Sports Equinox 2022: Explaining the history of NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB games being played on the same day

Aaron Judge Getty New York Yankees
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The second best two words in sports is happening this week: Sports Equinox. On Thursday Oct. 20, there will be no shortage of action as the five major sports leagues in North America — NFL, NBA, MLB, MLS, NHL — will all be playing.

These special days tend to happen October or November, which are around the time NBA and NHL start, NFL is in midseason form, and MLB and MLS are wrapping up. It is not a very common occurrence, as Thursday will mark the 27th Sports Equinox ever.

The New York Yankees will be taking on the Houston Astros in Game 2 of the AL Championship Series. The New Orleans Saints will be on the road taking on the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday Night Football. MLS will have two conference final matchups, while four NBA teams compete in the season’s opening week. There will be no shortage of hockey with 12 NHL games on the schedule.

There will also be three college football games, and some golf with the second round of the BMW Ladies Championship.

Which major league teams play on Thursday?

NFL

  • New Orleans Saints at Arizona Cardinals, 8:15 pm ET

NBA

MLB

  • New York Yankees at Houston Astros, ALCS Game 2, 7:37 pm ET

MLS:

  • Philadelphia vs. Cincinnati, Eastern Conference semifinals, 8 pm ET
  • LAFC vs. LA Galaxy, Western Conference semifinals, 10 pm ET

NHL

  • San Jose Sharks at New York Rangers, 7 pm ET
  • Dallas Stars at Toronto Maple Leafs, 7 pm ET
  • Washington Capitals at Ottawa Senators, 7 pm ET
  • Anaheim Ducks at Boston Bruins, 7 pm ET
  • Nashville Predators at Columbus Blue Jackets, 7 pm ET
  • Arizona Coyotes at Montreal Canadiens, 7 pm ET
  • Los Angeles Kings at Pittsburgh Penguins, 7 pm ET
  • New Jersey Devils at New York Islanders, 7:30 pm ET
  • Vancouver Canucks at Minnesota Wild, 8 pm ET
  • Carolina Hurricanes at Edmonton Oilers, 9 pm ET
  • Buffalo Sabers at Calgary Flames, 9:30 pm ET
  • Winnipeg Jets at Vegas Golden Knights, 10 pm ET

Fun Sports Equinox facts

  • The first ever Sports Equinox was recorded on Oct. 17, 1971 with 12 NFL games, three NBA games, six NHL games and one MLB game.
  • The city of Los Angeles hosted five major professional US sports leagues – NFL, NBA, MLB, MLS, NHL – on Oct. 28, 2018. LA teams went 3-2 that day. It was referred to as a Super Sports Equinox.
  • After the COVID-19 pandemic temporarily suspended sports, fans were treated to a busy day on Sept. 10, 2020 that included the NFL, MLB, NBA, WNBA, MLS, Tennis and NHL.
  • There was a 16-year period from 1985 – 2001 without a single Sports Equinox. They have been happening more often in part because of the NFL’s Thursday Night Football, which officially debuted in 2006.

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