The Major League Travelers: Which Teams Travel the Longest Distance for Games?

The Major League Travelers: Which Teams Travel the Longest Distance for Games?

It’s no secret that sports teams sometimes travel great distances to play a game, whether it’s the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, or English Premier League. But how far does each major professional league team travel during the regular season? And which teams are forced to travel the furthest distances just to compete?

Analyzing each team’s upcoming or current regular season schedule, we’ve determined the mileage between each city. With this information, we can reveal just how far each team will travel throughout the season. Read on to find out where your team ranks.

Which NFL teams travel the furthest?

Analyzing the distances NFL teams will have to travel to games this season, we can reveal that the Seattle Seahawks are the worst off, because of their position in the Pacific Northwest. 

The Seahawks will have to travel 29,082 miles to rival stadiums during the season. This is 70% further than the NFL average of 17,075 miles. 

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (26,528) and Miami Dolphins (25,136) will also have to travel more than 25,000 miles this season, while the Jacksonville Jaguars will clock 24,902 miles, all because of their Florida location. And rounding out the top five, the Denver Broncos will travel 24,857 miles. 

Interestingly, the New York Giants will travel more than 20,000 miles, while the New York Jets’ mileage will come in at just 16,039 per season – despite both franchises playing their home games at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

The Pittsburgh Steelers will travel the least this season, just 6,387 miles – less than a quarter of the distance required of the top team on our list. 

The Baltimore Ravens (8,248), Detroit Lions (8,286), Cleveland Browns (8,636) and Chicago Bears (8,859) will travel fewer than 9,000 miles, rounding out the five shortest travelers. 

Which MLB teams travel the furthest?

Turning our attention to baseball, the MLB team that will have to travel the furthest this season is the Oakland Athletics. Based in California, the A’s will travel just short of 100,000 miles, 40% more than the league average. 

Next up, two more west coast franchises the Seattle Mariners (97,409) and Los Angeles Angels (92,513), will also clock over 90,000 miles, 11,000 miles more than the next teams on the list the Texas Rangers (81,782) and Miami Marlins (81,551).

The Cincinnati Reds will travel the shortest combined distance this season: just 51,187 miles, almost half that expected of Oakland and roughly a quarter fewer miles than the average MLB travel distance. 

Next up, we have the Pittsburgh Pirates (52,183), the Chicago Cubs (55,591), St. Louis Cardinals (56,251) and the Baltimore Orioles (57,666) round out the five shortest-traveling MLB teams.

Which NBA teams travel the furthest?

The NBA has the highest average travel distance (85,444) of all major leagues, with some teams and players travelling over 100,000 miles per season. However, none go further than the Portland Trail Blazers, who clock 130,548 miles during the regular season. 

The California teams are next on the list, starting with the Golden State Warriors (123,372), followed by the nearby Sacramento Kings (119,630). The Top 5 is rounded out by Southern California’s Los Angeles Lakers (111,342) and Los Angeles Clippers (110,518).

The Indiana Pacers (63,404) must travel the shortest distance throughout the regular season – 20,000 miles fewer than the league average. 

They’re followed by the Chicago Bulls (63,978), Detroit Pistons (64,826), the Cleveland Cavaliers (66,400) and the Milwaukee Bucks (67,444).

Which NHL teams travel the furthest?

Comparing teams across the NHL, none travel further than the San Jose Sharks (122,584); nearly 20,000 more than the next team, the Nashville Predators (103,865).

Next up, Colorado Avalanche and the Edmonton Oilers will travel just over 103,000 miles in the coming season, while the Vegas Golden Knights will record a combined distance of 100,766. 

On the flip side, in terms of the shortest distance traveled, no NHL franchise has it easier than the Philadelphia Flyers. Its Players will clock just 67,740 miles all season, less than any other franchise. 

Meanwhile, the Buffalo Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins will travel around 68,300 miles, followed by Canadian teams, the Toronto Maple Leafs (69,157) and Ottawa Senators (69,823).

Which Premier League teams travel the furthest?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, English Premier League teams don’t typically have to travel as far as teams in the U.S., with the average distance traveled during the season coming to 10,481 miles. 

However, the North East’s Newcastle United is an exception, having to travel 18,284 miles to away games in Birmingham, Manchester, London and beyond. This is further than more than half the NFL teams.

Next up, Merseyside-based Everton (12,209) and Liverpool (12,191) will travel near-identical distances, followed by Bournemouth (11,980) traveling from the south coast. 

In joint fifth, we have Leeds United (11,661) and Southampton (11,661), despite being based at different ends of the country. 

Arsenal has the shortest distance to travel at 8,358 miles. Rounding out the bottom five are Chelsea (8,422), Leicester City (8,485), Brentford (8,529) and Tottenham Hotspur (8,641).

Which major league has the top traveling teams?

 

Comparing each of the major leagues and the distances covered by the different teams, it’s interesting to see that the NBA demands the most travel from players. 

Five of the top six teams feature in the NBA, while two more appear in the top 15. Meanwhile, six NHL franchises appear on our list, with four featuring in the top 10. Notably, the San Jose Sharks rank third. 

There are no NFL teams among the top 15 because of the regional structure, while there are two MLB teams – despite MLB teams playing more games in a season than those in the NBA and NHL (almost twice as many), they just don’t fly as far. 

With our favorite teams back in action, it’s interesting to consider how much overall travel time can impact player performance – and whether the final season standings will reflect this. In the meantime, check out all the latest betting odds and picks for your team.

Methodology

To calculate the miles traveled by each team across the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB and Premier League, as well as the average across each sport, each team’s upcoming or current seasons schedules were examined.

Using the regular season games for each league, the mileage between each team’s city was calculated (as the crow flies) to reveal how far each team will travel over the season. Since each journey would require a return leg, each trip was multiplied by two.

  • NFL – 2022/23 Season
  • NBA - 2022/23 Season
  • NHL - 2022/23 Season
  • MLB – 2022 Season (the 2023 schedule hasn’t been released)
  • Premier League – 2022/23 Season
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