AT&T Park at the end of the Embarcadero. The Giants have been around since 1958 and bottom line they have won the most games of any team in American Baseball history, which of course means the world.

In 1989 the two teams played each other, (with Oakland sweeping the series) but probably best known for being hit by an earthquake on the day of game 3. This is San Francisco after all, and it is a lot more dramatic than being called off for rain.

Photo Credit: By Ian D’Andrea – D.J. Snelten, CC BY-SA 2.0


The Golden State Warriors San Francisco’s basketball team don’t seem to be sure which coast they’d like to live on, but for now, they’re settled in the Oracle Arena and have won the NBA final four times.

And now for something completely different…

There’s so much more to sport in the Bay Area than the obvious, you can check out Australian rules football and for all the boys who want to check out the really hunky men, there are three rugby teams, one of them professional, who manage to show American Footballers a thing or two about passing the ball.

If they are not quirky enough for you, there are some really off the wall sports. Here are a few favorites.

Trampoline Dodgeball

C’mon! What could be better than a bunch of people playing dodgeball, bounding across the court on trampolines? More to the point they are really good at it. Cup winning good. If you want an alternate Tuesday night this might be the thing to watch.

How about underwater hockey

Eat your heart out San Jose Sharks these guys chase a puck holding their breath. Most of the players play at an international level, yes, this thing goes all the way to the world. But what an idea chase the puck across the bottom of the pool, who needs ice?

Bike Polo

This too is ‘a thing’ there’s an official stadium in Dolores Park. This is like polo for the not so rich and famous. The game is fast and furious and the Bay Area has three teams. Just search for Bike Polo San Francisco.

Photo Credit: By Urbanbicyclist

Curling just continues to get cooler

There are multiple teams up and down the peninsula. Obviously, this is an indoor sport even in the depths of winter, when it might get as cool as 50⁰. But if this is your thing since the last winter Olympics you can get your fix.


There are three teams who are already putting themselves out there as a bunch of grown-ups who run around with a broomstick between their legs. Think about it for a moment, this says more about Silicon Valley and youth culture than it does about San Francisco being the gay capital of the world. But it is possible to be all three and hey if you want to search for a snitch no one is going to stop you.

If wine tasting is your sport of choice, there’s even a wine tasting competition in February run by the local newspaper. Whatever your sport, San Francisco has it.

Photo Credit: By Radiat – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0