New York City is one of the most iconic worldwide destinations for many reasons. Sport has historically been one of its main attractions, stretching back to the horse racing boom in the 1920s.
Nowadays, iconic venues such as Madison Square Garden host countless sporting events. NYC residents can watch the Knicks and Rangers week in, week out, enjoying the crème-de-la-crème of ice hockey and basketball entertainment.
It’s one thing watching these fixtures on the television, but another entirely to experience these games in the flesh. Venues such as MSG are particularly appealing to sportsbook fans keen to experience the thrill of placing wagers on teams like the Rangers while watching them in real life.
Modern-day NFL betting sites have countless options available, so blending the sportsbook experience with New York’s best venues is easy. Horse racing betting was big business in the 1920s, and the Empire City continues to captivate fans in various ways.
Nevertheless, betting is by no means an essential part of New York City’s sporting culture. Stay with us for a few of the best places to visit when you’re in town!
Madison Square Garden
NYC’s nickname, The Big Apple, was born out of its sporting pedigree. Racetracks like Aqueduct and Belmont were the principal world-famous locations back in the 1920s. Nowadays, Madison Square Garden is the definitive New York sporting hotspot.
Home to the New York Knicks and New York Rangers, the Manhattan venue is one of the world’s most iconic. Commonly shortened to MSG, visitors can catch anything from heavyweight boxing to professional wrestling and basketball.
Don’t worry if you can’t make any actual sporting fixtures at Madison Square Garden, as the venue also runs tours during the day. MSG does stage some 320 events a year, though, so there are more than enough opportunities to watch real sports.
The stadium underwent a $1bn renovation from 2011 to 2013, significantly improving its facilities across the board. It’s now arguably the world’s most advanced sporting arena – an absolute must-see if you’re in NYC!
Located in the Bronx, NYC’s Yankee Stadium is the third-largest MLB venue by seating capacity. It’s probably baseball’s most iconic stadium, especially considering the worldwide reach and popularity of the Yankees brand.
The original Yankee Stadium was often called “The Cathedral of Baseball” and staged arguably the greatest championship game in NFL history, between the Baltimore Colts and the New York Giants.
The replacement stadium, costing almost two and a half billion dollars, was opened in 2009. It continues the legacy of the original Yankees stadium, with world-leading facilities and an impressive architectural design.
Purchasing New York Yankees tickets isn’t particularly difficult, so New York visitors won’t have much trouble experiencing the Yankee Stadium in all its glory. Consider going to weekday games for a reduced price and better seats!
Citi Field is an iconic ballpark situated in Queens. Home of the New York Mets, it opened in 2009 as part of the new stadium agreement responsible for Yankee Stadium. Designed by Populous, leaders in global architecture, it is one of MLB’s most advanced ballparks.
Visitors enjoy fantastic local amenities, including several restaurants and convenient transport links. Citi Field can hold almost 42,000 fans and attendance is generally quite high.
Although the Mets are generally considered NYC’s second baseball team, you shouldn’t miss out on this ballpark. Tickets are widely available in advance, and you can generally buy them on match day.
National Sports Museum
The abundance of legendary sporting arenas in New York can easily distract from other important sporting destinations. The National Sports Museum, one of the world’s most comprehensive sporting museums, is a perfect example.
In their own words: “National Sports Museum celebrates sports’ profound impact on our national identity and pays tribute to socially conscious athletes who use their platform as leaders to effect meaningful change”.
There are few better places for learning the rich and culturally significant sporting history of NYC and the United States as a whole. It has been open for just over a decade, already a staple in the New York sports scene.
Brooklyn’s multi-purpose Barclays Center is currently home to the Brooklyn Nets and New York Liberty. While it’s predominantly associated nowadays with basketball, the venue also hosted ice hockey games with the New York Islanders from 2015 to 2020.
Opened in September 2012, it has since become an integral part of Brooklyn’s sporting image. Holding almost 18,000 spectators, the Barclays Center is one of the smaller major New York City venues.
The British banking group Barclays bought the naming rights in an extraordinary $400m deal in 2007. Visiting the venue is a must for basketball fans, although it also stages music concerts, wrestling matches and more.
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