Philadelphia is a sports hotbed, home to five storied franchises – Phillies, Eagles, Flyers, 76ers and Union. But are five teams really enough for the city’s rabid fanbase? The answer is no. Introducing, The Wings, The Fight, and The Spinners.
At one time or another, all of Philadelphia’s major sports teams were new on the block. And now the city welcomes a new generation. The farthest along on the road are the Philadelphia Wings. Professional since 1987, the Wings are six-time champions of the National Lacrosse League. The Wings typically draw around 8,000 fans to home games at the Wachovia Center. Wings action can also be cheered from afar on CBS Sports Network and online at ESPN3.com. The NLL season runs from January through April.
The Philadelphia Fight Rugby League squad is a much more recent addition to the Philadelphia sports scene. Champions of the 2011 inaugural USA Rugby League season, The Fight do battle at the YSC Sports Complex, a scant 3 miles from Eastern’s campus! The Fight’s season runs from May through August.
Still in its infancy, Rugby League does not draw many supporters, but nationally, rugby is on the rise. Depending on the source, rugby now stands just ahead, or just behind, lacrosse as the fastest growing sport in the country. A July match in Houston between the American and Italian national rugby squads drew over 17,000 fans, an American record.
With estimates of over five million players nationally, ultimate frisbee is also solidly among the fastest growing sports in the US. It is more than just a college craze! Meet the Philadelphia Spinners. The Spinners played their first professional game in front of over 1,700 fans at the University of Pennsylvania’s Franklin Field on April 14, 2012. They capped the season with a 26-22 championship victory over the Indianapolis Alleycats at Detroit’s Silverdome on August 11.
The Wings, the Fight and the Spinners are teams that all Philadelphians can be proud of. In the past 25 years, these teams have brought home 8 national titles, 7 more than the city’s five big market teams. With the addition of these new teams, Philadelphia’s future in sports looks bright. What sport is next on the city’s horizon? Don’t look now, but Philadelphia has recently become home to the Honey Badgers, a competitive Quidditch squad. Yes, that’s the sport from Harry Potter. The future looks brighter every day.