Like most countries around the world, sport forms an essential part of the culture in the United States. From motorsports and team games to track and field events, thousands of people turn up to stadiums across the country every week to watch their heroes compete, while even more stay at home to watch it from the comfort of their sofas. The market for professional sports in the US is estimated to be around $70 billion, making it not only a huge cultural influence, but also a vital component of the economy. With so much popularity surrounding it, taking time out of your trip to watch a sport makes for a highly exhilarating experience. Here is a list of the best ones to watch live.
Without a doubt the most popular sport in the US, American football is played nationwide in high schools, colleges and, of course, professionally in the National Football League, or NFL. The annual championship game, known as the Super Bowl, is one of the most watched sports events in the world, drawing viewers from more than 130 countries, while in the US it is considered a de facto national holiday. If you are in the US during the season and are lucky enough to secure NFL Football tickets, be prepared for big crowds, electric atmosphere, and non-stop action from the off.
Described in 1919 by the philosopher Morris Cohen as “a religion”, and frequently referred to as the country’s national pastime, baseball has long been an indispensable part of American society since its arrival nearly 200 years ago. Although it was originally targeted towards a more middle-class audience, these days it is watched by more than 70 million people across the nation, many of whom spend their hard-earned cash going to watch their favourite players bat balls and score runs live. While it can seem a bit dull at times, when you really start focusing on a particular game, it becomes very exciting.
Invented by a Canadian-American gym teacher over a hundred years ago, basketball has grown to become one of the world’s most popular sports, and it doesn’t get much bigger than in the US. Its popularity is most clearly illustrated in its players’ salaries, with the sport’s highest earners pocketing up to $30 million a year on top of considerable sponsorship deal. It is a fast-paced and compelling game, consisting of five players on each team, and the rules are relatively straightforward, meaning it is easy to enjoy watching.
Although its highest governing body is based nearly 8,000 kilometres away over in Switzerland, ice hockey has been a vastly popular sport in the United States since being introduced to the country in 1893. It tends to be more popular within regions that offer colder climates. However, interest towards the sport has grown in recent years thanks to improved coverage and more extensive television deals. Games are fantastic to watch, filled with high-speed play, impressive technique and, on occasion, confrontations between players.