6 Live Sporting Events That Should Be On Every Fan’s Bucket List
Over the last few years, television stations have revolutionized the way live sporting events can be seen from the confines of one’s own home. Whether its football stats streaming on the bottom of the screen or the endless angles captured by a slew of broadcast cameras, watching the game from your couch is almost the perfect viewing experience. Almost.
Check out our list of the six live sporting events that every sports fan must experience in person. Let’s go!
Monaco Grand Prix
Our first must-see live event is the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix, which takes place on the streets of the principality of Monaco. The track has plenty of elevation changes, tight corners and even a blind turn which makes it one of the most difficult races for drivers to navigate on the Formula One circuit. The race is one of the most prestigious motorsports events in the world and it draws tourists from all over the globe. Monaco itself has long been known as a playground for the wealthy, and the fact that the race is held in such a picturesque location adds to its pageantry and mystique. Particularly wealthy individuals park their boats in the harbor to watch the race, and others line balconies around Monaco in order to catch a birds-eye glimpse.
The Iron Bowl
This college football game is played each season between bitter geographical rivals Auburn University and the University of Alabama. Auburn and Alabama are two schools with top-notch name recognition, and they are among two of the most prestigious football teams in the SEC. This rivalry began back in February of 1893, and the two sides have played each other 81 times – Alabama leads the all-time series 45-35-1.
What makes this game so special is that it normally occurs around Thanksgiving. Since the game takes place late in the year, it has the opportunity to make or break either team’s season so there is usually plenty riding on the outcome. The atmosphere surrounding the game is electric from the pregame tailgating all the way until the final whistle is blown. Given the fact that college football is king in the South, it’s no surprise that this event made this list.
Der Klassiker – Borussia Dortmund vs. Bayern Munich
Excellence breeds rivalries, and that’s exactly what happened between German soccer teams Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich. This rivalry was formed in the early-to-mid 1990s when Dortmund transformed from a mid-table dweller to a team that won back-to-back league titles. Dortmund’s ascent to the upper echelon of German soccer didn’t sit well with Bayern, who went out and bought a number of players in order to knock off the back-to-back champions.
The intensity of the games between the two sides became increasingly higher which led to a Dortmund player slapping Lothar Matthäus and Bayern keeper Oliver Kahn kung-fu kicking one Dortmund player before biting another in the ear. The two sides met in the Champions League Final back in 2013, which ratcheted the rivalry up another notch as Bayern won 2-1. The game-day atmosphere at Dortmund’s Westfalenstadion during these rivalry matches is absolutely breathtaking as over 24,000 Dortmund faithful stand in the Südtribüne and form the Yellow Wall.
Everybody knows two things about the Kentucky Derby: funny-looking hats and Mint Juleps. Each year the Triple Crown of horse racing kicks off from Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY where over 170,000 people cram in to watch the fastest two minutes in sports. Things can get particularly rowdy down in the track’s notorious infield but if you actually care about watching the race you should probably find a spot elsewhere. In addition to it being an excuse to dress up in your spiffiest outfit, the Kentucky Derby is a family-friend sport definitely worth experiencing live.
Duke vs. UNC at Cameron Indoor Stadium
Duke and the University of North Carolina undoubtedly share the fiercest rivalry in all of college basketball. The Blue Devils and Tar Heels have played each other twice a year since 1920, and with just 10 miles separating the two schools, matchups are almost always hotly contested. Seeing this game at Duke’s Cameron Indoor Arena was a no-brainer addition to our list because of the unique atmosphere at the game. Duke’s students, who are dubbed the “Cameron Crazies,” go above and beyond the realm of normal to distract opposing players.
Duke students have been known to camp out for up to two months before a UNC game in order to secure their tickets in the student section. The cheering inside Cameron Indoor is insanely loud as fans have routinely cheered at a volume that has surpassed 120 Decibels, which is about as loud as a clap of thunder or a chain saw revving at close range. This game isn’t for the faint of heart but it’s a college basketball experience unlike any other.
USA vs Mexico Soccer at Estadio Azteca
Last but certainly not least is seeing a USA vs Mexico game at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. The United States and Mexico share a bitter rivalry as close geographical neighbors and it’s mainly built on the two squads being perennial powerhouses that are looking to assert their dominance by beating the other. Estadio Azteca cultivates an environment unseen in American soccer, and the crowd can get so intense that traveling United States fans are surrounded by security guards at all times. With 87,000 people in attendance, cheering can get deafening when Mexico scores but there’s nothing quite like hearing a pocket of away fans celebrate when the United States puts a goal on the board. The total experience of a U.S. game in Azteca is unrivaled in North American soccer, and that’s why it made it onto our list.
(Image courtesy Bill Brine via Flickr.)