See US sport in action in New York
If, like me, you love North American sports like baseball and ice hockey, you’ll definitely want to take a trip to New York. A wide range of teams are based in the Five Boroughs, so there’s plenty of opportunity to take in a game during your holiday, no matter what time of year you visit.
Of course, you could always go to a bar to watch a match on TV but I don’t think you can beat the experience of attending a sporting fixture in person. Doing so is a great way to mix with the locals and enable you to see a whole different side to the Big Apple away from the typical tourist haunts. Here are some of the best places in the city to watch sport.
Madison Square Garden
One place I definitely recommend sports fans should visit is Madison Square Garden (MSG). While this world-famous Manhattan stadium is used for concerts, I think you’re likely to be most interested in the fact that two of the United States’ most popular teams – the New York Rangers and New York Knicks – play their home games here.
Just in case you weren’t aware, these sides play ice hockey and basketball respectively. With the seasons for these sports running at the same time from early autumn to mid-spring, there will be at least one game at MSG during your holiday.
Whichever team you’re watching, make sure you take a look up at the stadium’s ceiling during a break in play. Here, you’ll find banners and retired jerseys signifying the championships that the side have won over the ages and its most celebrated former players.
Although the Knicks and Rangers are MSG’s two most well-known occupants, the venue is used by a variety of other teams and sports. Numerous college basketball tournaments take place here, while the BNP Paribas Showdown tennis competition in March 2013 will see Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams, among others, play in front of thousands. It’s also hosted numerous boxing matches over the years, with Evander Holyfield, Muhammad Ali and Lennox Lewis just three of the champions to have fought at the arena.
Another fantastic sporting venue in the city is the Barclays Center. Situated in the heart of Brooklyn, you’ll be in good company if you attend one of the sporting fixtures at the stadium, as it seats some 18,000 spectators.
Here, you’ll get to see NBA team the Brooklyn Nets (who were known as the New Jersey Nets before the start of the 2012-13 season) in action, while gymnastics and college basketball competitions will also take place here this winter.
Last, but definitely not least, baseball fans booking flights to Newark should take a trip to the Bronx district of the city to see the New York Yankees in action.
Undoubtedly the world’s most famous baseball team, the Yankees play at the somewhat unimaginatively-titled Yankee Stadium and coming here will enable you to see the best athletes in the sport compete. With the 2013 baseball season starting in April, you should get a move on if you want a ticket for one of the team’s early fixtures as they can quickly sell out.
However, if you’re hoping to experience Yankee Stadium when it’s not packed with thousands of cheering fans, you should go on one of the guided tour packages that take place throughout the year. If you want to go on a tour while the baseball season is in swing, however, you should be prepared for restrictions on these to be in place during game days. It’s a good idea to check the fixture schedule and call in advance to avoid disappointment.
Are you a sports fan thinking of visiting New York? What teams would you like to see in action?