Americans are notorious for their sports and baseball is no exception. It symbolises the height of summer, grilling out at a tailgate party and maybe even catching a ball in the crowd.You should certainly try to squeeze a game into your schedule and head to the ‘old ball park’ and take in ‘America’s Favorite Pastime’, baseball. While you are in the US for summer camp, baseball season will be in full swing meaning that it will be easy to try and catch a game.
As with most sports there are many different levels to Baseball so you may recognise some of the top names of Major League Baseball (MLB) such as the ‘Boston Red Sox’ or the ‘New York Yankees’, but there are also some other teams that compete at an up and coming level of ‘Minor League Baseball (MiLB) that can be just as exciting.
Whatever state you are in you shouldn’t be too far away from catching a game. The larger MLB games can sometimes be difficult to get tickets for so take a look a look at some of the minor league games going on. These will usually be cheaper to go to with more availability and often do ‘family fun days’ that can provide a lot of entertainment!
So whether you’re in Boston visiting the historic Fenway Park or in the Bronx watching the world famous New York Yankees, grab a hot dog, some hot peanuts and settle down for some baseball fun – and don’t worry, you don’t have to understand the game to enjoy the experience!
American Football is rapidly becoming more popular in the UK and you may have heard (or even been to) a game hosted at Wembley in the last few years. Regardless of your ‘football’ knowledge, catching a game in the US is an ultimate cultural experience that you can’t afford to miss.
The National Football League (NFL) season kicks off in late August and you can often pick up some pre-season game tickets at a reasonable price. You will be amazed at just how into the game that American football fans can get and how an entire state can get behind their team and travel for hours to go to the ground and sometimes not even go inside the stadium to see the game! Tailgating is just as much of the experience as watching the football so watching the entertainment outside, the people in costumes and grilling out in the parking lot will be one to tell everyone about!
So whether you are a ‘Cheese Head’ pulling for the Green Bay Packers, getting lost in the ‘Black Hole’ as part of Oakland’s Raider nation or the ‘12th Man’ making the difference for the Seahawks in Seattle, get yourself to a game and see what all the hype is about.
The summer months don’t usually cater to sports like Basketball or Ice Hockey as these normally start later in the year and can run through the early summer months as part of the playoffs. Basketball will typically end in April and start again in October and Ice Hockey will start in October and run through the regular season until April with the coveted Stanley Cup playoffs running until mid June. Don’t fear though, even if you aren’t able to catch a game there is plenty of chance to visit the stadiums and take in a tour, visit the locker rooms, check out the silverware and walk out on to the playing surface.
Some of the stadiums that host major sporting events in America can make our biggest stadiums in the UK look like having a game in your local park. America hosts some of the largest stadiums in the world and these are most commonly found at a University. The most notable is Michigan Stadium that can hold over 109,000 people (Note: Wembley stadium holds 90,000 in comparison); Even if attending a sporting event is not feasible (or even just not your cup of tea) getting yourself to a stadium to take a look around can be a great way to sample some American sporting culture. Take a look either in your local area of camp or when you are travelling and get yourself across to see what all the fuss is about!
With all the sports mentioned above there are a lot of different levels that you can go to and gain the experience of the game. If you are travelling on a budget or aren’t able to fit the ‘New York Yankees’ baseball game or ‘Dallas Cowboys’ football game into your schedule, speak to some of the people at your camp and see if they can recommend another game to go to. Some of the smaller leagues can provide just as much (and sometimes even more!) of an experience. Another great alternative is to look at College games or even if you have a friend that has some younger siblings that are playing in a high school football or softball game – seeing the support of the students and their families for their sporting events is unlike what we see here every day. Also, seeing a high school marching band at half time makes you want to pick up a trumpet and start rediscovering your musical roots.