15 World Sporting Events To Travel To

World Sporting is popular across the globe, whether you’re a player, coach or spectator.  According to Worldatlas golf has an estimated 450 million fans; rugby 475 million, baseball 500 million, basketball 825 million, table tennis 875 million, volleyball 900 million, tennis 1 billion, field hockey 2 billion, cricket 2.5 billion and football 4 billion.

For those sports just listed there, that is a lot of fans worldwide! I can guarantee there’s many more not covered in that list. There’s just something about it sitting in an arena, stadium or around a pitch providing ultimate backing of your favourite team. Cheering them on to success at a world sporting event.

My Discovery

What I’ve discovered during my travels is that it’s also incredible to see your favourite sport played in another country other than your own.

Witnessing the fans, do they have the same chants at a world sporting event? How do they celebrate when a victory has occurred? How does the sports person treat their fans? What food is served at the event? The list could go on…

Across the world, countries are known for their sports and sporting events. Some make up part of a countries identity and culture. Likewise, some tourists just travel to specific destinations just to witness the sports alone. If you’re visiting a country I recommend checking out their national sport to give you a break from your usual beach, temple, mountain, shopping or any other type of activity. You never know you may be surprised! In no particular order here are 15 sporting events to travel to across the world:

1) Sumo Wrestling – Japan

Sumo is an ancient form of wrestling originating from Japan. It differs from normal wrestling as their ring is circular. The goal is for the wrestler to push the other out of the ring or pin them to the ground. In contrast to non-sumo wrestlers, sumo wrestlers carry a heavy posture. The reason why they carry all that weight is so the heavier mass can push the other wrestler out of the ring. Sciencefocusnote that the sumos must-have muscle as opposed to fat. The way they do this is by eating high quantities of high protein foods such as chicken, tofu and fish.

Sumo events occur throughout different times of the year. It’s best you check JapanToday as they advertise yearly schedules of the events. Normally, there’s some in February, April, May, June, August, November and December. However, they differ every year so make sure you check in advance online. 

Sumo tournaments are held in Tokyo at the Ryogoku Kokugikan sumo arena. As well as in Osaka at the Edison arena and in Nagoya at the Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium. For sumo wrestling, the cost differs per seat. They have different levels such as ringside floor seats, arena chair seats and box floor seats. You can book tickets online or when you’re in Japan. However, costs can vary from 4,000 yen to anything up to 50,000 yen!

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If you want to buy tickets in advance check out ticketoosumo. Similarly, if you want to wait whilst in Japan, you can either purchase at a pia store or try on the day at the stadium for remaining tickets.

2) Table Tennis/Ping Pong- China

Table tennis is one of the most popular sports in China. According to factsanddetails note that at one point it was the only sport played in China! Business insider also states that China has more table tennis players than any other country! In Rio Olympics, during 2016 44 table tennis players were Chinese born. 

Impressive, right? 

It’s also noted that at least 10 million play competitively and 300 million play for fun. It’s practically ingrained to the Chinese. Not just that, pingsunday note the Chinese host intensive training camps for this sport. 

 To watch table tennis it’s best to check the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) website. They post details each year and update their website on international and national tournaments. Often there are ones in China. So check there first before booking your flights!

3) Cricket-India

Cricket World Sporting Event

Cricket is an extremely popular sport in India. Which was brought by the British in the 1700s. It’s so popular that according to the economic times  India constitutes for 90% of worldwide cricket supporters. A lot of world-famous batsmen have come from India such as Sachin Tendulkar, Sunil Gavaskar and Rahul Dravid.

Because of their heroic showmanship for their country, it’s inspired a lot more people to either watch or learn the sport. The cricket division in India also has its own premier league! Sportskeeda state that Bollywood stars postpone their film releases during the time of cricket season as they fear they may not gain enough people to watch them, therefore, reducing their income streams.

Where do I Watch? First of all, it’s best you check out the Indian Premier League’s official website. That will inform you of fixtures so you can know in advance what dates to attend. Likewise, from there once you know the teams that are playing you can buy tickets from the IPL’s website.

4) Football- England

When in England, you can’t miss a football game! The British invented this sporting event in the 19th century. It was estimated by statista that the British football association makes 310 million British pounds through broadcasting rights, sponsorship and licensing. The premier league is one of the most-watched sports in the country as well as worldwide. 

Certain cities treat football like a religion and support teams all of their life. Not just in the stadium but pubs also. The football season in England runs through August-May.

Where do I watch? 

The best way to secure a ticket for a team is to look online at the fixtures for teams. Then go to that team’s website and they will sell the home or away tickets. Be careful though, as some popular teams sell out quickly and give priority to their season ticket holders for away sporting events! If there are none online, ring the stadium and see if there are any last-minute cancellations.

5) Baseball- America

Baseball America

Major League baseball was founded in New York America during 1839 according to History. Today in America there are 15 major baseball teams in the league. The sporting event season runs from March-September each year. If you’re wanting to secure tickets it’s best to check the official website mlb.com. Also if you’re wanting to check fixtures it’s best to check that website also.

6) Bull Fighting- Spain 

Bull Spain

Since the 18th century, this has been extremely popular and an important part of the Spanish culture. They occur in Seville but is most popular in Madrid. This sport involves fighters confronting a bull in a closed space. According to seville-traveller there are different types of a bullfight.

