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."
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.
|Sport||League||Club||Founded||Venue||League championships||Championship years|
|Football||NFL||Buffalo Bills||1960||New Era Field||2*||1964,1965*|
|Hockey||NHL||Buffalo Sabres||1970||KeyBank Center||0|
|Baseball||IL||Buffalo Bisons||1979†||Sahlen Field||3||1997, 1998, 2004|
|Lacrosse||NLL||Buffalo Bandits||1992||KeyBank Center||4||1992, 1993, 1996, 2008|
|Soccer||NPSL||FC Buffalo||2009||All-High Stadium||0|
|Women's hockey||NWHL||Buffalo Beauts||2015||Northtown Center||1||2017|
* Championships listed are American Football League championships, not NFL championships. † 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.
- The Buffalo Bisons of the National League from 1879 to 1885.
- The Buffalo Bisons of the defunct Players' League in 1890.
- The Buffalo Blues of the defunct Federal League of baseball from 1914 to 1915.
- The Buffalo Niagaras, Prospects, All-Americans, Bisons, and Rangers of the National Football League from 1918 to 1929.
- The Buffalo Bisons of the American Basketball League from 1925 to 1926.
- The Buffalo Bisons of the American Hockey League from 1940 to 1970.
- The Buffalo Bisons of the National Basketball League in 1946. (became the Atlanta Hawks).
- The Buffalo Bisons/Bills of the defunct All-America Football Conference from 1946 to 1949.
- The Buffalo Braves of the National Basketball Association from 1970 to 1978. (became the San Diego Clippers then the Los Angeles Clippers).
- The Buffalo Royals of World TeamTennis in 1974.
- The Buffalo Norsemen of the North American Hockey League from 1975 to 1976.
- The Buffalo Sharks of the American Basketball Association from 2005 to 2008.
- The Buffalo Stallions of the defunct Major Indoor Soccer League from 1979 to 1984.
- The Buffalo Stampede of the defunct Roller Hockey International from 1994 to 1995.
- The Buffalo Wings of the defunct Roller Hockey International and Major League Roller Hockey from 1997 to 1999.
- The Buffalo Blizzard of the defunct National Professional Soccer League II from 1992 to 2001.
- The Buffalo Destroyers of the Arena Football League from 1999 to 2003.
- The Queen City FC of the National Premier Soccer League from 2007 to 2008.
- The Buffalo 716ers of the Premier Basketball League.
- The Buffalo Blazers of the defunct Canadian National Soccer League from 1977 to 1980.
- The Buffalo White Eagles of the defunct Eastern Canada Professional Soccer League for only the 1962 season.
|School||Team||League||Division||Primary Conference||Other Conference(s)|
|University at Buffalo||Buffalo Bulls||NCAA||I (FBS)||MAC||N/A|
|Canisius College||Canisius Golden Griffins||NCAA||I||MAAC||AHA|
|Daemen College||Daemen Wildcats||NCAA||II||ECC||N/A|
|Buffalo State College||Buffalo State Bengals||NCAA||III||SUNYAC||E8|
|Erie Community College||Erie Community College Kats||NJCAA||N/A||WNYAC||N/A|
Notes and references
- Van Riper, Tom. "America's Most Miserable Sports Cities". Forbes.com. Forbes. Retrieved 10 April 2013.