Victories Abound in 18 Professional Sports on Most Recent Greater New York Calendar
More than 9,500 professional wins were achieved during the 2019 Greater New York sports events schedule, another indication of the region’s unparalleled sports influence.
Representative of the number of times pro teams or individual competitors recorded wins in the region last year, the number was calculated after a New York Sports Tours guest wondered aloud how many actual pro winners there are each year on the metropolitan New York sports calendar.
New York Sports Tours encourages those aboard its New York sports history tour experience to pose known or discoverable truths related to New York sports. The luxury outing shows guests how sports in Greater New York has helped shape culture and society in the region and beyond.
More than simply a count of 2019 pro sports events in the area, the win tally covers multiple wins in many single events. For example, the five-borough TCS New York City Marathon last year paid prize money to 14 champions. One of the winners, Joyciline Jepkosgei of Kenya, is shown in the below New York Sports Tours footage (in red shoes) entering the Bronx en route to her women’s open victory.
Sports wins have long been celebrated in New York, perhaps most memorably by Major League Baseball’s New York Yankees.
In 1998, the year the Yankees won the 24th of their record 27 World Series championships, club owner George Steinbrenner proclaimed, “Winning is the most important thing in my life, after breathing.”
Twenty years later at a public New York Sports Tours event, longtime Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said his favorite moments with the team have to do with wins, a sentiment captured in the below news clip from the event.
In tallying wins, New York Sports Tours studied 18 professional spectator sports and included victories by home and visiting teams and athletes. Greater New York sports events were deemed professional if they had prize money or paid competitors.
The sports range from traditional spectator draws such as horse racing and baseball to a sport with two pro New York teams but only two generations of history.
Ultimate, often referred to as ultimate frisbee, has been part of the Greater New York sports scene since it was introduced in 1968 at Columbia High School in northern New Jersey, at the first sanctioned ultimate competition. The following decade, outlets such as the below Pepsi commercial, which was filmed on the Fordham University campus in the Bronx, raised national public awareness of the sport.
A total of 9,513 wins, the vast majority of the 2019 pro victories in the New York City metropolitan area, are posted below. Contests that ended in a tie are not included. Each team victory is counted as one win, not one win for each member of the team.
Auto Racing — 2 Races
New York City E-Prix (2) | The two-day New York City E-Prix in Brooklyn in July 2019 featured the final two races of the Formula-E all-electric racing season. Switzerland’s Sebastien Buemi won the opening race and Dutchman Robin Frijns the second.
Baseball — 395 Wins
New York Mets (81) | In 2019, Major League Baseball’s New York Mets played half of their 162 regular season games at home, at Citi Field in Queens.
New York Yankees (86) | The Yankees’ 2019 home games in Greater New York include five post-season games at at the club’s Yankee Stadium in the Bronx
Brooklyn Cyclones (42) | The minor league Brooklyn Cyclones, a New York Mets affiliate, won the New York-Penn League championship series in September 2019, the first time the club won the title outright. The Cyclones’ home is Coney Island’s MCU Park, where four of Brooklyn’s 2019 playoff games were played.
Long Island Ducks (74) | Based at Bethpage Ballpark in Long Island’s Suffolk County, the Long Island Ducks won the 2019 Liberty Division of the Atlantic League, then lost to the York Revolution in the league championship series. The Ducks finished both the first and second half of their 2019 minor league season in first place in the division.
Somerset Patriots (72) | The Somerset Patriots of the Atlantic League play their home games at TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater, New Jersey. In 2019, the minor league team reached the Liberty Division playoff series and led all Atlantic League teams in average home attendance.
Staten Island Yankees (40) | Last year, for the 19th consecutive season, the New York-Penn League’s Staten Island Yankees played their home games at Richmond County Bank Ballpark at St. George. The New York Yankees affiliate finished the season in fourth place in the four-team McNamara devision, three and a half games behind division leader Brooklyn. Staten Island also hosted the New York-Penn League’s 2019 all-star game.
Basketball — 150 Wins
Brooklyn Nets (40) | The Brooklyn Nets of the National Basketball Association (NBA) are based at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. They played a 2019 home slate that stretched from the end of the NBA 2018-2019 regular season, through two post-season games, two pre-season games — including one at the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island against the Toronto Raptors — and the start of the season now paused because of the coronavirus outbreak.