First, is where the bullfighters are on foot and the animal must be 4 years old and weight at least 470kg. Second, is where the bull is under 4 years old. Finally the third is where the fighters are on horseback. In order to secure tickets for this event, it’s best to obtain them from the box office. Normally the season runs from March-October for this sporting event.

7) Ice Hockey- Canada

Ice hockey was born in Canada and it’s regarded as their official national winter sport. Where the first game ever occurred in Montreal in 1875. Did you know there is a national hockey league (NHL)? This league has 31 franchises, 7 are in Canada and the rest in the United States. The Canadian teams are the Toronto Maple Leafs, Ottawa Senators, Winnipeg Jets, Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks. The season usually lasts from the start of October-April. To get a ticket it’s best to visit the NHL’s website.

8) Muay Thai- Thailand

Muay Thai is the boxing art of Thailand which has been advanced for centuries. It’s been made as a close combat form of martial arts. As previously history they were on constant defence from Burmese and Cambodians. It is also the national sport of Thailand. Luckily, if you’re in Thailand you can train at many gyms in beach settings.

However, if you’re wanting to secure tickets to watch a fight it’s best you watch in Bangkok. According to bemytravelmuse, you can go to Lumpinee stadium, Rajadamnern Stadium and Channel 7 Stadium. Depending on the fight and stadium tickets can range from 500-2000 Baht.

9) Figure Skating- Russia

Are you impressed by the elegance of figure skaters? It is often metioned during the course of 42 years from 1964-2006 that Russia has claimed Olympic gold medals for pair figure skaters until the record was broken in 2014 by China! Russia has figure schools dedicated to their figure skating success. It’s a popular sport in Russia.

There are lots of public skating ice rinks in Russia. Did you know Moscow opened its first public skating icerink in 1864? According to inyourpocket. Luckily, not only does the country host national contests but you can watch impressive figure skating in public rinks! The winter season in Russia runs from December- February for the coldest months. If you can bear the cold, check it out!

10) Everest Marathon- Nepal

Are you a fan of running? Or perhaps you want to participant in the World’s highest marathon sporting event? Travel to Asia to the South Asian country of Nepal. Everest Marathon occurs every year in Nepal on May 29th! This marathon honours the ascent of Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Sir Edmund Hillary who reached the peak on May 29th 1953! To get tickets to participate visit here.

11) Formula One Grand Prix- Monaco

Do you like having an adrenaline rush? Or perhaps the need for speed? If so, you MUST visit Monaco for the Formula One Grand Prix sporting event. It has been running since 1929! Set in a beautiful country close to the sea with phenomenal views! To get tickets it’s best to visit the Formula one website here.

12) Wrestling-Lucha Libre Mexico

Whilst there are many different forms of wrestling worldwide. It’s definitely worth adding Mexico to your list. Why? Because it has a rich history and according to theculturetrip its origins go way back until 1863! This is different from standard wrestling as Mexican wrestlers wear masks! It’s so popular in Mexico wrestlers become household names.

Likewise, according to Bloomberg at a wrestling match on a Friday night in Mexico, the average crowd of spectators is about 8000-10000 people. If you’re wanting to watch a Lucha Libre match, the best place to go in Mexico City for this sporting event. As there are three stadiums Arena Mexico, Arena Coliseo and Arena Naucalpan. To get tickets you can either get through a tour of if wanting to purchase independently get them from the arena direct!  

13) Tennis Sporting Event (Wimbledon)- England

The oldest tennis tournament in the world occurs every year in Wimbledon, London England. It has been happening every year since 1887 which according to Britannica it was initially held on the croquet lawns of the All England Croquet lawn and tennis club. Today, some of the most world’s magnificent tennis players males and females alike play on the top courts in the world. This tournament lasts for 14 days every year during the beginning of July!

If you want to purchase tickets in advance for this sporting event you can often get them from the online retailer ticketmaster , you can enter a ballot or even queue up for tickets outside during the event! According to the radiotimes, there are 500 tickets allocated for each court. People camp overnight, the demand is that high! Also, tickets start getting sold from 7:30 AM, so you must be patient if you choose this option!

14) Capoeira- Brazil

This is a martial art that came from Portuguese colonists in West Africa to Brazil. It combines dance and music together. The reason behind dance as martial arts was banned. Making it a captivating sport to watch. Noted by theculturetrip it’s been around since the 16th century!

Throughout Brazil, this dance/martial art is constantly practised all over as part of the countries cultural heritage! Especially in its most popular cities like Rio De Janerio and Sao Paulo. The best thing you can do prior to your visit is search online for schools. As there are hundreds across the country which will allow you to practice or watch.

15) Cuban Salsa- Cuba

Are you a fan of dancing? Or do you like the beat of the music and watching the dancers? Then you must visit Cuba! A form of salsa was invented there before the colonisation and is practice frequently. Originally starting out as a religious dance showing parts of the Taino religion.

Then later after African slaves arrived, according to hiplatina states the dances formed into Santería, yuka, and abakúa which now forms today the Cuban Dance. There are many places to watch dance in Cuba! However, as indicated by anywhere in Havana there are a few great venues to watch or participate. They are Hotel Florida – Old Havana, Cafe Cantante – Havana, La Zorra y el Cuervo, Patio de Los Dos Abuelos and Jardines de 1830 – Havana.

Sporting events are fun to participate and spectate in too. Depending on the world sporting event take careful consideration of fake ticket sellers and purchase from authentic outlets. Make sure you aren’t being scammed. Other than that, these are events and activities you can’t miss if travelling to those countries.


Extracts of Alex

Navigating Nepal and the World

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