It is not true to say that there are no pro sports teams in Alabama. But there is no major league representation in any of the big four. But if you thought that meant that the good people of Alabama don’t like their sport, you could not be further from the truth.
Alabama gambling laws have not reached the point where online betting is legal in the state. But there are not many more passionate sports fans in the country than those who follow the teams at the University of Alabama and Auburn. Those colleges are two of the most successful in the country – but there are other teams to look out for. Read on to find out more.
There is simply no way you can talk about sports in the state of Alabama without mentioning the two powerhouse colleges. The Alabama Crimson Tide and the Auburn Tigers have consistently been a force in football especially, sharing a number of national championships over the years.
The rivalry between the two schools is one of the most intense in the country, with teams participating in a number of sports within the Southeastern Conference. The annual football game between the two is called the Iron Bowl and is eagerly anticipated by all fans of college football.
Minor League Baseball
With no major league teams to root for, Alabama fans have to make do with minor league teams in a number of sports. There are three baseball teams in the state – the Birmingham Barons, the Montgomery Biscuits and the Rocket City Trash Pandas.
Apart from having some of the best names in sports, these three compete in Double-A South, two grades below the big league. The Barons are the most successful team in the league’s history with seven titles. But there was a now defunct team called the Montgomery Rebels who won five titles in the 1970s.
Motorsports are big news in Alabama and there are two circuits that have hosted IndyCar and NASCAR series events. The Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama is also home to a vintage car museum and holds an annual festival celebrating older classics.
But the best well known motorsports circuit in Alabama is undoubtedly the Talladega Superspeedway. Nicknamed the ‘Dega’, the grandstand can hold up to 80,000 spectators, with the entire complex able to accommodate around 175,000. A variety of top NASCAR events regularly feature.
Golf and Tennis Events
Although Alabama is not really one of the biggest names on the circuit for either golf or tennis, there have been some major events hosted in the past. The ATP Birmingham was a World Championship Tennis event that ran from 1973 up until 1980, for example.
Both the PGA and LPGA Tours have visited Alabama too. With such picturesque scenery, the state served as a stunning backdrop to the action, with some of the top names of the time taking part.
Major League Expansion?
For a state with such a sporting history it seems strange that there is no major league team for the residents to support. Alabama is actually the second most populous state not to have a major league franchise – number one if you don’t count Virginia being home to the Washington Commanders and Washington Capitals.
It doesn’t seem likely that anything will change in the near future either. Birmingham would probably be the main candidate but none of the big four are looking to expand here, leaving Major League Soccer as an outside chance. But with college sports being so dominant in Alabama, sports fans are probably quite happy the way things are at the moment.