Sports are an important part of the culture of the United States. Three of the nation's five most popular team sports were developed in North America: American football, basketball and ice hockey, whereas soccer and baseball were developed in England. The four Major leagues in the United States are the National Basketball Association (NBA), National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Hockey League (NHL); all enjoy massive media exposure and are considered the preeminent competitions in their respective sports in the world. Three of those leagues have teams that represent Canadian cities, and all four are among the most lucrative sports leagues in the world. The top professional soccer league in the United States, Major League Soccer, has not yet reached the popularity levels of the top four sports leagues, although average attendance has been increasing and in fact has matched or surpassed those of the NBA and the NHL.
Professional teams in all major sports operate as franchises within a league. All major sports leagues use the same type of schedule with a playoff tournament after the regular season ends. In addition to the major league-level organizations, several sports also have professional minor leagues, active in smaller cities across the country.
The athletic teams at the University of Arizona are known as the Arizona Wildcats.
Tucson (// TOO-son) is a city in and the county seat of Pima County, Arizona, United States, and home to the University of Arizona. The 2010 United States Census puts the city's population at 520,116, while the 2012 estimated population of the entire Tucson metropolitan area was 992,394. The Tucson MSA forms part of the larger Tucson-Nogales combined statistical area, with a total population of 980,263 as of the 2010 Census. Tucson is the second-largest populated city in Arizona behind Phoenix, which both anchor the Arizona Sun Corridor. The city is located 108 miles (174 km) southeast of Phoenix and 60 mi (97 km) north of the U.S.-Mexico border. Tucson is the 33rd largest city and the 52nd largest metropolitan area in the United States. Roughly 150 Tucson companies are involved in the design and manufacture of optics and optoelectronics systems, earning Tucson the nickname Optics Valley.
Major incorporated suburbs of Tucson include Oro Valley and Marana northwest of the city, Sahuarita south of the city, and South Tucson in an enclave south of downtown. Communities in the vicinity of Tucson (some within or overlapping the city limits) include Casas Adobes, Catalina Foothills, Flowing Wells, Tanque Verde, Tortolita, and Vail. Towns outside the Tucson metro area include Benson to the southeast, Catalina and Oracle to the north, and Green Valley to the south.
James Fred "Pop" McKale (June 12, 1887 – June 1, 1967) was an American football and baseball player, coach of football, basketball, baseball, and track, and college athletics administrator. He served as the head football coach at the University of Arizona from 1914 to 1930, compiling a record of 81–32–6. McKale was also the head basketball coach at Arizona from 1914 to 1921, tallying a mark of 49–12, and the head baseball coach at the school from 1915 to 1919 and again from 1922 to 1949, amassing a record of 304–118–7. In addition, he was the athletic director at Arizona from 1914 to 1957. McKale was inducted into the Arizona Sportsmen Hall of Fame in 1959 and was a charter member of the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame, inducted in 1976. The McKale Center, the University of Arizona's home basketball venue, was opened in 1973 and named in McKale's honor.