America simply loves sport. The United States is home to some of the most popular and best-loved sports found anywhere in the world.
The country is unique for its strong and dedicated focus to sporting and athletic competition in its daily life. It has been the birthplace of numerous well-known and exciting sports that are followed by millions both across the 50 states and around the globe.
During a visit to the USA, tourists can get the perfect opportunity to see some of these events up close and personal. To help plan an even more amazing experience whilst visiting the country, this article gives an introduction to some of the most famous and successful sports America has to offer.
Without a doubt, American Football (or simply “football” if you’re in the US) is the best-loved sport in the country. The NFL, the premier division of the professional game, makes around $11 billion a year in revenue and oversees the Superbowl; the most-watched sporting event on earth.
The game itself combines speed, tactics, and brute strength. Players push themselves to the absolute physical peak of perfection and witnessing these mighty performances in person is really something to remember.
Many of the biggest cities boast an NFL or minor league football team making them a great place to enjoy the world’s most viewed sport. Whilst it is easier than ever to watch an American football game on TV, seeing it in real life is a real experience.
Baseball is one of America’s oldest and best-loved home-grown sports. While Major League Baseball (MLB) may not be quite as popular as American Football, it comes a close second and is still one of the most successful sporting leagues found around the world.
The atmosphere of a baseball match is often electric. Games can be a slow-burning affair sometimes but with plenty of edge of your seat moments to keep the excitement high.
Most big cities are home to a major or minor league team and enjoying a ball game can be relatively easy for tourists. However, New York City is the best place to take in America’s beloved pastime as it is home to over 11 franchise teams.
Basketball is a game where almost anything can happen. Games are often fast-paced and unpredictable and it is simply a great spectator sport.
The NBA is one of the biggest professional sporting leagues in the world. It has also helped names like Micheal Jordan, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and Shaquille O´Neil to become instantly recognizable around the globe.
Watching a basketball game is even better in person than on TV. Fortunately, that is not difficult to do on a visit to the USA.
Basketball events can be found all over the United States, whether it be a street match or a major NBA game. However, most of the top destinations for tourists are home to a major team, making seeing a game an easy activity to fit into a trip.
America is a country of many different climates. With sub-zero temperatures often common in the Northern states of the country it’s no surprise that Ice Hockey has evolved from those conditions and taken the country by storm.
The National Hockey League (NHL) may have started in Canada but it has gradually found popularity and major competitors in the United States too. The NHL might well be one of North America’s most exciting and universally loved sports.
Despite this universal popularity tourists won’t find the NHL stadiums everywhere in the USA. Nevertheless, major destinations like Los Angeles, New York, and Miami are all home to prominent teams for those who want to experience a hockey game in person.
Soccer is the world’s best-loved sport, but the United States is often notable for its preference for other athletic events. The country has only a moderate track record in international tournaments, which are often dominated by the famously soccer-crazy South American and European countries.
Despite its middling performance in world competitions and its preference for its homegrown sports, the United States loves soccer. It is one of the most played sports for schoolchildren and the country is also home to Major League Soccer (MLS).
MLS may not have quite the following of the English Premier League or Italy’s Serie A but it boasts a huge audience that is only growing as the league becomes more well-known. It’s never been easier to see a live MLS match in the US than it is today.
As the league has grown in size and popularity stadiums have popped up all over the country. International visitors are now more than likely to find a major franchise team in their US vacation destination if they wish to take in a match on their trip.
As home to many of the biggest auto manufacturers around the world, America is naturally big into motorsport. There are many car racing series to enjoy with both fast and furious machinery to enjoy on track.
The premier event in US Motorsport is the Indianapolis 500. This is one of America’s oldest motor racing events, with over 104 years of racing and is easily the fastest with average speeds of around 240mph.
However, there’s a rich variety of racing to watch in person all across the United States from NASCAR to monster truck racing. The atmosphere amongst US motor racing fans is also unlike any other around the world, making a trip to one of its many racing circuits well worthwhile.
Getting ready to enjoy a sporting event in the USA on a vacation or short trip is easy. Before traveling, passengers must make sure that they have applied and been approved for a valid USA ESTA Visa Waiver.
The registration process for an ESTA is completed online and can be filled out in under 15 minutes. Once submitted it will usually be approved within 2 business days.
A valid ESTA can be used for multiple trips for up to 2 years from its date of approval. It is linked to the passport that the traveler used to register so visitors must enter with the same document used during the application process.
An ESTA allows visitors to the US to stay in the country for up to 90 days at a time. This leaves plenty of time to take in one or more sporting events.
Tickets for sports matches and games can usually be bought online in advance of a trip. It’s often best to purchase tickets as early as possible as seats will often sell out fast nearer the date of the event.
However, for some of the sports on this list, it is possible to try a truly American way of enjoying a sporting event without even entering the stadium. Tailgating parties are often held by team fans around the event (usually in a nearby parking lot or park). All participants need to take part is some food, some drink, a car, and perhaps a small grill.
Sport is a big part of American life. Therefore seeing a sports match or event offers a real taste of Americana that cannot be found elsewhere.