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Lots of major cities around the world have professional sports teams and a loyal following; however, some cities are definitely more driven by sports culture than others. People in cities across the U.S. and beyond claim allegiance to at least one team and spend hours every week tuning into games on TV or even occasionally attending them. But you don’t have to live in a sports city to get into the spirit; visiting these cities can make for a really exciting vacation too!
Sports-related tourism can be centered on a big championship game, a regular-season match, or even just the pre-game and post-game celebrations. These are some of the best cities to visit for sports fans.
Boston is an exciting city full of sports fans all throughout the year because it has strong football, basketball, baseball, and hockey presence. Its baseball history is centered on the iconic Fenway Park, which offers a range of tours to get to know this stadium and the players who have called it home. Boston is home to the successful New England Patriots football team, the Boston Celtics basketball team, and it’s full of other sports activities like the marathon, soccer, sailing, and lacrosse too.
Chicago has a little bit of everything for sports fans and it seems like everyone that lives here is passionate about at least one team. The Bears keep sports fans busy with ups and downs during football season, and the Bulls keep Chicagoans on the edge of their seats during the basketball season. In the spring and summer, the city becomes divided between the north side’s Cubs and the south side’s White Sox, and the Blackhawks hockey team has won the Stanley Cup a few times in recent years too.
Augusta may not have a championship football or basketball team, but it is the place to visit for golf enthusiasts. This is where the Masters Golf Tournament takes place, which is one of the main championships in professional golf that’s typically scheduled during the first full week in April. The Augusta National Course opened in 1933 and award-winning players have competed here, including Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Fred McLeod, and Arnold Palmer. Attending the Masters can be a pricey trip, so start saving up now and look into nearby public golf courses to play a few rounds yourself while visiting.
Dallas is a dream destination for football fans, as the Dallas Cowboys have dominated this Texas city. The Cowboys are the highest valued NFL team in the league with a value in the billions and also hundreds of millions coming in from stadium revenue alone. This area is also known for its dedication to high school football, and the nearby Texas Sports Hall of Fame in Waco also has a High School Hall of Fame. The city’s basketball team, the Mavericks, also play here, and Dallas hosted the Super Bowl, the World Series, and the NBA Finals in recent years.
There might not be all that much going on in Green Bay, Wisconsin other than football, but that’s A-OK for the dedicated fans that call this place home. Green Bay is a small city compared to the others listed here, but that just adds to its charm as an All-American sports city. These fans are enduringly loyal, with large pockets of fans around Milwaukee, throughout Wisconsin, northern Illinois, Michigan, and Minnesota.
The San Francisco Bay Area is known for its star power and passionate fans. San Francisco is home to the Giants for baseball and the 49ers for football, which keeps residents and sports-enthused visitors busy most of the year. Other Bay Area teams to watch include the Oakland Athletics (baseball), Golden State Warriors (basketball), and Oakland Raiders (football). There’s so much to see and do in this area besides sports, but fans certainly aren’t left wanting more when they visit.
The big names to know in New York are the Yankees, the Rangers, and the Giants, with the Yankees being one of the favorite baseball teams among fans around the world. Of course, there’s also the New York Mets for baseball and the New York Jets for football, as well as the New York City marathon for runners and the U.S. Open for tennis enthusiasts. Be sure to check out the National Sports Museum on Broadway in lower Manhattan when you’re in town. While visiting the area, consider taking a city break to drive to upstate Cooperstown, New York to see the Baseball Hall of Fame. Babe Ruth helped make the birthplace of baseball famous in the late 1930s and is a must-see for any true baseball fan.
Just over the Canadian border, Toronto has prominent hockey and baseball teams that make the area worth visiting for more than just Niagara Falls. This the “capital city” for sports fans in Canada since it’s the only one in the country with its own professional basketball, hockey, baseball, football, and soccer teams. Visitors can watch the Blue Jays play baseball in the spring, the Maple Leafs play hockey when the fall season sets in. The Hockey Hall of Fame here is also worth a visit.
Tennis fans know Wimbledon well, but visiting this legendary part of the UK makes an interesting tourist destination for casual tennis watchers too. The Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum has memorabilia that dates back to the 1500s, has films to watch, and lets you see Centre Court for yourself. The museum is open daily, and tour operators provide hospitality packages with accommodations and game tickets. You can take the London Underground to reach Wimbledon and buy championship tickets on Ticketmaster, public ballot, and at the onsite queue.
Philadelphia has the Phillies for baseball, the Eagles for football, the 76ers for basketball, and the Flyers for hockey. However, it’s also well known for its boxing history thanks to the legendary Rocky movies. This city has consistently ranked as one of the most sports-crazed cities in America and is a great place to visit to be a part of the sports scene during any season. Three of the sports stadiums are in the same complex here, so it’s easy to get your bearings quickly as an out-of-town sports fan.
Sure, Detroit has had its fair share of economic troubles in recent years, but that doesn’t make it any less of an amazing destination for sports fans. Enthusiasm for football, baseball, and hockey is incredibly strong here, and some really successful teams have come out of here. Football fans can catch a Lions game, baseball fans a Tigers game, and hockey fans a Red Wings game to understand why this city has so much heart.