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What is a sports equinox? Full TV schedule & more to know for 2021 NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL intersection – Sporting News

Oct. 21 will usher in the 25th sports equinox in history.

With the NBA season starting this week, the NHL season starting last week, the NFL in mid-season and MLB nearing the end of the postseason, today brings a full slate of sporting events happening all Thursday night. Out of these four sports, 15 games will be played. Additionally, one women’s soccer match will be played and four college football games.

The sports equinox is not too common, although we have seen at least one every year since 2015. 

Here’s why Thursday is considered a sports equinox, including a brief history of sport equinoxes and what sports are on tonight.

MORE: Watch live sports with fuboTV (7-day free trial)

What is a sports equinox?

A sports equinox is when all four major sports leagues — NFL, MLB, NHL and NBA — compete on the same day. Typically these occur in the fall, either late October or early November due to the MLB season coming to a close while NBA and NHL start up. 

It all depends on the MLB postseason schedule for that year if a sports equinox takes place. For instance, if the Atlanta Braves would’ve swept the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS this week, a sports equinox wouldn’t be happening. 

History of the sports equinox

There have been 24 sports equinoxes since 1971, when the first sports equinox was recorded. Six more happened in the 1970s, and three occurred in the 1980s, but then there was a 26 year gap between 1985 and 2001.

Arizona had teams play in all four of the major sports during the 2001 sports equinox, which is the only time one state had teams play in all four sports. Los Angeles is the only city to host the four sports in the same day back in 2018.

The most games played on a sports equinox was 27 back on Oct. 30, 2016. There was one MLB game, 11 NFL, seven NBA and eight NHL games. 

The “Super Sports Equinox” occurred on Sept. 10, 2020, when the NFL, MLB, NBA, WNBA, MLS, Tennis and NHL all played on the same day for the first time in history. This many sports were played mainly came about because of the changed sports schedules after many sports seasons were canceled in early 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The NBA and NHL, for example, normally wouldn’t begin until mid-October. But, they were finishing up the previous season in September 2020. 

Two more sports equinoxes occurred in Sept. 2020, and these three happen to be the only ones to take place outside of October and November. Also, three sports equinoxes in one year is the most in history.

Sports on TV today


Game Time (ET) TV Channel
Denver Broncos @ Cleveland Browns 8:20 p.m. Fox, NFL Network, fuboTV


Game Time (ET) TV Channel
Atlanta Braves @ Los Angeles Dodgers 8:08 p.m. TBS


Game Time (ET) TV Channel
Dallas Mavericks @ Atlanta Hawks 7:30 p.m. TNT
Milwaukee Bucks @ Miami Heat 8:00 p.m. NBA League Pass
Los Angeles Clippers @ Golden State Warriors 10:00 p.m. TNT


Game Time (ET) TV Channel
Carolina Hurricanes @ Montreal Canadiens 7:00 p.m. ESPN+
San Jose Sharks @ Ottawa Senators 7:00 p.m. ESPN+
Colorado Avalanche @ Florida Panthers 7:00 p.m. ESPN+
Washington Capitals @ New Jersey Devils 7:00 p.m. ESPN+
New York Islanders @ Columbus Blue Jackets 7:00 p.m. ESPN+
Calgary Flames @ Detroit Red Wings 7:30 p.m. ESPN+
New York Rangers @ Nashville Predators 8:00 p.m. ESPN+
Anaheim Ducks @ Winnipeg Jets 8:00 p.m. ESPN+
Vancouver Canucks @ Chicago Blackhawks 8:30 p.m. ESPN+
Edmonton Oilers @ Arizona Coyotes 10:00 p.m. ESPN+

Women’s Soccer

Game Time (ET) TV Channel
United States vs. South Korea 8:00 p.m. ESPN2, fuboTV

College Football

Game Time (ET) TV Channel
Tulane @ SMU 7:30 p.m. ESPN, fuboTV
Florida Atlantic @ Charlotte 7:30 p.m. CBSSN, fuboTV
Louisiana @ Arkansas State 7:30 p.m. ESPNU, fuboTV
San Jose State @ UNLV 11:00 p.m. CBSSN, fuboTV