In the summer, we wrote an article on how – following a successful World Cup – Americans were now starting to ‘get’ football, or soccer as it is still known in this country. The piece on New York City FC described how the Major League Soccer club was planning for the long-term as it looked to attract a new generation of followers. While interest in this particular game is certainly growing, there is no denying that in the nation’s cultural capital, there are far more established sports to be found here.
New Yorkers really are spoilt for choice when it comes to watching top level sports with a number of major professional leagues having such a strong presence in the metropolitan area. Home to significant Major League Baseball (MLB), National Football League (NFL), National Hockey League (NHL) and National Basketball Association (NBA) teams, it is an understatement to say that sports have a long and distinguished history in New York City.
In fact, these highly successful local sports teams are some of the best around, with two NBA Championships (Knicks), 27 World Series (Yankees), eight Stanley Cups (four Rangers, four Islanders) and five Super Bowl (four Giants, one Jets) wins between them.
As the atmosphere in the impressive New York (and area-wide) stadia is so impressive, we thought it would be a good idea to go through a selection of the main sporting occasions you might wish to witness live as a spectator on your next visit to the Big Apple:
Watch the Yankees play at Yankee Stadium
Baseball is undeniably the city’s most popular sport. Loyalty may be split between the New York Yankees and the New York Mets, but the former is one of the most well-known teams in the world. The new Yankee Stadium, which opened in 2009, is located in the Bronx – just a 30-minute subway ride from Midtown.
The season starts again in April 2015, so check the schedule to see if there’s a game on while you’re in the city. Even for those who don’t follow baseball, this is something worth fitting in to your itinerary, if just to take a trip to the famous Yankee Stadium.
Yankees fans may take their baseball seriously, but they also aim to enjoy the experience to the full. There are many places to eat at the venue, so grab yourself a snack as you try to get to grips with the game and work out what’s going on.
Enjoy some NFL action at the MetLife Stadium
Both the New York Giants and New York Jets play at the MetLife Stadium in nearby East Rutherford, New Jersey. While tickets to see the former play may be a bit harder to come by, you might still be able to see the team play live if you know where to pick them up.
As it is still football season, there are games coming up for the Giants (in the NFC East Division) and Jets (AFC East Division) before Christmas, so if you have always wanted to know what all the fuss was about with America’s own football, head on over to this fine arena to watch the action live.
Read this NFL Beginner’s Guide to Football if you are interested in the sport, but are not all that familiar with the rules of the game.
Follow the Knicks down to the “Mecca of basketball”
The New York Knicks are based at Madison Square Garden in the heart of the city, making basketball the easiest major sport to get to see in person. This Penn Station venue is a world-famous arena and the perfect place to host the fast-paced sporting action of basketball.
Visitors will also find cheap tickets are not too difficult to come by too, so don’t pass up the opportunity to grab a hot dog, burger, lobster roll or steak and take your seat to see the team play. There are plenty of games on the schedule in the run up to Christmas.