Buffalo, New York and Western New York are home to two major league sports teams. The Buffalo Sabres (hockey) play in the City of Buffalo. The Buffalo Bills (football) play in the suburb of Orchard Park, New York. Buffalo is also home to several minor sports teams including the Buffalo Bisons (baseball), Buffalo Bandits (indoor lacrosse) and FC Buffalo (soccer). Several Buffalo-area colleges and universities are active in college athletics. The State University of New York at Buffalo play division I FBS football as well as other sports in Buffalo and the suburb of Amherst, New York.
Sports are a major part of the city's culture. In recent decades Buffalo based teams have become known for crushing, and sometimes controversial, defeats. "Wide Right", "No Goal" and the Music City Miracle have come to define the suffering of Buffalo Sports fans. In February 2012 Forbes listed Buffalo #4 on its list of "Most Miserable Sports Cities." The only time the city of Buffalo has won major league sports championships was in 1964 and 1965 when the Bills won back to back American Football League titles.
Buffalo has received franchises in three major sports leagues, starting with the Buffalo Bills who began play in the inaugural 1960 American Football League season and eventually joined the National Football League in 1970 as part of the NFL-AFL merger. That same year, the Buffalo Braves joined the National Basketball Association, and the Buffalo Sabres joined the National Hockey League as expansion franchises. However, the Braves struggled financially and were relocated in 1978 to California and became the Clippers. That caused a perception that Western New York cannot economically support three major sports franchises. The Bills' decision to play one home game a year in nearby Toronto in 2008 in order to expand revenue has bolstered that perception further.
Buffalo last hosted Major League Baseball in 1915 with the Federal League's Buffalo Blues. Currently the highest level of professional baseball in the greater Buffalo region is the Buffalo Bisons, a AAA International League franchise.
|Football||NFL||Buffalo Bills||1960||New Era Field||2||1964*, 1965*|
|Hockey||NHL||Buffalo Sabres||1970||KeyBank Center||0|
|College Football||NCAA||Buffalo Bulls||1894||University at Buffalo Stadium||1||2008|
|College Basketball||NCAA||Buffalo Bulls||1915||Alumni Arena||4||2015, 2016, 2018, 2019|
|College Basketball||NCAA||Canisius Golden Griffins||1903||Koessler Athletic Center||1||1996|
|College Basketball||NCAA||Niagara Purple Eagles||1905||Gallagher Center||2||2005, 2007|
|College Hockey||AHA||Canisius Golden Griffins||1980||LECOM Harborcenter||1||2013|
|College Hockey||AHA||Niagara Purple Eagles||1996||Dwyer Arena||3||2000**, 2004**, 2008**|
|Baseball||IL||Buffalo Bisons||1979†||Sahlen Field||3||1997, 1998, 2004|
|Lacrosse||NLL||Buffalo Bandits||1992||KeyBank Center||4||1992, 1993, 1996, 2008|
|Women's Hockey||NWHL||Buffalo Beauts||2015||Northtown Center||1||2017|
|Soccer||NPSL||FC Buffalo||2009||All-High Stadium||0|
* American Football League (AFL) championships were earned prior to the NFL merging with the AFL in 1970.
** College Hockey America (CHA) men's hockey championships were earned prior to the league's discontinuation of its men's program in 2010.
† Date refers to current incarnation; Buffalo Bisons previously operated from the 1870s until 1970 and the current Bisons count this team as part of their history.