Sports in Des Moines

photo of the Iowa Cubs

When it comes to sports in Des Moines, rooting for the home team is one of the common threads that binds the Greater Des Moines (DSM) community. You’ll find distinct pride in favorite team and a tight-knit community that rallies together at every big game. If sports are your jam, then DSM is the place for you! 

Sports Teams In Des Moines

As a local, you’ll have your pick of action-packed sports teams to follow throughout the year in DSM, including the following teams: 

Community leaders have also committed to bringing a USL Championship team to the region with the creation of the Pro Iowa Stadium and Global Plaza. Match play is expected to begin in 2025. Here’s the replay: Pro soccer is coming soon to DSM USA! 

Racing in Des Moines

Get your fill of edge-of-your-seat thrills at the racetrack. DSM brings checkered flag moments at numerous speedways around the region ranging from NASCAR and IndyCar to sprint cars, stock cars and modifieds. Additionally, horse racing and family-friendly exotic races including camel, zebra and ostrich can be found at Prairie Meadows. 

Auto and Horse Racing in DSM:

Annual and Major Sporting Events In Des Moines

hocky game being played in an arena

Each year, DSM plays host to thousands of fans for several big-ticket sporting events. The Principal Charity Classic is the annual PGA Tour Champions golf tournament. Drake Relays has had a storied history in DSM since 1910, drawing track and field superstars from across the country to the Blue Oval including hundreds of Olympic gold medalists over the years. Additional running events drawing both local and regional/national top-notch competitors including IMT Des Moines Marathon and the EMC Dam to DSM, to name-drop just a couple. 

Beyond annual events, DSM is a magnet host destination to big-name, high-volume national and international sporting events as well. In the past few years alone, the region has welcomed the Dew Tour — an Olympic qualifying skateboarding event, NCAA Men’s Basketball 1st and 2nd Rounds, NCAA Division I Wrestling National Championships, USA Track and Field National Championships, Nike Tournament of Champions, AAU Junior Olympic Games, LPGA Solheim Cup and IRONMAN. It’s safe to say DSM is all-in when it comes to hosting bigtime sporting events. 

High School and Collegiate Sports In Greater Des Moines

Iowans are well-known for their friendly sports rivalry between the state schools — University of Iowa, University of Northern Iowa and Iowa State University (in particular, the Iowa vs. Iowa State matchup). Drake University, Central College and Grand View University also draw strong local crowds and call the Greater Des Moines region their turf.  

You can also jump on the school spirit bandwagon and explore the K-12 school systems and more local colleges and universities throughout the region. There’s truly nothing quite like spending your fall Friday night cheering from the stands at your local high school football stadium in DSM! 

a young person skateboarding

Play and Participate In Des Moines Sports Programs

Athletes of all ages can get in the game in DSM. The city Parks and Recreation departments offer many sports programs, from toddler soccer to adult softball.

Check out some of the sports programs offered in DSM: