Sports in Bristol
Bristol has two League football clubs - Bristol City and Bristol Rovers - as well as several non-league clubs. Bristol City was formed in 1897 and currently plays in the Football League Championship. Their arch rivals Bristol Rovers is the city's oldest professional football team, formed in 1883, and play in League One.
The city is also home to Bristol Rugby rugby union club, Rugby League Conference team the Bristol Sonics and first-class cricket side Gloucestershire CCC. In 2009 senior ice hockey returned to the city for the first time in 17 years, with the newly formed Bristol Pitbulls playing out of Bristol Ice Rink.
Bristol also stages an annual half marathon, and in 2001 hosted the World Half Marathon Championships. There are also several athletics clubs in the city, including Bristol and West AC, Bitton Road Runners and Westbury Harriers.
The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta is held each summer in the grounds of Ashton Court, to the west of the city. This is one of Europe's largest hot-air ballooning events and draws substantial crowds, despite the early morning lift beginning around 6.30am.