A Look at the Most Exciting New Pro Leagues
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North American sports may be unique compared to international interests, but there’s no denying that the NHL, MLB, NFL, and NBA are highly entertaining. From fan engagement to decades-long rivalries to quality rookie leagues, the North American system understands what sports fans are looking for.
Still, that doesn’t mean sports fans aren’t interested in something other than the standard fare of hockey, baseball, football, and basketball. After all, North American sports span a huge range of interests, from handball and BMX, to mind sports like poker. In fact, new leagues are constantly forming as sports interests expand.
That’s especially true now that betting markets are launching across the US. At the moment, Maryland is just one of many places where fans can access free bet offers from sites like OddsChecker, which compiles the best deals from sportsbooks.
In fact, these betting lines are also helping expose people to new leagues and even sports. If you’re interested in expanding your sporting diet, then consider diving into one of the leagues below, which are North America’s fastest-growing and most exciting new tournaments.
Major League Soccer has risen and fallen a handful of times in the last decades. However, the most recent attempt to grow the MLS has seen huge success, steadily growing since its relaunch in 1996. In fact, new teams are still joining, including Austin FC in 2021, Charlotte FC in 2022, and St. Louis City SC just this year.
With 29 teams spanning the US and Canada, rivalries are beginning to form and fandoms are starting to take hold. That’s especially true in cities like Atlanta and Miami, where there’s robust fan culture surrounding the local teams. As one of the biggest leagues revolving around the Big Four, the MLS looks to have hit its stride—and it’s a great time to jump on the bandwagon.
One of the most hyped leagues in recent years is the XFL. The project was originally launched by the WWE’s Vince McMahon in the early 2000s to little fanfare, and was then relaunched in 2020 to similar failure. However, Dwayne Johnson’s Redbird Capital is now behind the latest relaunch, and things appear to be going better this time round.
The XFL promises a more exciting and faster-paced format from the NFL. Whether or not it can deliver on that remains to be seen, but if you’re a fan of the NFL or CFL, then the XFL is a great option. Considering it’s being framed as a ‘spring league’, there’s also no competition for airtime with the other football leagues.
Formula One has seen a revival stateside following its acquisition by Liberty Media and the success of Netlflix’s Drive to Survive docuseries. Though highly dramatized, the documentary series takes viewers behind the scenes of the industry. It’s helped frame the sport for those who didn’t previously care about legacy teams like Ferrari and McLaren.
Given how innately entertaining the championship is, there’s no question about whether F1 is worth following. But for US residents, there’s plenty more to look forward to. In 2022, the inaugural Miami Grand Prix was s smash hit. This year, F1 is expanding further into the US with a Las Vegas Grand Prix. Though both destinations are quite far for Maryland residents, just like with the MLS, it’s a great time to jump on this bandwagon.
The MLG Pro Circuit
If you’ve ever been baffled by why some people seem to like watching other people play video games, then let’s dispel the mystery: it’s the exactly same as watching a professional sports game. And if you can appreciate what’s happening in a game and why a player has skill, then you should be watching the MLG Pro Circuit.
This league covers a variety of eSports in the North American market, including Super Smash Bros. Melee and Dota 2. It’s a great place to start for those who aren’t sure how eSports work or know which games to follow.