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What Makes a Great Sports City?


Go SharksTraditionally it’s been a combination of one or more legacy teams, venerable venues, a rabid fan base, and crappy weather. That’s how Chicago, Boston, New York, Detroit and the other old-school sports cities earned their rep. Now there’s a new kid in the game – San Jose, which has had a mere 25 years to nurture its NHL Sharks team, and yet, here they are in the Stanley Cup finals this year.

San Jose certainly has the devoted fans – as the most diverse of the top 10 cities in the country, our communities don’t just support typical American sports, but are avid followers of soccer, the world’s most popular sport.

In addition to The Shark Tank, aka SAP Center, the San Jose metro area is home to two of the newest, most advanced venues in sports, Levi’s Stadium and Avaya Stadium.

And then there’s the weather. Our weather is ridiculously good – sunshine 300 days a year, and it’s the good kind of sunshine, not the punishing, heat-stroke kind.

Evidence that the world is recognizing San Jose as a premiere, global city and Class-A venue:

  • San Jose is the first US city to host the COPA America Centenario, the western hemisphere’s answer to the World Cup, May-June, 2016
  • San Jose will host the US Olympic Games Women’s Gymnastic trials, July, 2016

So, even for those of us who don’t engage with professional sports, there is no denying the excitement that has exploded with the Sharks going to the Stanley Cup finals. Every City Hall department, people in elevators, folks in business meetings – it’s “Go Sharks!”  And that’s what a real global city feels like!

Elisabeth Handler, Public Information Manager