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Your guide to sports teams in San Jose

From the Sharks to the Quakes, we’re sharing all details of San Jose’s sports teams.

Five team logos of the Quakes, San Jose Giants, Sharks, Barracuda, and Bay Area Panthers on top of a blue, cartoon San Jose skyline.

How well do you know San Jose sports teams?

Graphic by SJtoday staff

Table of Contents

Whether you’re a sports fanatic — or just look good in teal and gray — when it comes to sports, San Jose has no shortage of teams to support. Our city is home to some of the most loyal fans in the country — they’ve even won a Guinness World Record.

In this guide, we’ve rounded up everything you need to know about San Jose sports. Whether you’re already a devoted Sharks fan or you’re new to the area, we hope it can serve as a valuable resource.

A shark mascot skating on ice carrying a San Jose Sharks flag.

We love Sharkie.

Photo by Elliot Lowe, via Wikimedia Commons

🏒 San Jose Sharks (NHL) | Est. 1991

We’re not called Teal Town for nothing. The San Jose Sharks put the great 408 on the map as a hockey town, and they’re credited as the Bay Area’s first NHL franchise since the California Golden Seals relocated to Cleveland in 1976. The Sharks’ team name came from a “Name the New NHL Team” sweepstakes, and since then, fans from all over the world have come to see them play at the Tank.

Where they play: SAP Center

  • Formerly known as the San Jose Arena (1993-2001), Compaq Center (2001-2002), and HP Pavilion (2002-2013)
  • It was home to several, now-defunct San Jose sports teams — and even served as the main facility for the Golden State Warriors during the reconstruction of the Oakland Coliseum Arena.
  • Unofficially dubbed, “The Shark Tank,” from fans

Mascot: SJ Sharkie

  • Since his NHL debut in 1992, Sharkie has been the face of several of the team’s community initiatives including: Stick to Fitness, Little Sharks, and the FINactical Kids Club.
  • Was awarded “Most Awesome Mascot” by the Cartoon Network in 2012
  • Dropped the ceremonial first puck at the 1997 All-Star Game in SJ

Team colors: Deep Pacific teal, burnt orange, and black

  • At the Tank, the team wears teal, and for away games, they’re seen in white.
  • Shop for merch.

Major accomplishments:

  • Starting with the 1997-1998 season, the team had five consecutive postseason appearances, and won SJ’s first division title in the 2001-2002 Western Conference semifinals.
  • In 2008-2009, the Sharks had the best record in the NHL and were the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference playoffs.
  • Past players including Brent Burns and Joe Thornton brought back trophies to the Tank.

📅 The Sharks have wrapped up their season, but the NHL typically releases its next regular season schedule in late June to early July.

Cristian Espinoza high-fives fans in the stands after a game against the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Cristian Espinoza celebrates with fans after a game against the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Photo via ISI Photos

San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) | Est. 1994

Established in 1994, the San Jose Earthquakes were among six other clubs that became the first teams in MLS. They began as “Clash” — the former North American Soccer League (NASL) franchise name that had been the major soccer club through the 1970s-1980s — until changing to the Earthquakes before the 2000 season. The team also has its Quakes Academy, which trains the next generation of soccer players to graduate to new clubs.

Where they play: PayPal Park

  • Formerly known as Avaya Stadium (2015-2020) and Earthquakes Stadium (2020-2021)
  • With 6,256 participants digging into the ground, the construction of the Quakes’ stadium set the Guinness World Record for the largest ground breaking event ever.
  • It has a capacity of 18,000 fans, and has the largest outdoor bar in North America.

Mascot: Quakesadus Mascotacus, aka “Q”

  • Became the mascot in 2004, taking over for Rikter the Cyberdog
  • He was said to have been born from the San Francisco earthquake of 1906.

Team colors: Black, blue, red, and white

  • When the Quakes were founded by Milan Mandaric under the NASL, they originally donned red and white.
  • For a period, the team was known as San Jose Clash, donning clashing colors of green, red, and light teal.
  • Shop for merch.

Major accomplishments:

  • Two-time MLS Cup winners in 2001 + 2003
  • Two-time Supporters’ Shields winners in 2005 + 2012
  • Beat LA Galaxy (a longstanding rival) in the 2022 Cali Clasico derby 3-2 — the first time the Quakes won back-to-back regular season matches against them since MLS’s first season in 1996.

