Sports in Colorado
Sports in Colorado include professional teams, college sports, and individual sports.
Professional sports teams
Colorado is the least populous state with a franchise in each of the major professional sports leagues. The state is able to support the teams because it contains a large metropolitan area with a higher population than any other city within 550 miles (885 km). Therefore, many of the residents in the surrounding states support the teams in Denver, as shown by the reach of the Broncos' radio network.
Former professional sports teams
|Aurora Cavalry||Basketball||International Basketball League|
|Colorado 14ers (won championship in their final season of 2008–09; moved to Frisco, Texas and will resume play in 2010–11 as the Texas Legends)||Basketball||NBA Development League|
|Colorado Chill (folded along with the NWBL)||Basketball||National Women's Basketball League|
|Colorado Crossover||Basketball||International Basketball League|
|Colorado Crush (suspended operations with the AFL in 2009, and did not return after league's hiatus ended)||Arena football||Arena Football League|
|Colorado Rapids U23's||Soccer||USL Premier Development League|
|Colorado Rockies (NHL) (moved to East Rutherford, New Jersey and became the New Jersey Devils)||Ice Hockey||National Hockey League|
|Colorado Xplosion (won the Western Conference Championship in inaugural season)||Women's Basketball||American Basketball League (1996–1998)|
|Colorado Springs Blizzard||Soccer||USL Premier Development League|
|Denver Grizzlies (moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, later moved to Cleveland, Ohio and became the Lake Erie Monsters)||Ice Hockey||International Hockey League (1945–2001)|
|Denver Spurs (moved to Ottawa, Ontario and became the Ottawa Civics for the rest of the team's existence)||Ice Hockey||World Hockey Association/Central Hockey League/Western Hockey League|
|Denver Dynamite (Inaugural AFL member; folded after four seasons)||Arena football||Arena Football League|
|Denver Gold (United States Football League member, 1983–1985)||Football||United States Football League|
|Denver Bears/Denver Zephyrs (moved to New Orleans and became the New Orleans Zephyrs; now playing in the New Orleans suburb of Metairie, Louisiana)||Baseball||American Association/Pacific Coast League|
|Denver Racquets 1974 Champions (moved to Phoenix 1975)||Tennis||World Team Tennis|
|Rocky Mountain Rage||Ice hockey||Central Hockey League|
Colorado is home to five NCAA Division I schools, plus a number of additional schools competing at lower levels. One school that competes at the lowest NCAA level, Division III, operates two Division I teams.
- The Air Force men's ice hockey team plays in Atlantic Hockey. The men's lacrosse team plays in the Southern Conference. The wrestling team competes in the Big 12 Conference.
- Colorado College is a member of the Division III Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference in most sports, but fields Division I teams in men's ice hockey and women's soccer. It is one of only six Division III schools allowed to award athletic scholarships in its Division I sports.
- Three high-profile DU teams compete as members of other conferences in sports that are not sponsored by The Summit League. The men's ice hockey team plays in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference, the men's lacrosse team plays in the Big East Conference, and the women's gymnastics team competes in the Big 12 Conference.
- The wrestling team competes in the Big 12 Conference.
The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is a major motorsports event held at the Pikes Peak roads. Notable drivers include Mario Andretti, Michèle Mouton, Walter Röhrl, Ari Vatanen, Nobuhiro Tajima, Stig Blomqvist, Sébastien Loeb and Romain Dumas in addition to the Unsers.
Meanwhile, the Pikes Peak International Raceway has hosted motorsport events including IndyCar Series, NASCAR Busch Series, NASCAR Truck Series, AMA Superbike Championship and USAC Silver Crown Series.
- "– Official Website Of The Denver Broncos". Denverbroncos.com. Retrieved 2010-07-30.