What Is Sports Tourism?

Ever thought about watching your beloved sports team in action in an incredible new city?

If you’re a sports lover seeking thrilling experiences and that adrenaline rush in spectacular locations worldwide, sports tourism is perfect for you. 

Get ready to discover everything required to plan an unforgettable sports travel adventure. 

This guide will help you turn your sports travel fantasies into reality, whether witnessing a championship match in a top-notch stadium, participating in unique sporting events at exotic destinations, or cheering for your team on their away games. 

So gear up to back your team, explore newfound passions, and create cherished memories. Your ultimate sports vacation countdown begins now!

What Is Sports Tourism?

So, what exactly is sports tourism? Sports tourism, as the name suggests, is a niche segment of tourism that refers to people traveling to participate in, view, or revel in the euphoria of a sports event.

This increasingly popular form of tourism comes in various shades and each one has its unique charm and appeal.

  1. Active Sports Tourism: This is for the adrenaline junkies and the competitive spirits, those who travel to participate in sports competitions or events. It could be a marathon in New York, a surfing championship in Australia, or a ski trip in the Swiss Alps. For these individuals, sports aren’t just a pastime; they’re a core part of the travel experience.
  2. Event Sports Tourism: Imagine the roar of the crowd in a packed stadium, the suspense of a penalty shoot-out, the collective gasp as a gymnast nails a difficult landing. Event sports tourists travel to watch these live sporting events. They might be heading to Tokyo for the Olympics, Russia for the FIFA World Cup, or Wimbledon for the lawn tennis championships. It’s about being a part of the grand spectacle, the contagious excitement, and the shared passion of thousands of fans.
  3. Nostalgia Sports Tourism: This category includes visits to sports museums, halls of fame, or historic sports venues. It caters to the sports history enthusiasts, those who want to walk the same grounds their sports heroes once did, learn about the evolution of their favorite sport, or just take in the legacy of iconic sports establishments.
  4. Luxury Sports Tourism: This form of tourism involves indulging in luxury sports experiences, such as golfing at exclusive resorts, enjoying high-end hunting or fishing expeditions, or taking part in yachting events. It’s about blending the love for sports with the desire for opulent experiences.
  5. Adventure Sports Tourism: This type is all about thrill-seekers venturing out to enjoy extreme or adventure sports like skydiving in New Zealand, white-water rafting in the Grand Canyon, or rock climbing in Thailand. The destinations are often as breathtaking as the sports are thrilling.
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As a sports fan, you may travel to attend major events like:

Also, you may follow your favorite sports team to away games. 

Some people even plan vacations around big events, extending their trip to take in the host city’s culture and sightsee.

As an athlete, sports tourism may involve:

  • Competing in a destination race like the Boston Marathon or Hawaii Ironman
  • Attending a sports training camp or clinic
  • Participating in an adventure sport in an exotic location, such as skiing the Swiss Alps or scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef

The sports tourism industry has boomed in recent decades. 

Cities and countries vie to host major events, knowing the tourism dollars they can generate. 

Some destinations market themselves as hubs for certain sports or recreation. Adventure and wellness travel companies offer guided sports tourism getaways.

Sports tourism appeals to many and benefits both travelers and destinations. 

By understanding all it encompasses, you can discover ways to get into the game. 

Whether you’re a fan or athlete, sports tourism allows you to combine a passion for sports with the thrill of travel.

Some of the most popular sports tourism destinations are right at your fingertips. 

Whether you’re a fan of football, golf, skiing, or something else, there’s a spot for you.

Barcelona, Spain

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Renowned for its passion for football, Barcelona attracts millions of enthusiasts who flock to the Camp Nou Stadium to catch exhilarating La Liga matches. 

As a top sports tourism hotspot, witnessing Barcelona in action is a must-have experience for fans. 

To delve deeper into your favorite football teams’ history, explore the city’s sports museums. 

For die-hard football lovers, Barcelona is a dream come true. Beyond football, locals also enjoy tennis, athletics, hockey, and equestrian events as well. 

Numerous sports bars throughout the city fuel this fervor – gather your friends, grab a cold beverage, and take in a thrilling sports match screening.

