What Are the Biggest Sports Teams in Florida?

By  //  August 9, 2020

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It’s no secret that sport is part of the lifeblood of the Sunshine State. Last year alone, sports in Florida generated $33 billion in revenues, more than in almost any other state.

Florida is home to some of the biggest stadiums, wealthiest sports teams, and best-known athletes in America. But which of Florida’s hundreds of professional sports teams are the biggest?

In order to answer this question, there are two things we need to look at: money and fans. The teams with the highest revenues and the biggest followings are undoubtedly the most influential and successful on the national sporting scene. With that criterion in mind, here’s our round-up of Florida’s biggest sports teams. 

1. Miami Heat

It should not come as much of a surprise that the NBA team that gave the world Shaquille O’Neal and LeBron James is Florida’s biggest and most popular sports team.

The Heat has tens of millions of fans worldwide and generated $294 million in revenues during the 2018/19 season alone. Miami Heat also has a sprawling merchandise empire, selling branded products around the world in collaboration with brand sponsors such as Tissot, Chick-Fil-A, and American Airlines. 

2. Orlando Magic

The fact that Florida has not one, but two NBA League teams is a testament to the sporting prowess of this fine state. Orlando Magic might not get the same kind of international spotlight at the Heat, but they are still one of the most beloved and widely followed teams in Florida.

They are estimated to have around 2.7 million fans across the state, many of whom flock to the team’s home stadium, the Amway Centre, to see the likes of Nikola Vucevic and Mo Bamba work their magic on the court.

3. Miami Dolphins

The enduring popularity of the Miami Dolphins, despite not being the strongest team in the NFL, can partly be explained by the fact that the NFL is a global cultural superpower. All over the world, people follow and even place bets on their favorite NFL teams, especially during Superbowl season.

This is perhaps best exemplified by online sportsbooks such as Mobilewins, a mobile deposit casino that allows people from dozens of countries to place bets on the NFL. This global popularity helps to explain why the Miami Dolphins have millions of followers worldwide, despite their relatively muted popularity in their home state. 

4. Florida Gators

The Gators are among the most established teams in the history of college basketball. First founded in Gainesville in 1906, the Gators have 112 seasons under their belt, during which they have regularly topped the NCAA league tables.

With revenues of $156.6 million last year, the Gators are one of the richest college football teams in the United States, thanks largely due to their runaway success and history as a hothouse for creating future NFL superstars. 

Sports in Florida is a pastime that unites people from all walks of life, as well as a major source of revenue. As these teams demonstrate, the power and reach of Florida’s sporting talents extends well beyond state lines.