Where to Travel to Watch Championship Games
If you’re a fan who has a trip to your favorite national or international sports competition on your bucket list, you’re not alone.
Luxury sports tour operator Roadtrips predicts that 2019 will be a particularly strong year for sports travel given the growing popularity of these global competitions, attractive venues and some highly desirable destinations hosting major events this year.
Summer is prime time for major tennis tournaments. Wimbledon, held at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, outside London, since 1877, is the world’s oldest tennis tournament. It’s also the only one of the four Grand Slam events that is still played on grass. This year’s tournament takes place July 1-14. The U.S. Open, held at the National Tennis Center in New York City, follows from Aug. 26-Sept. 8. If you want to stay in Manhattan, it’s a short train or subway ride to the Open in Queens.
Fans of Formula One auto racing have several upcoming options. The Italian Grand Prix takes place Sept. 5-9 in Monza, Italy, on one of Europe’s fastest tracks. Combine your trip with sightseeing in nearby Milan. The Singapore Grand Prix, Sept. 19-23, is a unique nighttime race that’s run on a challenging street circuit. For something closer to home, the U.S. Grand Prix, in Austin, Texas, will be held Oct. 31-Nov. 4. A recent addition to the circuit, the race takes place in state-of-the-art facilities at the Circuit of the Americas.
At the end of the year, football fans can combine a wintertime trip to a warm climate with a college bowl game. The Fiesta Bowl, in Glendale, Arizona, outside Phoenix, and the Peach Bowl, in Atlanta, both take place on Dec. 28 and serve as semifinal games for the College Football Playoff National Championship, which will be held next year on Jan. 13 in New Orleans.
Hockey fans can enjoy a weekend of activities, capped by the National Hockey League’s All-Star Game, Jan. 24-26 in St. Louis. In addition to the game featuring some of the NHL’s best players, the weekend will include a skills competition, fan fest and other hockey-themed events, entertainment and activities.
The Summer Olympic Games will be held in Tokyo from July 24-Aug. 9, 2020. In addition to the popular gymnastics, swimming, diving, basketball and track and field, five new sports will make their debut, including karate, skateboarding and surfing. Plus, baseball and softball will return to the competition. Japan’s extensive public transportation network makes it easy to use Tokyo as a base for exploring the country either before or after the Games.
And of course, next year’s Super Bowl, Final Four and Masters Tournament will be here before you know it. While some of these events may be months away, it’s not too early to talk to your travel advisor about your plans. Tickets — and hotel rooms — are snapped up quickly.