London, England

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As one of the world’s most sophisticated sports destinations, London – the animated capital of England – serves as a dynamic athletic hub. 

In addition to being home to over ten elite football clubs like Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United, and Fulham, it also boasts the iconic Lords cricket stadium that any cricket aficionado would relish visiting.

Delving into equestrian history reveals horse racing as a beloved pastime among fashionable Londoners.

Tokyo, Japan

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Tokyo’s vast metropolis celebrates an unparalleled cultural wealth that thrills every sports enthusiast. 

Bursting with athletic energy from football and baseball to numerous other disciplines, Tokyo keeps fans captivated. 

While many associate baseball with America, the Japanese arguably embrace it even more passionately. 

Traditional sports like sumo wrestling and martial arts offer unique experiences that can be both observed and participated in throughout the city.

New York, USA

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In New York City, American football is an uncontrollable obsession in every college, university, and urban area. 

A visit during the annual Super Bowl – the National Football League championship – lets fans immerse themselves in an electrifying experience. 

Catering to diverse preferences makes New York City one of the most versatile destinations for sports tourism aficionados.

How to Plan a Sports Tourism Trip

Now that you’re excited to take a sports tourism trip, it’s time to start planning the details. 

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The following advice aims to assist you in getting things started: 

  1. Choose your destination

Where there’s a major sports team, there’s an opportunity for sports tourism. Consider destinations like:

  • Green Bay for Packers football
  • Louisville for Kentucky Derby horse racing
  • Bristol, Tennessee, for NASCAR races

Select a location featuring a sport you’re passionate about for the ultimate experience.

2. Book tickets in advance

Especially for major events, get your tickets early to ensure you get a seat. 

Many venues release tickets 6-12 months ahead of time. 

Check the team or event’s official website regularly for the on-sale date.

3. Find lodging close by

Look for hotels within walking distance or short rideshare away from the stadium or event venue. 

Not only will you avoid traffic and parking fees, but you’ll also be surrounded by other sports fans to bond with. 

Some hotels even offer shuttle service to and from games and events.

4. Plan some extras

While the sporting event may be your primary motivation for the trip, take time to enjoy other attractions in the city, like museums, restaurants, amusement parks, or tours. When you need a break from the action, these extras will round out your sports tourism adventure.

A successful sports tourism trip requires balancing watching your favorite sport and experiencing all a destination has to offer. 

With some planning, you’ll be cheering for your team in no time! Let the games begin!

Tips for Attending Major Sporting Events

Attending a major sporting event is an exhilarating experience that requires careful planning.

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In this section, we’ll guide you through the essential considerations, ensuring your sports tourism adventure is smooth, enjoyable, and memorable.

Let’s dive into the action-packed world of sports!

Buy tickets in advance

Purchase your tickets early if you plan to attend a major sporting event. 

Big games frequently have fast ticket sales, especially if the matchup is keenly anticipated. 

Waiting until the last minute risks getting stuck with subpar seats or even missing out altogether. 

Many teams and leagues offer ticket pre-sales for season ticket holders and fan club members. 

Join the team’s fan club to get access to the pre-sale and first dibs on great seats.

Arrive early

Aim to arrive at the location a few hours or more before the start of the game. This is due to a few factors:

  • On game days, parking and traffic can be a headache. Give yourself plenty of buffer time so you’re not rushed getting into the stadium.
  • There are often pre-game festivities and entertainment starting hours before the actual event. Soak up the atmosphere and excitement by arriving early.
  • You’ll have time to explore the stadium, find your seats, get food and drinks, and settle in before the action starts. Nothing’s worse than scrambling to your seat as the national anthem is playing!

What to bring

Pack smart for a fun day at the stadium:

  • Team gear like hats, shirts, and signs to show your spirit. But be mindful of bag policies limiting what you can bring in.
  • Cash for food, drinks, and souvenirs. While many stadiums now accept cards, cash is faster, and you won’t risk tech issues preventing a transaction.
  • A portable phone charger in case your battery drains from photos and videos.
  • Binoculars to get a close-up view of the action.
  • Comfort items like hand warmers, seat pads, blankets, sunscreen, and rain ponchos. Keep yourself ready for any scenario because the weather might be unpredictable.
  • Your game face and loudest cheering voice! Make some noise to support your team.

