America and sport go together like apple pie and cream. Whether it’s American football, baseball, basketball, ice hockey or motor racing, Americans love to go to a match and cheer on their favourite teams. Unlike some football matches in the UK and Europe, games are very much a family affair.
For British fans of American sports, travelling to watch their chosen teams can be tricky as many tickets as taken up by season ticket holders, particularly for NFL football games. You can buy them through specialist operators but you stand a better chance of seeing a college game which attract crowds of up to 100,000.
It’s easier to get tickets for basketball, hockey and baseball, with teams sometimes playing six times a week.
[Pictured right: Tampa Bay Rays' stadium Tropical Field, Florida]
Baseball spring training
From mid-February, Major League Baseball teams warm up for the season with spring training at Cactus and Grapefruit league ballparks in Arizona and Florida (at locations including Tampa, Clearwater and Fort Myers). More than three million fans watch the series, which features around 441 games in 24 ballparks. Games are ticketed but practice sessions are free.
Motorsports’ number one track
This year is the 60th anniversary of the Daytona 500, US motor racing NASCAR’s biggest event of the year. Watch it at Daytona International Speedway, the world’s only motorsports stadium. This year Daytona Beach has been given a $2 billion makeover with new hotels opening, including a new Hard Rock Hotel.
On the fast track
Catch the Indy 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway or Formula 1’s U.S. Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas, in Austin. You can also watch different types of race at the Martinsville Speedway in Virginia, which celebrated its 70th anniversary last year, or during the Firestone Grand Prix in St. Pete in March, pictured left, with races along the downtown waterfront street course.
Pay homage to baseball’s Babe Ruth
Mark the 70th Anniversary of the death of baseball legend Babe Ruth with a game at Camden Yard, Baltimore, home to the Baltimore Orioles. You can then stop at the Babe Ruth statue out front, then follow the trail of 60 painted baseballs to his birthplace in Baltimore, the Babe Ruth Birthplace & Museum.
Hit Detroit’s new stadium
Little Ceasars Arena opened last year in Detroit, and is the new home of the Detroit Red Wings (NHL) and the Detroit Pistons (NBA). The new stadium, pictured right, is located in downtown Detroit’s 'District Detroit', near to Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers (NBL) and Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions (NFL).
Rugby World Cup Sevens goes to San Francisco
This is the first year that the famous Rugby World Cup Sevens takes place in San Francisco, July 20-22 2018. Men’s and women’s events will run side by side at the event at San Francisco’s AT&T Park, home to Major League Baseball's three-time world champions, the San Francisco Giants. Get tickets here.
Take to the water
For something more unusual, try September’s Clearwater Super Boat National Championship, where F-16 jet equipped boats with 6,000 horsepower engines race up to 180mph off Clearwater Beach. There are also parades, food stalls and live entertainment during the three-day event.
For season schedules and advance ticket information, go to the sports’ official websites: NFL (American football), nfl.com; MLB (baseball), mlb.com; NBA (basketball), nba.com; NHL (hockey), nhl.com; and MLS (Major League Soccer), mlssoccer.com.
Posted on: 04/01/2018