The US is known across the globe for its famous sporting occasions and the popular American sports that have been adopted worldwide.
In the US, you will find some of the best stadiums, atmospheres and fan experiences the world has to offer.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss some of the best US sporting events to attend when you are there.
We’ll even outline how you can get there with Visa First!
What are the main sports played in the US?
Unsurprisingly, American Football is the pinnacle of popular American sports. It is also one of the most viewed sports in the world – over 400 million people tune in to watch it each year!
The pinnacle of the American Football year is the Super Bowl – more on that shortly!
Baseball and Basketball are immensely popular too, with the MLB (Major League Baseball) and the NBA (National Basketball Association) the third and second most popular sports in the US respectively.
Soccer is the most popular sport around the globe – but it is only the 4th most popular sport in the US. However, it has enjoyed a meteoric rise in popularity over the past decade, and the MLS is beginning to attract big-name players along with larger and larger audiences.
Super Bowl – American Football
The global rise in popularity of the Super Bowl has become astronomic – so much so that now over 200 countries televise the big event every year. It’s also one of the largest sporting events in the US.
The Super Bowl is the annual playoff championship game of the NFL (National Football League). Super Bowl LVI was held in February 2022, with the Los Angeles Rams defeating the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20.
However, what’s nearly as big as the event itself are the advertisements, half-time shows, and events across the country in the weeks leading up to the big day. Tickets to this are Goldust, but if you manage to get a ticket you will not be let down.
Held with similar prestige is the NFL opening night, which hosts pre-game concerts and ceremonies.
Better yet, the Super Bowl is generally held in warm-weather areas, 11 of the past 51 have been held in Miami!
While it is one of the most-watched sporting events in the US, here’s a fun fact: nearly 8 million pounds of guacamole is eaten on Super Bowl Sunday in the US!
However, while the levels of anticipation and excitement may not be the same, attending regular NFL games can be just as rewarding.
After all, tailgate parties that tend to happen around NFL games can be a great way to meet people and take in the culture of the city you are in.
March Madness – Basketball
Brent Musburger, a television broadcaster, inadvertently coined the phrase “March Madness” for the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament, when he uttered it in a broadcast in 1982.
Sixty-eight of the best college teams from across the country compete, which eventually culminates in the “Final Four”, i.e when merely four teams remain, who face off in order to play in the national championship game.
A major part of the ‘madness’ is the March Madness Bracket – This is essentially a game where fans make their predictions of how they believe the tournament will pan out. If you manage to guess it correctly, you will win $1m!
However, be warned – no one has EVER predicted the March Madness Bracket with 100% accuracy, such is the randomness of some of the results.
Fancy yourself to be the first one?
Daytona 500 – NASCAR Racing
If you’re more into the all-out exhilaration of car racing rather than field games, then this event is for you.
Operating out of Daytona Beach, Florida since 1959, Daytona 500 is the most-watched auto race in the United States. Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500 attract huge attendees and international viewership, although Daytona is often seen as the better event to attend live.
Held in the middle of February each year, where better for a mid-winter getaway?
The Masters – Golf
The Masters is held in great prestige amongst golf fans. It is considered the best golf event that one can attend.
If you are passionate about golf, this should be right at the top of your bucket list.
Admittedly, even watching the tournament on television is quite a thrill. However, attending the event in person is always better!
Held in the absolutely stunning grounds of the Augusta National Golf Club, you get a real feeling of the course that doesn’t translate through a television screen.
As well as this, the tensions that build up during the week that are released when the winner eventually grasps their title is unbeatable.
The US Open – Tennis
This tennis tournament is seen as one of the four ‘Majors’ on the tennis calendar. Along with Wimbledon, the French Open, and the Australian Open, this tournament is the most sought-after and viewed across the world.
One of the reasons the US Open is so special is that it is the last grand slam on the calendar, so players pour their hearts into the event knowing they can have a well-earned rest after.
It takes place in Flushing Meadows, New York, so while on your downtime you can visit places like Manhattan, Liberty Island, and Central Park! After all, there are few cities more exciting than New York – there’s something there for everyone!
The combination of what New York has to offer in entertainment, dining, and shopping along with the exhilarating tennis at the US Open is what makes this a true once-in-a-lifetime experience.
MMA events in Las Vegas
Las Vegas is one of the most popular tourist cities in the US. What better way to complete a trip to the Gambling Capital of the World than attending an MMA event?
Most of the events are held in locations on The Strip, such as the MGM Grand Garden Arena and the T-Mobile Arena.
People travel all over the world for these events, and the atmosphere inside when there is a pair of rivals going toe-to-toe is unmatched, creating one of the best sport events in the world!
Baseball matches across the US
Baseball is another of the most popular American sports.
From the Dodger Stadium to Fenway Park, the US has some amazing baseball stadiums. Fenway Park and the Globe Life Field are the oldest and newest stadiums in MLB, created in 1912 and 2020 respectively.
If you are in San Francisco, a trip to Oracle Park is a must. This iconic location is home to San Francisco Giants and is located right on the seafront.
From the food and drink to the stadium layout, Wrigley Field (home of the Chicago Cubs) will provide you with the quintessential MLB stadium experience.
Do I need a visa to get to the US?
If you are a non-US citizen, you will need a US visa or an ESTA – Electronic System for Travel Authorization – in order to visit the US.
Now is the perfect chance to travel to see major sporting events in 2022!
After all, your ESTA will be valid for up to 90 days maximum for each trip you make to the US. The validity of the ESTA is for multiple trips for up to two years or until your passport expires, whichever is first. An ESTA application is cheaper than a regular US visa application. You can easily apply online with Visa First today!
You can always apply for an ESTA by yourself. However, many people are daunted by completing the visa forms alone. That’s where Visa First can help you out! We’ll take care of all the boring paperwork so you don’t have to deal with it.