Oldest Sports Club in North America

Oldest Sports Club in North America

A sports club sounds fancy and interesting, but really, it is nothing more than a group that people form to play sports. North America is home to several sports clubs, and in this article, we’re going to look at a few clubs that have been around for many decades. These clubs have helped kickstart many athletes’ careers, and play an important role in the way various sports are perceived all over the country.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the oldest sports clubs in North America! 

The 6 Oldest Sports Clubs in North America

6. Major League Soccer

Year founded: 1993
Name of commissioner: Don Garber
Club’s headquarters: New York, New York, United States

Major League SoccerPhoto Source: Wikimedia Commons

Although the MSL, or Major Soccer League, has only been around for about 30 years, it is still considered to be one of North America’s oldest sports clubs. The United States Soccer Federation sanctioned this club, and this federation serves as a representation of the highest levels of sports in the US. 

This club’s predecessor was the North American Soccer League. However, this club was founded as part of North America’s bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 1994. North America was successful, and this club was eventually inaugurated in 1996 with 10 teams. 

Did you know?

David Beckham belongs to the MSL, and helped make the club more profitable in its early stages.

5. National Football League

Year founded: 1920
Name of commissioner: Roger Goodell
Club’s headquarters: 345 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10154 U.S.

National Football LeaguePhoto Source: Wikimedia Commons

If you haven’t heard of the NFL at some point in your life, you may be living under a rock! The National Football League is one of the most famous sports clubs in the world, and it is also known to be the highest professional level of American football in the entire world. 

It was founded over 100 years ago. Today, this club consists of 32 teams and is the world’s wealthiest sports league in terms of revenue. It also boasts the world’s highest average attendance out of any sports league in the entire world. 

Did you know?

One of the NFL’s teams, The Green Bay Packers, has earned the highest number of NFL championships, winning 13 overall.

4. National Hockey League

Year founded: 1917
Name of commissioner: Gary Bettman
Club’s headquarters: 1185 6th Avenue, New York City, U.S.

National Hockey LeaguePhoto Source: Wikimedia Commons

The National Hockey League, or the NHL, as it is commonly known, is North America’s ice hockey league. This club awards the Stanley Cup at the end of every season to the league’s playoff champion. Although there are various ice hockey sports clubs all over the world, the NHL is widely considered to be the world’s top-ranked professional ice hockey league.

It’s interesting to note that during the NHL’s inception, it only had four teams! Today, it has 32 teams, 7 of which belong to Canada, while the remaining 25 are a part of the United States of America. 

Did you know?

During the NHL’s regular season, each team plays 82 games each.

3. Major League Baseball

Year founded: 1903
Name of commissioner: Rob Manfred
Club’s headquarters: 1271 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York

Major League BaseballPhoto Source: Wikimedia Commons

Major League Baseball is one of the oldest sports clubs in all of North America. This club consists of 30 teams, and is governed by an organization called the Major League Baseball Constitution. The 30 teams that belong to this club are all equally divided between the American League and the National League. 

It’s interesting to note that although the National and American Leagues were formed in 1876 and 1901, they only signed an agreement in 1903, which is what makes this sports club one of the oldest in the world. 

Did you know? 

The Major Baseball League earns the second-highest amount of revenue out of all the professional sports leagues in the country.

2. Los Angeles Athletic Club

Year founded: 1880
Name of commissioner: Charles F. Hathaway, Jr
Club’s headquarters: 431 West Seventh Street Los Angeles, CA 90014

Los Angeles Athletic ClubPhoto Source: Wikimedia Commons

The Los Angeles Athletic Club is another one of North America’s oldest sports clubs. This club is widely known for being both an exclusive athletic and social club today, but it had humble beginnings. After the club had its first 60 members, its first facility was rented in downtown Los Angeles.

As more and more members joined, the club eventually moved to more spacious locations a few times before settling into where it is currently located now. It offers various sports facilities like gymnastics, tennis, baseball, football, and a running track.

Did you know? 

The Los Angeles Athletic Club has had several notable members join, including Reginaldo Francisco del Valle, Robert Frederick Foster, and Esther Williams.

1. New York Athletic Club

Year founded: 1868
Name of commissioner: John C. Babcock, Harry Buermeyer, William Buckingham Curtis
Club’s headquarters: 180 Central Park South Manhattan, New York

New York Athletic ClubPhoto Source: Wikimedia Commons

The New York Athletic Club is one of New York City’s oldest social and sports clubs. It has over 8,000 members and is known for its exclusivity. Although it was founded in the late 1860s, it took several for the club to be completed, and was only finished in 1929. It has two locations, one of which is called City House at 180 Central Park. City House is a 24-story building that offers various facilities like swimming, fencing, squash, basketball, and various others.

Its other location is in Westchester County and is called Travers Island. It is a summer club and is named after the club’s president, William R. Travers.

Did you know?

You can become a part of the New York Athletic Club only through an invitation.


In this article, we looked at some of the oldest sports clubs in all of North America. Although we looked at a few of those clubs briefly and what they do, we barely, if at all, scratched the surface into what goes on inside many of those sports clubs! We hope you enjoyed reading this article, and that you learned something new today.

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