select - Sporting Giants

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A love for sport is universal, and nothing beats seeing it live; here are some of the most thrilling places to attend a sporting event across the Americas.

 


Washington DC

Redskins marching band

The Washington Redskins, the American football team of the national capital, is regarded as one of the best in the National Football League and has three times won the Super Bowl, though not since 1992. Tickets are snapped up quickly for matches at FedEx Field, making it difficult to obtain individual tickets except through agents; the alternative is to follow Washington residents to a convivial local sports bar and watch games on TV. At other times, you can book one-hour tours of FedEx Field and get a glimpse into the press boxes, cheerleaders’ dance studio, locker rooms, and field. If you’re in the capital during August, make the trip out to Ashburn in Virginia, where fans go to watch team members at their training camp, as well as meet star players face to face.


WHERE
It’s a short walk from Morgan Boulevard Metro station to FedEx Field. If driving, take the Central Avenue exit from the I-495.


WHY
American football is an iconic sport, and this is your chance to see a match in the nation’s capital.


HOW TO GET THERE
Qatar Airways has daily flights from Doha to Washington DC.

 


New York City

Yankee Stadium (2007)

New Yorkers are baseball-mad and have two major-league teams and two new stadiums to prove it. The new billion-dollar Yankee Stadium is right across from the old one, while the Mets have now moved into Citi Field, where there is also a good interactive museum stuffed full of memorabilia from the famous team and its players. At either, you can get bleacher tickets for as little as US$15. The baseball season runs from April to September and, with numerous minor league teams such as the Brooklyn Cyclones and Staten Island Yankees as well, you can catch a baseball match almost every day. From Staten Island stadium there are views of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty. The nostalgic should aim for July’s Old Timers match, which reunites former baseball greats at Yankee Stadium.


WHERE
The subway goes directly to the major-league stadiums, or you can take Yankee Clipper cruises across the harbour to Yankee Stadium.


WHY
The chance to watch the Yankees in action: the greatest-ever baseball team has won 27 World Series.


HOW TO GET THERE
Qatar Airways has daily flights from Doha to New York.

 


Houston

Toyota Center

Basketball team the Houston Rockets – whose most famous player was Chinese superstar Yao Ming – plays at the downtown, multi-purpose Toyota Center. While on a tour, you can measure yourself against Rockets players and learn how music stars prepare themselves before appearing on stage. The one-hour tour also gives you an insight into how a major entertainment and sports complex operates.


WHERE
The Houston Rockets play at the Toyota Center on Polk Street in downtown Houston, just south of the convention centre and baseball park.


WHY
The Toyota Center not only hosts NBA basketball matches but ice hockey, music concerts, and other major events.


HOW TO GET THERE
Qatar Airways has daily flights from Doha to Houston.

 


Montreal

Centre Bell

Montreal is a city with impeccable ice-hockey credentials. The first organised game of modern ice hockey was played here in 1875, and the first official team, the McGill University Redmen, was founded in the city in 1880. Montreal also boasts the oldest club in the National Hockey League, the Montreal Canadiens; every match they play is sold out – all 21,273 seats in 45 minutes on one occasion in 2010. You can see teams face off against each other at the Centre Bell during the main season between October and April, with tickets going for as little as C$23. The action is fast, furious, and sometimes violent, and the noise levels when the beloved Canadiens score practically lifts the stadium roof off. The stadium is huge; bring your binoculars if you’re on the back seats.


WHERE
The Centre Bell is on Avenue des Canadiens-de-Montréal in downtown Montreal. The closest metro stations are Metro Lucien-L’Allier and Bonaventure.


WHY
The Canadiens are one of the most successful ice-hockey teams in history, with 24 Stanley Cups to their name.


HOW TO GET THERE
Qatar Airways has three flights a week from Doha to Montreal.

 


Buenos Aires

Club Atlético Boca Juniors

The February to November soccer season in Buenos Aires features matches every Sunday and, at other times of year, travelling South American teams also provide plenty of action on the field. Perhaps the ultimate Buenos Aires experience is a match at Boca Juniors Stadium, not just for the game itself, but the loud and lively street parties that inevitably erupt afterwards. The blue-and-gold colours of the team and raucous crowd-singing feature prominently. The stadium also has a museum devoted to the legendary history and exploits of the Boca Junior team, where Diego Maradona got his start. You can also tour the stadium and see inside the players’ locker room, tunnels, and field before buying memorabilia that bear the colours of the team on everything from bed sheets to notebooks and team shirts.


WHERE
Bus number 86 from downtown Plaza de Mayo stops in front of Boca Juniors Stadium.


WHY
Soccer is almost a religion in Argentina, and Buenos Aires has several top teams, including River Plate, Boca Juniors, Racing Club, and Independiente.


HOW TO GET THERE
Qatar Airways has daily flights from Doha to Buenos Aires via São Paulo.

 


São Paulo

Bruno Senna, Ayrton Senna's nephew

Motor racing is a major spectator sport in Brazil. The Interlagos circuit just outside São Paulo hosts the final round of Formula 1 in November, and some say the most exciting. Interlagos gets its name because it snakes between two lakes and offers a bumpy and hilly circuit that is challenging to drivers. For spectators, well-sited grandstands take in nearly all the action along the course.


WHERE
The Interlagos circuit is located 18km from downtown São Paulo and is served by regular shuttles during the racing season.


WHY
Brazilians revere F1 and their driving greats such as Ayrton Senna, Rubens Barrichello, and Felipe Massa.


HOW TO GET THERE
Qatar Airways has daily flights from Doha to São Paulo.

 
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