Following these tips will help ensure you have an unforgettable experience at the big game. Now get ready to cheer your heart out!

Different types of sports tourism

Let’s explore the diverse world of sports tourism.

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From adrenaline-packed adventures to leisurely golf vacations, we’ll take you through the various ways people combine their passion for sports with the thrill of travel.

Get ready to discover your next sporting destination!

Sports Events Tourism

Attending major sports events is a popular type of sports tourism. 

Consider the World Series, Wimbledon, the Super Bowl, the World Cup, and the Olympics. 

Sports fans will travel great distances to witness these legendary moments in person. 

As a sports events tourist, you get to soak in the atmosphere, cheer on your team or country, and be part of history in the making.

Sports Participant Tourism

If you prefer to play rather than watch, sports participant tourism may be for you. This includes things like:

  • Golf tourism – Traveling to renowned golf destinations to play on world-class courses. Think St. Andrews in Scotland, Pinehurst in North Carolina, or Pebble Beach in California.
  • Cycling tourism – Cycle through stunning scenery in places like Tuscany, the French countryside, or New Zealand’s wine country.
  • Surf tourism – Ride the waves in Hawaii, Costa Rica, Portugal, or Australia’s Gold Coast.
  • Adventure sports – Go whitewater rafting in New Zealand, rock climbing in Yosemite, mountain biking in British Columbia, or skiing in the Swiss Alps.

The opportunities for sports participant tourism are endless. 

All you need is a sense of adventure and the motivation to get out there and do it! 

These active getaways will get your blood pumping in beautiful destinations around the globe.

Sports Fantasy Camps and Clinics

For sports fans who want an inside look at their favorite sport, fantasy camps, and clinics provide access to sports facilities and coaching from former professional athletes. 

You can attend a baseball fantasy camp at spring training with MLB greats, go to a tennis clinic at Wimbledon hosted by former champions, or learn football skills from NFL Hall of Famer at a fantasy football camp. 

These ultimate sports experiences allow fans to live out their dreams and gain valuable insight into the sports they love.


What kinds of sports tourism activities are there?

There are many types of sports tourism activities to experience. Some of the most popular include:
●       Attending prominent sporting events like the Olympics, World Cup, or Super Bowl
●       Taking sports tours where you visit iconic sports venues and stadiums
●       Trying adventure sports in destinations known for activities like skiing, surfing, or climbing
●       Participating in sports camps or clinics to improve your skills
●       Competing in amateur sporting competitions or events
●       Simply being an avid spectator of a local sports team

How much does sports tourism cost?

The cost of sports tourism can vary greatly depending on the activity. 
Some things are budget-friendly, like catching a local ballgame. In contrast, others, like attending the World Cup or an adventure sports tour, can cost thousands. 
The more unique or exclusive the experience, the higher the price tag. 
But with some flexibility in your schedule and destination, you can find affordable sports tourism adventures.

Do I need any special skills?

For most sports tourism activities, you don’t need any special skills or training. 
Being a sports enthusiast is enough to attend events, tours and be a spectator. 
However, if you want to participate in sports camps, competitions, or adventure activities, you’ll typically need a basic fitness level and familiarity with the sport. 
Some may require equipment, proper attire, and in some cases, certifications or permits. 
It’s best to check with the event or tour organizer about any skills, experience, or gear needed.


So there you go, all the essentials you require to dive into the world of sports tourism. 

It’s time to step out and feel the excitement of the game from a fresh perspective. 

Join fellow die-hard fans in cheering for your beloved team, visit legendary stadiums and arenas, and trace the footsteps of sporting heroes on iconic baseball fields. 

Sports tourism allows you to bond more profoundly with the sports that captivate your heart. 

You’ll return with incredible tales to recount for years and cherished memories that will never fade. 

What’s stopping you? An entire universe of sports is out there, eager for your exploration. 

Start planning your next athletic escapade – because you’ve earned it!

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