New York Knicks (44) | The New York Knicks played their 2019 NBA home games and three pre-season games at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan.
New York Liberty (18) | New York’s Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) team played a pre-season game against the China National Team at Barclays Center, then 17 regular-season WNBA games at Westchester County Center in White Plains, New York.
Long Island Nets (24) | A member of the NBA G League, the minor league Long Island Nets played their 2019 home games at the Nassau Coliseum and Barclays Center.
Westchester Knicks (24) | The Westchester Knicks‘ 2019 NBA G League home games were held at the Westchester County Center and Madison Square Garden.
Boxing — 180 Wins
New York (172) | The New York sanctioned pro boxing wins include men’s and women’s fights at Madison Square Garden, Barclays Center, Generoso Pope Athletic Complex in Brooklyn, Amazura in Queens, Sony Hall and Terminal 5 in Manhattan, and The Paramount in Huntington.
New Jersey (8) | The 2019 northern New Jersey men’s and women’s sanctioned pro fights were recorded at Prudential Center in Newark.
Bull Riding — 5 Wins
Professional Bull Riders (5) | Professional Bull Riders (PBR) had a January 2019 Unleash the Beast tour stop at Madison Square Garden. The PBR event’s prize-money wins came in a “15/15 bucking battle” of 15 top riders against 15 top bulls and in five main rounds. Jess Lockwood, who won the fifth and final round, earned $118,350 for the three-day event.
Esports — 255 Wins
NBA 2K League (255) | All the 2019 NBA 2K League professional basketball esports games, including those that involved a team affiliated with the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets and another with the New York Knicks, were played in a studio in the Long Island City section of Queens. The wins include competition in three special tournaments and the playoffs.
Football — 20 Wins
New York Giants (10) | In their 95th NFL season, the New York Giants won two of their eight home games at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Giants won one of their two pre-season home games played at the facility.
New York Jets (10) | In 2019, the NFL’s New York Jets won five for their eight regular season home games at MetLife Stadium. The Jets split their two pre-season home games at the venue.
Golf — 2 Wins
The Northern Trust (1) — In 2019, the annual PGA Tour event The Northern Trust was played at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, New Jersey, for the first times since 2013. The United States’ Patrick Reed won the August tournament and the $1.665 million winner’s prize.
PGA Championship (1) — Brooks Koepka of the United States won the 101st edition of the PGA Championship, played at Bethpage State Park’s Black Course in Long Island. In defending his 2018 PGA Championship title, Koepka was again awarded the Rodman Wanamaker Trophy and $1.98 million.
Hockey — 176 Wins
New Jersey Devils (45) | The New Jersey Devils played three pre-season and 41 regular season National Hockey League (NHL) home games in 2019. The wins by the Devils and visiting teams at the Prudential Center were recorded during the 2019 segments of New Jersey’s 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 schedules.
New York Islanders (51) | The New York Islanders 2019 home NHL schedule — over parts of two seasons — included two Stanley Cup playoff games and four pre-season games. The home games were played at three separate locations: Barclays Center, Nassau Coliseum and, for a pre-season contest, Webster Bank Arena, in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
New York Rangers (44) | The New York Rangers are based at Madison Square Garden. In addition to their regular season NHL home games, they played three pre-season contests at the Garden.
Bridgeport Sound Tigers (36) | The New York Islanders’ American Hockey League (AHL) minor league affiliate Bridgeport Sound Tigers, based at Webster Bank Arena, were on the winning or losing end of 36 contests at the arena in the 2019 calendar year. Three of the home contests were in the first round of the AHL’s post-season Calder Cup playoffs at the end of the Sound Tigers’ 2018-2019 schedule.
Horse Racing — 6,855 Wins
Aqueduct Racetrack (825) | During the 2019 calendar year, the Aqueduct Racetrack in the Ozone Park section of Queens had another busy thoroughbred racing schedule. Its notable races included the $750,000 Wood Memorial Stakes in April, with jockey Jose Ortiz aboard winner Tacitus.
Belmont Park (772) | Belmont Park is home to the Belmont Stakes, the oldest and third leg of thoroughbred racing’s annual Triple Crown. In 2019, Sir Winston with jockey Joel Rosario won the $1.5 million race. Belmont is located in Elmont, New York, near the eastern border of Queens.
