There are limitless things to see and do on a visit to New York City. There are famous skyscrapers and museums, unrivaled dining experiences, gorgeous parks, iconic shows, and the list goes on. It’s truly one of the most overwhelming cities in the world in that you just can’t do it all in one trip.
Because of this, it’s best to separate travel guides into particular activities or areas of interest. In this particular post, we’re going to look at some of the city’s great sporting events. You don’t necessarily need to be a fan of any of the related sports to enjoy the ways in which these events bring out the culture and enthusiasm of the dynamic and passionate population of the city.
Baseball is often referred to as “America’s pastime,” and though its popularity has waned in certain parts of the country, it’s still a major sport in New York City. In large part this is because of the Yankees, arguably sports’ most successful franchise. The Yankees play in the Bronx at a stadium so beautiful it doubles as a gigantic monument to the team’s brilliant history. And it’s not just about the Yankees. In fact, earlier this year polling found that there are more Mets fans than Yankees fans in the city for the first time in years. That’s made games in Queens at beautiful Citi Field every bit as buzzworthy as those at Yankee Stadium.
But it’s during the postseason that these venues are truly worth visiting. The Yankees carry the pride of a century of success, and it shows when the season boils down to its most important games. The Mets, meanwhile, are as good as they’ve been in quite some time, and the increased enthusiasm is palpable throughout the stadium. Ideally, a sports fan would visit both venues to get a true feel for one of the city’s favorite activities.
College Basketball At Madison Square Garden
Madison Square Garden might just be the most famous basketball stadium on the planet. Unfortunately, its team, the New York Knicks, has been underwhelming for the better part of the last 20 years. What’s great about a venue like this though, and really New York in general, is that it attracts attention from other teams and sports as well. In this case, MSG can become very interesting when some of the better college teams visit—as they often tend to do.
This past college basketball season proved the point rather well. Heading into the national tournament at the end of the season, Villanova and Duke were named among the favorites to compete for the title. Along the way, they were expected to meet in games scheduled at Madison Square Garden. However, both teams were upset early, which meant that weaker teams had to play at MSG. In front of passionate fans in the historic venue these teams still delivered some outstanding games, seeming to prove the theory that it’s every player’s dream to play well in this particular building.
U.S. Open Tennis
Nothing beats the excitement and good cheer of the U.S. Open, particularly for a lot of international visitors to New York City. This is the last “Grand Slam” tournament of the tennis season, and always attracts the very best men’s and women’s players from all over the world. But it’s really the venue that makes it particularly special.
Though it’s currently undergoing renovations, the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens is about the happiest, most pleasant sports facility you can find. Fans flock to the Open every year and walk among the different courts enjoying a vast array of drinks and concessions and stopping by the different matches. The crowds tend to be friendly, and there’s a pervasive sense that everyone feels fortunate to be there. Plus, the tennis is usually pretty incredible.
There are many more sporting events worth noting in New York. But if you’re interested in seeing the city’s passionate side, these are some to mark on your calendar as you consider a visit.