📅 See the team’s schedule.

Derrick Pouliot handles the puck on the ice.

Defenseman Derrick Pouliot keeps the puck in his posession.

🏒 San Jose Barracuda (AHL) | Est. 2015

In January 2015, the San Jose Barracuda were established from the Worcester Sharks, a former San Jose Sharks affiliate, as one of the five charter member’s of the AHL’s new Pacific Division. Star players on the Sharks have come from their affiliate teams including: Joe Thornton, Evgeni Nabokov, and Patrick Marleau.

Where they play: TechCU Arena

  • The 4,200-seat arena is the newest stadium in San Jose and celebrated its opening in August 2022.
  • This is the Barracuda’s first home base, having shared the SAP Center with the Sharks since their establishment.

Mascot: Frenzy

  • This barracuda was introduced in 2016, and was issued jersey #15.
  • The Sharks created Frenzy to be like Sharkie, a friendly mascot that dispels the reputation of unfriendly underwater creatures.

Team colors: Black, teal, and orange

  • The team wears white for home games and dark teal for road games.
  • Shop for merch.

Major accomplishments:

  • Has made five playoff appearances since its inception
  • Former head coach Roy Sommer broke the record for most wins as an AHL coach in 2016.
  • In 2018-2019, the team led the AHL’s Pacific Division and finished in second place, just four points behind the Bakersfield Condors.

📅 The Barracuda have wrapped up their season, but the AHL typically releases its next regular season schedule in late June to early July.

A panoramic of Excite Ballpark behind the batter box.

Excite Ballpark, formerly known as Municipal Stadium, opened its doors to fans in 1942.

Photo courtesy of San Jose Giants

San Jose Giants (MiLB) | Est. 1962

The San Jose Giants come from a line of SJ-based California League teams dating back to 1942 — the San Jose Owls. Since 1988, the Giants have been a farm team of the San Francisco Giants and have developed major league players including Buster Posey, Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum, and many more. Today, the team has many promotional games and often transforms into the San Jose Churros as part of the Minor League Baseball’s (MiLB) “Copa de la Diversión” initiative.

Where they play: Excite Ballpark

  • Formerly known as the San Jose Municipal Stadium (1942-2019)
  • The 4,200-seat ballpark was built in 1942, and is one of the oldest active ballparks in Major League Baseball.
  • Has been home to eight baseball teams

Mascot: Gigante

  • He weighs 5,000 bananas.
  • In 2013, he was voted “Best Mascot in Minor League Baseball” in the California League.

Team colors: Orange, black, and cream

  • The colors coincide with their parent team, the SF Giants.
  • The players wear black caps at home, and white caps away.
  • Shop for merch.

Major accomplishments:

  • The Class A-Advanced Affiliate of the San Francisco Giants have graduated 212 Major League Players.
  • Captured seven California League Championships (1998, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2021)
  • Won the Northern Division championship eight times
  • Had the best record of any minor league class A team in the 1990s

📅 See the team’s schedule.

Three Bay Area Panthers players high five each other.

Let’s hear it for SJ’s newest team: the Bay Area Panthers.

Photo via @panthersifl

🏈 Bay Area Panthers (IFL) | Est. 2019

The newest team to join the great 408 is the Bay Area Panthers, who originally were named the Oakland Panthers — co-founded by former NFL player Marshawn Lynch. The team felt their move from Oakland to San Jose was only natural, as SJ formerly supported indoor football with the now-defunct San Jose SaberCats. With a team so new, we can be excited for its growth within the Indoor Football League (IFL) and the San Jose sports scene.

Where they play: SAP Center

  • The Panthers had a short-lived homebase at the Oakland Arena in 2020, until they moved to the SAP Center in March 2022.

Mascot: Claw

  • Claw is led by Darren R. Darren, an Atlanta native and former indoor football player.
  • Darren spent 6+ years as a performer at Six Flags, and also used to be the polar bear mascot for Coca-Cola in the off-season.

Team colors: Black, gold, and white

  • The team wears black jerseys at home, and white jerseys away.
  • Shop for merch.

Major accomplishments:

  • Due to the team’s inception being right at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, their inaugural season was canceled, and they withdrew from the following 2021 season.
  • Follow their standings in the Western Conference on their website.

📅 See the team’s schedule

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