I’ve attended the Olympics, played catch on the Field of Dreams in Iowa, watched a game at two-thirds of Major League Baseball ballparks, attended a Premier League match in London and jumped around with 80,000 Wisconites at a University of Wisconsin football game. I love sports travel, and I know many others do, too.
Sports travel has driven many of my decisions through the years, even when it wasn’t my intention. As a high school and college athlete, I often traveled regionally for competition. I was fortunate to have a college coach who wanted to give my European teammates a true American experience. I attended the University of Memphis, and I recall one year returning home from a cross-country meet at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. Instead of taking the fastest route home along the interstate, our coach detoured onto the back roads so we could see the countryside. I was irritated at the time; I wanted to get home for that night’s football game. But looking back I now appreciate the opportunity to get off the beaten path, an opportunity provided by sports travel.
Below you’ll find some of my favorite travel destinations.
The alarm clock wakes me from a deep slumber, one that was induced by a long day and night in the summer heat. Only I begin to realize this alarm isn’t a clock but the curtains on our massive hotel room window being thrown open to let in the light reflecting up from the Mississippi River below. “Dad! Wake up! It’s time to order room service and play soccer hockey!” This “wake-up call” is from an 8-year-old boy imploring me to get going on this final day of our three-day father-son St. Louis baseball weekend. Continue reading →
I recently read a stat that the average age of viewers of the Major League Baseball World Series was 53. As a 38-year-old baseball fan, I’m not sure what that says about me, but as I sit and watch baseball on opening day I can’t help but get excited about the opportunity to travel for some baseball this summer. To me, baseball opening day signals summer travel season is upon us, even though it’s technically still a couple of months away.
Let’s cut right to the chase. This isn’t a post detailing all the fun ways to experience Nashville with children. It probably should be titled “How NOT to Spend One Day in Nashville With Children.” My 8-year-old son is a typical kid, but he also has a lot of things in common with men three times his age. He is OK sitting in bars, he loves attending sporting events and he demands a table in a restaurant closer to the televised basketball game. If you’re visiting Nashville with children, consider learning a few lessons of how best to map out your own trip.
What’s a better travel experience for a sports-obsessed fan than a visit to baseball spring training? I’ve traveled for the four major professional sports leagues in North America, not to mention college football and basketball, the Olympics and Premier League soccer. But there is just something about baseball travel that gets me excited.
Attending a Premier League game at Tottenham’s White Hart Lane in London stands out as one of my greatest sports travel experiences. Yes, I’m a fan of Spurs, so being able to attend a game at their home pitch stands out. But more than that, attending a Premier League game for the first time opened my eyes to the beauty of football in its birth nation. And as the 2013-2014 season just concluded Sunday, I find myself reflecting on our experience of attending a Premier League game. Continue reading →