Sports enthusiasts look forward to the FIFA World Cup, the UEFA European Football Championship, the winter and summer Olympics, and other major sporting events. Yet fans do not have to wait every four years to attend these large scale events to see world class athletes. Each year, annual sporting events attract cheering spectators and top athletes from around the world.
Held in any South American country by a system of rotation, the Copa America is the largest multinational football tournament in the continent. Part of the fun is navigating the huge football stadiums, which are much bigger (and possibly more dangerous) than their European counterparts. The atmosphere is always electric, and fans have a reputation for passion and creativity, turning up in costume and creating ingenious chants. It is a chance to watch some of the world’s best players such as Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez. Uruguay, Argentina, and Brazil tend to dominate the title, but it is worth getting tickets just to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy beautiful football.
The Japan Championship Series
The annual championship in the Nippon Professional Baseball league between the two winners of the Central League and Pacific League, much like the World Series in America: the first team to win 4 out of 7 ‘yakyu’ or baseball wins, and goes on to represent Japan in the annual Asia Series. Baseball is the most popular sport in Japan, and watching the game is good fun.
The Dubai World Cup
With $27.25m prize money, the Dubai World Cup attracts some of the best horses and jockeys from around the world and has been billed as racing’s new ‘super power’. Dubai is now a hub of racing and breeding, and the atmosphere is incredibly glamorous.
Grand Prix of Monaco
A glamorous and scenic setting is the backdrop for one of Formula One’s most famous races. Established in 1929, the thrilling Grand Prix of Monaco winds along a narrow course through the roads of the tiny principality. The race brings together some of the biggest names in automobile racing, including Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso, Rubens Barrichello and Sebastian Vettel.
One of the four grand slam tennis tournaments in the world, held in Melbourne, Victoria: the event is two weeks long and attracts the world’s top seeds, making tickets highly sought after. Andre Agassi, Roger Federer, and Serena Williams are just a few of the many great players to have won the title. Even if you are not lucky enough to get your hands on tickets, there is a great atmosphere to the tournament. There is live entertainment, music, and food around the clock, and- being Australia – no rain holding play.
Argentine Open Championship
One of the most exciting polo events is the Argentine Open Championship. The best players in the world attend the event, which take place from late November to early December. First organised in 1893, the event is held at the Campo Argentine de Polo in the Palermo district of Buenos Aires.
The biggest event in American football is the Super Bowl. First held in 1967, the Super Bowl marks the end of the National Football League’s season as the top teams from the American Football Conference and the National Football Conference face each other. Held in a different city each year, Super Bowl weekend features a range of fun events for sports fans before the big game to make in an unforgettable experience.
If you’re planning to go travelling, it may be worth trying to include some of these destinations when booking your round the world flights, and enjoy some of these world-famous sporting occasions first-hand.
Gilly Thompson is a freelance sports writer.