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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

My 6 Top Travel Destinations for Sports Enthusiasts

Travel is not just about following a guide book and seeing the top attractions. It is about connecting with the soul of a place. It is about living like a local, even if it is just for a brief moment. For sports enthusiasts, this makes a lot of sense. We all know that the joy of seeing your favorite team or player up close and live. That sense of thrill is unparalleled and one that makes memories for a lifetime. The sports lover in me absolutely adores such live games. I follow many sports closely and always try to find an opportunity to see if I can marry my travel plans with a ticket to a live game. If you too think likewise, you might be interested in reading about my 6 favorite destinations to go see a live game. These are 6 iconic sports destinations from 5 different sports.

The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club

Centre Court - Wimbledon

This place hosts the oldest tennis tournament in the world and possibly the most prestigious event in the world of lawn tennis. I am talking about Wimbledon, the only major grass court and where iconic stories have been scripted. If you are a tennis lover, you will know all about the magical aura of this place. Seeing a game at center court here would be a dream come true for many. For simpletons like me, seeing a game on the giant screen while sitting on the lawns of Wimbledon on a bright sunny London day would be surreal too.

Location: London, UK

Sport: Tennis

Fenway Park

Fenway Park, Boston

One of the most well-known sports venues in the world, Fenway Park is the oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball. Home of the Boston Red Sox, Fenway Park is more than a 100 years old. I do not understand the sport of baseball that well, but if there were to be a place where I would learn and watch this sport up live, it has to be the place with the oddly-shaped center field in one of America’s sporting landmarks. And may be, I would indulge in some baseball betting while I am there and after a game head to the neighbourhood’s famous bars to join in on the fun.

Location: Boston, USA

Sport: Baseball

Old Trafford

Old Trafford - Home of Manchester United

Nicknamed, the Theatre of Dreams, this is the home of Manchester United, one of football’s most decorated clubs. Watching ManU play amidst a sea of red would be like a dream come true for me as even when I watch such a scene on TV, I get goose bumps. Having seen the dressing room and the players tunnel in many movies, I want to experience it in person. I guess this is something that I can’t do during a game, but may be, on an off day, I can check out the view from the Alex Fergusson stand, explore the dressing room of some of soccer’s greats and emerge from the player’s tunnel onto the green turf.

Location: Manchester, UK

Sport: Soccer

Camp Nou

Support for Barca at Camp Nou

Like Manchester United, this is the home of one of the most famous clubs in the game of soccer. This is the home stadium of FC Barcelona. It is also the home of Lionel Messi. It is also the club with the most awards. And the best part is that all of this is right in the middle of happening Barcelona. You can shout Barca Barca amidst 100,000 football crazy fans during the game and then afterwards you can indulge in some of the most happening bars and parties in all of Europe.

Location: Barcelona, Spain

Sport: Soccer

Lords Cricket Ground

Victorian era pavilion at Lord's

For an Indian like me, a win at the Lords Cricket Ground is considered epic. It doens’t matter who the opposition is. The win is special nonetheless. Considered as the ‘Home of Cricket’, Lords as it is commonly referred to, is more than 200 years old. The scenes from the Victorian-era Pavilion balcony is possibly one of the most famous memories in Indian Cricket. I want to see the cricket memorabilia put on display at the MCC Museum, the oldest sports museum in the world. I hope to walk the long room and hopefully watch an entire Test match between India and England here.

Location: London, UK

Sport: Cricket

Madison Square Garden

Knicks_playing_at_Madison_Square_Garden

For us Indians, this was the place where our current prime minister Narendra Modi enthralled a rapturous crowd at New York on his epic USA visit. And for sports enthusiasts, this is the home of the New York Knicks and is one of the iconic basketball stadiums in the world. Made immortal through basketball movies, the Garden as it is sometimes called is one of the ten most expensive stadium venues ever built. Located in the heart of Manhattan, it is located real close to the famous broadway shows, the Empire State Building, Times Square and many other famous New York landmarks. Wouldn’t it be magical to watch a NBA game here right in the middle of this sensational city?

Location: New York, USA

Sport: Basketball

Photo Courtesy: All images in this article have been borrowed from wikipedia.org under the creative commons license. All the images have been linked to their respective pages on wikipedia.



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