Sports tourism is a fast-growing sector within travel, with many people basing their holidays around certain events and tournaments all over the world.
Very few things can bring together tens of thousands of people in one place in the same way that sport can. There is something particularly special about fans flocking from all corners of the world to a venue where everybody has a common interest.
If you want to visit a city where the sporting scene is vibrant, below are five suggestions.
5) Chicago, USA
You could make a case for any of the big markets in the US, but they are absolutely crazy about sports in Chicago and they have a big presence in the NBA, NHL, MLB, and NFL.
The Bulls are one of the biggest sports dynasties of all time and the Blackhawks have six Stanley Cups to their name.
Wrigley Field is one of the most legendary ballparks in all of baseball, and there is nothing quite like the Wrigleyville atmosphere on game day.
Soldier Field is equally historic and is in fact the oldest NFL stadium. The soccer team, Chicago Fire, also play their home games there.
4) Melbourne, Australia
Lots of big sporting events take place in Melbourne every year, including the Australian Open tennis tournament which is the first Grand Slam on the calendar, plus the Australian Grand Prix.
But the most iconic sporting venue in the city is the Melbourne Cricket Ground. It was built in 1853 and in 1877 it hosted the first Test cricket match between Australia and England.
Every year, the MCG hosts a Boxing Day Test match which begins on December 26th and runs for a maximum of five days. England are the visitors every four years, and it is an occasion that everyone should try to experience once.
Australian Football League fixtures take place at the MCG as well as the Docklands Stadium which opened in 2000.
3) Barcelona, Spain
It’s impossible to think of Barcelona without the Camp Nou springing to mind. The stadium has been graced with some outstanding association football teams throughout the years.
Lionel Messi’s days at FC Barcelona are numbered, and anyone who has been fortunate enough to see him light up the place can count themselves lucky, but even after he is gone, the Camp Nou is a must-visit.
But that’s not all that Barcelona has to offer on the sporting front. Basketball and handball are also big in Catalonia’s capital, and the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya plays host to the Formula One Spanish Grand Prix as well as other races each year.
2) Las Vegas, USA
Vegas is not only the home of gambling in the US – so much so that sports betting and casino sites like Bet365 have games that are Vegas-themed – but it also appeals to sports fanatics.
The Vegas Golden Knights ice hockey team was founded in 2017, and in 2020, the Oakland Raiders relocated to Nevada and gave NFL fans in Vegas a local team to root for.
What really attracts the masses, though, are the boxing and MMA events that often take place at venues like the MGM Grand, T-Mobile Arena, and Mandalay Bay.
Bouts such as Evander Holyfield vs Mike Tyson, Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao, and Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury have seen the city become and remain the mecca of combat sports.
1) London, England
When the sporting calendar is in full flow, barely a day goes by without a major event or fixture taking place in London.
As of the 2020/21 English Premier League football season, six of the 20 teams are London-based and three of those six are involved in European competitions as well.
England play their home games at Wembley Stadium in north London, where all major cup finals and a number of NFL fixtures are played each year.
The Wimbledon Championships are perhaps the cream of the crop when it comes to sport in London, not just in terms of the quality of the action but also the overall experience.
Like Vegas, many big boxing fights happen in London at either the O2 Arena, Wembley Arena, or even Wembley Stadium.
The legacy that the London 2012 Summer Olympics left has resulted in an even bigger selection of arenas and other venues where many sports take place.
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