Sports aren’t necessarily mandatory in most travel destinations around the world. In London, however, they just about are. There are just so many occasions to enjoy so many sports that they ultimately transcend athletics and become part of the fabric of the city. As such, it’s just a shame to spend time in the city without attempting to see a live contest or two.
Scheduling naturally comes into play when you’re looking into these specific types of occasions during a trip. Given that, however, some of the sporting occasions you ought to aim for in London - the ones you really can’t miss if you spend time in the city - are as follows.
North London Derby
Great football is basically happening constantly in London. Several prominent Premier League clubs call the capital home, the national team often plays in town, and even events like the FA Cup Final are held annually there.
The New Tottenham Stadium
The real prize among all the football occasions may just be the North London Derby though. This is the meeting between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal FC, two rival clubs that play twice a year in the English Premier League. It hasn’t been quite up to par of late because Tottenham is still waiting on a new stadium and thus doesn’t have a traditional home ground. Most of the time though, these matches are extraordinarily entertaining and bring out a great deal of passion among supporters.
The Boat Race
This is another rivalry event, though one that briefly halts a lot of London activity as people head outside to enjoy the day and line the sides of the River Thames. This happens because The Boat Race is a rowing competition in which Oxford and Cambridge students take each other on. The men’s teams have been racing for well over 100 years, meaning there’s incredible tradition behind the occasion, and the modern race includes the universities’ women’s teams as well.
London Series 19
This is a unique event for 2019, but should be one of the biggest sporting draws in recent memories.
London Series 19
The London Series will bring two of America’s best Major League Baseball teams to London for a two-game set, to be played at the Olympic Stadium. Those teams are the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, who share a rivalry as bitter and intense as any in European football, which tends to make their games dramatic more often than not. Unfortunately, tickets are already looking very expensive, but the resale market could offer some opportunities as the event draws closer.
English Tests At Lord’s
If you’re not from the UK or a country that appreciates cricket, you might almost forget that it’s a popular sport among English fans and athletes. Played throughout the summer season, it’s arguably the country’s third favorite sport after football and rugby. There are multiple venues for it, but Lord’s is a massive, internationally renowned cricket ground, and thus the place to go for a great experience. The local club that uses the stadium is he Middlesex County Cricket Club, but there are other exhibitions at Lord’s as well.
Wimbledon is played on the All England Club’s grass courts in London, which are some of the most famous sports grounds not just in tennis, but in any sport in the world.
It’s an incredibly prestigious tournament that tends to bring the very best play out of the very best players in the world. And the venue itself is unmatched in its class, history, and sense of importance. The world is full of great tennis tournaments and even beautiful stadiums, but there simply isn’t another occasion like Wimbledon. It may ultimately be London’s most special sporting experience.
Like London Series 19 mentioned above, the NFL’s London series brings American professional sports to London. However, in this case it’s an annual series of games. The specifics change year in and year out, but for some time now the NFL has been sending American football teams to Wembley Stadium in London for a few regular season games here and there. The thinking is that this is meant to test out the London market for a potential home team one day, but for now it’s something for American football fans in London to look forward to just a few weeks a year.