Professional Teams

Football

The San Francisco 49ers, professional American football team, compete in the National Football League (NFL) and plays home games at Levi’s Stadium located in Santa Clara in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley. The team headquarters has been located in Santa Clara since 1988. Found in 1946 the ‘49ers’ joined the NFL in 1949 when the NFL merged with the All-America Football Conference (AAFC). The team derives its name from the prospectors of the 1849 Gold Rush. Originally the team played at San Francisco’s Kezar Stadium until 1970 when it moved to Candlestick Park, and then in 2014 moved to Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.

The ‘49ers’ have five Super Bowl championships to their credit, along with 6 conference championship wins, 19 division championship wins, resulting in them being one of the most successful NFL teams of all time. The team has reached the league playoffs 26 times, and are responsible for setting a number of NFL records, arguably the most notable being the most touchdowns in a Super Bowl game. As of 2016 the San Francisco 49ers was the 4th most valuable NFL team and the 10th most valuable sports team worldwide.

The Oakland Raiders, professional American football team, is a charter member of the American Football League (AFL). Founded in 1960, the team made its original home at San Francisco’s Kezar Stadium, and now play home games at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. The ‘Raiders’ are currently based in Oakland, California but plan to relocate to Las Vegas, Nevada in 2019 or 2020 upon completion of the team’s new stadium. The Oakland Raiders have won the Super Bowl 3 times in addition to some division titles, but their career has been somewhat up and down over the years.

The Raiders have a very large and loyal fan base paired with a distinctive team culture, with 14 of their former members having been enshrined in the illustrious Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Baseball

San Francisco Giants, profession American baseball team, are based in San Francisco and were founded in 1883. Originally called the New York Gothams, the team was renamed 3 years later to New York Giants. In 1958 the Giants moved to San Francisco and are currently a Major League Baseball (MLB) team.

The Giants have 20 World Series appearances to their credit and have won 8 times. The Baseball Hall of Fame has more Giants players than any other professional baseball team. The long-standing rivalry between the Giants and the Dodgers has long since been a source of great entertainment to both team’s fans.

The Oakland Athletics, professional American baseball team, are based in Oakland, California and play in the Major League Baseball (MLB). Home games are played at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. The team has nine World Series championship wins to their credit. The club was started in 1901 and were originally named the Philadelphia Athletics, and moved to Kansas in 1955 to become the Kansas City Athletics. Their move to Oakland occurred in 1968.

Ice Hockey
a golf course

The San Jose Sharks, National Hockey League professional hockey team, are currently hosted by San Jose and play at San Jose’s SAP Center. The Sharks were founded in 1991 and began playing at the Cow Palace until 1993 when they moved to San Jose. The Sharks made their first appearance at the Stanley Cup Finals in 2016 but have yet to win the Stanley Cup, although they have 6 Pacific Division championship wins to their credit. They also have a Presidents’ Trophy win in 2009, and in 2016 they became the Western Conference champions.

Soccer

Founded in 1996 as the San Jose Clash, the San Jose Earthquakes took the name in 1999. The Earthquakes compete in Major League Soccer and won the MLS Cup in 2001 and again in 2003. In 2005 the ‘Quakes’ moved to Houston, Texas and only the name remained in San Jose for future use. A new team was put together in 2008 using the San Jose Earthquakes name and played at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara for seven seasons. In 2015 the newly built 18,000 seat Avaya Stadium in San Jose, California became the home of the Quakes, located west of the San Jose International Airport, and remains their home ground.

College Sport

Six universities within the San Francisco Bay area are members of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division 1. The NCAA is the highest level for college sports in North America. Of the six universities three have football teams. All three of the universities with football teams play in the Football Bowl Subdivision, the highest NCAA level for college football. The three teams are the California Golden Bears, the Stanford Cardinals and the San Jose State Spartans.

Other College level sports teams in the San Francisco Bay area are the California Golden Bears men’s basketball team at Berkeley, the Stanford Cardinal men’s basketball team at Stanford and the Saint Mary’s Gaels men’s basketball team at Moraga.

Minor Leagues

In addition to the Major League teams and clubs mentioned above the San Francisco Bay area is also home to several minor league teams.

Soccer – San Francisco Deltas, North American Soccer League team, makes its home at San Francisco’s Kezar Stadium

Ice Hockey – San Jose Barracuda, American Hockey League team, makes its home at San Jose’s SAP Center

Baseball – San Jose Giants, California League team, makes its home at San Jose Municipal Stadium in San Jose

Baseball – San Rafael Pacifics, Pacific Association team, makes its home at Albert Park, San Rafael

Baseball – Sonoma Stompers, Pacific Association team, makes its home at Arnold Field

Baseball – Pittsburg Diamonds, Pacific Association team, makes its home at City (Pittsburg) Park Field #1

Baseball – Vallejo Admirals, Pacific Association team, makes its home at Wilson Park

The San Francisco Bay hosted the 34th America’s Cup yachting race in 2013.