Freehold Raceway (854) | Freehold Raceway in Freehold, New Jersey, hosts harness racing events for trotters and pacers. Established in 1853, the track was formed to host a fair with harness racing.
Meadowlands Racetrack (1175) | A harness and thoroughbred racing track in East Rutherford, New Jersey, Meadowlands Raceway is home to the historic Hambletonian Stakes race. In 2019, Forbidden Trade, driven by Bob McClure, won the $1 million Hambletonian.
Monmouth Park Racetrack (648) | A thoroughbred track in Oceanport, New Jersey, Monmouth Park hosts races in the winter and summer. In 2019 at Monmouth Park, the $1.01 million Haskell Invitational Stakes was won by Maximum Security with jockey Luis Saez.
Yonkers Raceway (2581) | Founded in 1899, Yonkers Raceway is near the northern border of New York City. The track is home to many leading harness races. Gimpanzee and driver Brian Sears won the $1 million Yonkers International Trot race in 2019,
Lacrosse — 13 Wins
New York Lizards (8) | The Major League Lacrosse team the New York Lizards won three of their eight home games on Long Island, at Hofstra University’s Stuart Stadium.
Premier Lacrosse League (5) | Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey, hosted three regular-season Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) games in 2019 — victories by Whipsnakes LC, Archers LC and Chaos LC. The PLL, a tour-based league, held two 2019 post-season games at the arena.
Mixed Martial Arts — 76 Wins
Ultimate Fighting Championship (37) | Men’s and women’s Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) bouts were held in 2019 at Madison Square Garden, Barclays Center and Prudential Center. In January 2019 at Barclays Center, in the first event of a long-term UFC-ESPN television deal, UFC flyweight champion Henry Cejudo defeated UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw in the headliner.
Professional Fighters League (39) | The 2019 Professional Fighters League (PFL) calendar included men’s and women’s bouts at Nassau Coliseum and the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden. The theater was host to the PFL championship in December 2019.
Road Racing — 101 Wins
NYRR Joe Kleinerman 10K (6) | The men’s and women’s 2019 race winners of the 10-kilometer race, Ernest Pitone of Pennsylvania and Ana Johnson of New York City, each received prize money, as did the men’s and women’s winners of the 40+ and 50+ age groups . Held in January in Central Park in Manhattan, the race is named for a New York Road Runners Club (now known as NYRR) co-founder. Joe Kelinerman is credited with advancing road race age-group and women’s divisions.
NYRR Gridiron 4M (6) | Staged on the same day in February as the NFL’s Super Bowl, this annual Manhattan event held a football-throwing competition before the race. The race route is a four-mile inner loop of Central Park. Six champions earn prize money, with $500 each awarded to the fastest man and woman in 2019.
NYRR Al Gordon Brooklyn 4M (6) | This February event, held at Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, followed the same prize money outlay as the NYRR Gridiron 4M. The race is named for former college track standout Al Gordon, a New York Road Runners (NYRR) board member who promoted running and fitness until his death at age 107.
United Airlines NYC Half (6) | In 2019, the men’s and women’s winners of this annual half marathon received $20,000 each. The men’s and women’s wheelchair winners earned $4,000 each and the first men’s and women’s NYRR members $1,500 apiece. This was the first 2020 NYRR race to be cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Tennis — 969 Wins
New York Empire (7) | The New York Empire won four of its seven 2019 home matches, played at Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning in the Bronx, and reached the championship match of professional tennis’ eight-team World Team Tennis (WTT). At WTT events, only the final score — a total number of points for each team in men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles — delivers a win.
New York Open (55) | In the 2019 ATP Tour men’s tournament at Nassau Coliseum on Long Island, 28 wins were recorded in singles matches and 15 in doubles. Also included are 12 wins in the qualifying rounds. American Reilly Opelka won the tournament singles championship.
NYJTA Bronx Open (85) | Poland’s Magda Linette won the singles championship at this final WTA Tour women’s tournament before the US Open, and received $43,000 for the victory. Contested at Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning, the event finished with more than seven dozen wins in singles and doubles, including qualifying matches.
US Open (822) | America’s Grand Slam championship in 2019 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens featured professional singles and doubles, including in wheelchair competition, and qualifying matches. Spain’s Rafael Nadel and Canada’s Bianca Andreescu each received $3.85 million for their championship singles wins from a prize pool of more than $57 million.