Sports Tourism: Enjoy travel? Enjoy Sports? Check Out These Must-See Destinations
So it seems that sporting tourism is more popular than ever. I guess that cheap flights and the global presence of many big-name sports brands add to the appeal.
In the UK, this is nothing new, sports tourism has long been a thing.
We have been travelling to places like the West Indies and South Africa for some time to watch cricket. Australia also figures, with a trip to the Boxing Day test being very near the top of most cricket fans’ bucket lists.
Aside from jumping on a flight to Jamaica, where else could you feed your sporting passion?
Well, it just so happens that I have done one or two trips overseas to watch sports, and I can recommend a few that I have done myself. I may also throw in one or two that are on my bucket list.
Top Sports Tourism Destinations: First-Hand Reviews!
Boston – Fenway Park to watch the Red Sox
I’ll keep this one brief, as I already wrote an article about how I fell in love with Baseball thanks to a trip to watch the Red Sox, but it really is something else. One of the few remaining traditional ballparks, Fenway has only ever been added to, and never re-built and at 108 years young, is the oldest of the ballparks in the Major Leagues.
Safe to say, Boston is a great place to visit in any case. The public gardens are wonderful, the pubs are full of proud American-Irishmen and Boston is also home to giant franchises the Boston Celtics and the New England Patriots. If you like sports, you’ll love Boston, and you’ll love the tour of Fenway Park.
In terms of sporting tourism, and specifically baseball, this is one of the very best and it has a truly unique atmosphere.
New York – The Yankees, The Giants and The Knicks
So I have been to Yankee Stadium, which as a Red Sox fan was an odd experience but its one of those places that you have to visit. Unlike their Bostonian rivals, Yankee stadium is a new, vast cathedral for the game of baseball.
Designed in the same dimensions as the old one, it really is worth a visit. The food and drink, of course, is overpriced, but there are some very cool local bars a 5-10 minute walk away where you can get a real game day experience.
As for the NFL, The New York Giants play at MetLife stadium.
This place is FAR. By all means, if you can get tickets for a game and you know someone that likes to tailgate and you can get there early, go.
However, if you aren’t good with timings, and are likely to run late or have somewhere to be after the game, think again. It’s a cool experience for sure, but it is a trek.
I never got to see the Knicks down at the garden, but getting tickets is pretty easy as they have been poor in recent seasons. It’s an iconic venue, and obviously worth a visit. New York is a place for serious sports tourists; lots of choices in one of the best cities in the World.
Paris – Horse Racing at Longchamp
If you are reading from the UK, this is a nice and easy one for you and if you are a racing fan this should be up there on your sports tourism list!
Racing is one of the world’s most popular sports, and the French make no exceptions to this rule.
How I did it
A train from London Kings Cross to Paris, stay somewhere central, have a night out and head out to Longchamp the next day.
The racecourse has recently been refurbished and is extremely cool. If you can get there for the Prix de L’arc de Triomphe then more power to you. I went for this and was not disappointed.
Tips for this one would be to take an Uber there, it’s only 15 minutes, and in terms of getting back to central Paris, do the same but arrange a pickup point a little way from the racetrack.
Make sure to take something smart to wear, it’s one for the guys and girls that like to dress up. I loved it, and even if you are not a fully paid-up horse racing fan, you will too.
Melbourne – Cricket at the MCG
Talk about a serious venue. I haven’t made a test match there but I have been to watch a Melbourne Derby in the Big Bash and was not disappointed. Pretty close to the centre of town, Melbourne is a great place full stop, but the Melbourne Cricket Ground is something else. A cricket lover’s dream.
Again, try and get there early as the queues can get long, and try and locate one of the inside bars that are close to your seating area.
The atmosphere is electric, especially in the evening, and you really do feel like you are at one of those hallowed iconic venues. I can’t wait to go back, hopefully, to watch England win a test there!
Barcelona – FCB, Messi and the Camp Nou
One of my favourite European cities, one of the best teams in the World, and the best player of all time, what’s not to love? I did debate not putting a football venue on here, but frankly, a trip to see God play in his own church sounds like a must?
A wonderful venue with towering stands, Camp Nou is a venue like no other. I remember hanging out in a very simple bar, eating a baguette of some kind whilst drinking a lot of beer.
I was pretty hammered by the time I left the stadium but I do remember watching Leo Messi run the show as they beat Athletic Bilbao 5-0. One of the great trips, and if you can get tickets you simply must go.
There is so much to do in Barcelona as well it is the sort of trip that you can combine with doing lots of other things.
Although the greatest Barcelona player of all time has left, it’s still an unreal place to visit, plus you get to watch their re-birth under Xavi!
On My Sports Tourism Bucket List
Just a few that are on my list…
The Las Vegas Raiders at The Allegiant Stadium
NFL, The Raiders, Las Vegas. Need I say anymore?
The Dallas Cowboys at Cowboy Stadium
Come on, it’s the Cowboys, in Texas!
Boca Juniors Vs River Plate
Not for the faint of heart!
Playing Golf on the links at St. Andrews
Would be amazing!
Where is on your sports tourism list?
Are there any venues or places on your sports tourism bucket list? If so, let us know in the comments.
Grab your passports, your google maps plug-ins, travel purses and of course your camera phone, and get out into the big wide world of sporting tourism.
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