Sports in the United States is an important part of American culture. The four most popular team sports are ones that developed in North America: baseball, American football, basketball and ice hockey. The major leagues of these sports, the National Football League (NFL), the Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Hockey League (NHL) enjoy massive media exposure and are considered the preeminent competitions in their respective sports in the world. Each of these leagues besides the NFL have teams that play in Canada, and all four are among the most lucrative sports leagues in the world. Soccer (association football) is less popular as a spectator sport in the United States than it is in many other countries, though it has wide amateur participation, particularly among youths. However, the MLS recently surpassed both the NHL and the NBA in average attendance.
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