The Sports Fan’s Guide to NYC
Every city comes with its own sports history and loyal fans, and New York City is no exception with baseball greats like Babe Ruth, Yogi Berra, and Jackie Robinson, basketball stars like Patrick Ewing, and Olympians in events ranging from gymnastics to boxing. Whether you love them or you hate them, you have to appreciate the history that surrounds New York City teams. Next time you visit the Big Apple, take some time to experience a game or two and take advantage of the plethora of opportunities to stay active while there. You may even pick up a hobby or two. Rock climbing, anyone?
1. Yankee Stadium
Not only is this stadium home to one of America’s most well known baseball teams, but its Monument Park is a must see for any baseball lover. The open-air museum features the retired numbers of greats like Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, and Jackie Robinson, as well as plaques honoring the players.
2. Madison Square Garden
While many enjoy concerts and shows at this multipurpose arena, sports fans love Madison Square Garden for its role as host of many athletic events throughout the year. From hockey to basketball to boxing, it's likely that some sort of competition will be happening while you visit. If not, a tour can be just as fun. You’ll learn the secrets of the place while gaining access to the Knicks and Rangers locker rooms.
3. USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center
Tennis fans will recognize this center as the site where the likes of Roger Federer, Serena Williams, and Novak Djokovic held their US Open champion trophies high. Guests can take a behind-the-scenes tour or channel their inner Nadal and play on both the indoor and outdoor courts.
4. Citi Field
Head to Queens and watch the New York Mets attempt to defend their National League Champion title this summer. Tours are also available throughout the year with access to the field, dugout, and a stop at the Mets Hall of Fame Museum.
5. Chelsea Piers
Opened in 1995, this massive sports complex on the Hudson River offers activities ranging from gymnastics to bowling. The popular Golf Club is open year-round with simulators and a driving range that will leave you feeling like Arnold Palmer.
6. Aqueduct Racetrack
One of three major horse racing tracks in New York, the Aqueduct's Wood Memorial race is a Kentucky Derby trial, and typically takes place in April. But don’t worry if your horse loses, the property now has a gaming casino on-site as well.
7. NBA Store
At 25,000 square feet, the NBA’s new store on Fifth Avenue is much more than a place to stop for merchandise. Interactive screens throughout allow for fans to pit their favorite teams against each other and compare stats. Shoppers can also see how they compare to players’ height, shoe size, and even hand size. Who knows, you may even bump into your favorite player as the space hosts autograph and book signings during the year.
8. John T. Brush Stairway
This famous set of stairs served as a passageway for fans to the city’s Polo Grounds in Harlem until the stadium was demolished in 1964. Now, after a restoration project, the flight is brand new. The view today isn’t much of anything, but, imagine what it was like back in the 20s when all you could see was the old baseball stadium and all you could hear was the roar of the crowd.
9. Brooklyn Bridge Park
As you stoll through Brooklyn Bridge Park, pair the panoramic views of lower Manahattan with a pick-up volleyball, bocce, or basketball game.
Nike’s five-level store is a must on any athletes list. With tons of new gear and gadgets, you’ll be sure to leave with a souvenir or two. If shopping's not your scene, there’s always the basketball court on the upper level to keep you occupied.
11. Jackie Robinson’s Brooklyn Home
Have you ever wondered where some of the legendary baseball players lived? To see Jackie Robinson’s home, you’ll just need to make a trip over to Brooklyn. Robinson resided in this house at 5224 Tilden Ave. from 1947 to 1949, and locals have been pushing for it to be marked as a landmark for years. It has yet to receive that title, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go take a look.
12. Brooklyn Boulders
Rainy days don’t have to mean staying cooped up in the hotel room. Instead, visit this climbing gym! You’ll find 22,000 square feet of climbing surface as well as a dedicated local climbing community there to welcome you.
Like many cities around the U.S., New York has a bike-share program for those willing to brave the streets. Hopping on a bike is a great way to see the city, and if you’re not confident navigating the streets on your own, there are plenty of touring companies like Bike the Big Apple or Central Park Bike Tours to help guide you.
Owned by actress Susan Sarandon, this “ping-pong social club” is the perfect place to hang with your friends both during the day and at night. Challenge companions to a game at one of the 17 ping-pong courts or grab a drink at the bar. If you want to get really fancy, there’s even a private VIP room.
15. Pier 62 Skatepark
Grab your skates and shred the gnar at Hudson River Park’s skate park. Features include a 5-foot spine, 4-foot quarter, 24-foot ledge, 18-foot Ollie ledge, and much more.
16. Manhattan Kayak
Some of the best views of Manhattan are from the water, but why take one of the crowded ferries? Instead, rent a paddleboard or kayak and paddle your way around the city. You'll find yourself veturing from the Statue of Liberty all the way to Coney Island.
17. NHL Store by Reebok
Depending on the month of your visit, you may be lucky enough to experience a Stanley Cup appearance at this midtown store. Regardless, hockey fans from all over the world will enjoy the merchandise as well as the world’s largest composite stick sculpture. On weekdays, you can hear “NHL Live” and “NHL Hour with Commissioner Gary Bettman" broadcasted nationally from studios in the store.