CATCH THE ACTION IN NEW YORK CITY THE SPORTING CAPITAL OF THE WORLD
—The Big Apple Offers Plenty of Diversions from Baseball to Basketball and Everything in Between—
New York, NY (August 1, 2006) –New York City was voted “Best Sports City” by The Sporting News. It’s the greenest large city based on percentage of parkland, and it hosts some of the country’s most important sporting events including the ING New York City Marathon and the U.S. Open Tennis Championships. Here’s a look at the countless spectator and participant sports available to the visitors and residents of New York City.
Experience the thrill of a live sporting event. There’s just something about the cheers, the jeers, and the excitement of seeing competition as it unfolds.
Join in America’s favorite pastime and check out a baseball game played at home in the Bronx by the New York Yankees (718/293-6000, www.yankees.com), the 26-time World Series champions, and in Queens by the New York Mets (718/507-8499, www.mets.com). Both the Yankees and Mets will be hitting homeruns out of brand new stadiums by 2009. There’s also minor league baseball, as the Staten Island Yankees (718/720-9265, www.siyanks.com) and Brooklyn Cyclones (718/449-8497, www.brooklyncyclones.com) are in action June through September.
Hoops have become a year-round event at Madison Square Garden (212/465-6741, www.thegarden.com). From October to April, the New York Knicks (212/465-JUMP, www.knicks.com) take center stage and the WNBA’s Liberty (212/465-6073, www.wnba.com/liberty) play home games from May to August. March Madness comes to New York City every year during the annual Big East Tournament (212/465-6741, www.bigeast.org/sports/mbball/champs) and the National Invitation Tournament (www.nit.org). In the fall the NCAA returns in November with the Preseason NIT Tournament, the Coaches v. Cancer Classic Tournament and the Jimmy V Classic and the Holiday Classic.
NFL fans have two teams to choose from with the NFC East Division New York Giants (201/935-8222, www.giants.com) and AFC East Division New York Jets (516/560-8200, www.newyorkjets.com). Both play their home games at Giants Stadium in the Meadowlands (www.njsea.com) complex in New Jersey.
The New York Rangers (212/465-6073, www.newyorkrangers.com) have a remarkable 78-year history in Madison Square Garden that includes four Stanley Cup championships.
Grand Slam season concludes with the U.S. Open Tennis Championships (718/760-2000www.usopen.org) at the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park each year starting at the end of August. The men’s and women’s finals are played at Arthur Ashe Stadium, the jewel of the USTA complex. The 22,547-seat stadium features 90 luxury suites, five restaurants, and a two-level players’ lounge.
The Belmont Stakes, the third jewel in thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown takes place in June at Belmont Park Race Track (516/488-6000, www.nyra.com/belmont). Belmont, the largest Thoroughbred racing facility in North America, features live racing May through July and September through October 30. The “sport of kings” can also be enjoyed at Aqueduct Race Track (718/641-4700, www.nyra.com/aqueduct) where racing takes place January through May, and November through December.
Since 1882, boxing has been a staple of the New York sports scene at Madison Square Garden. In fact, there have been 11 heavyweight championships and 50 world title bouts at the Garden in the last 30 years. Some of the sport’s biggest names have fought in the world’s most famous ring, including Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano, Muhammad Ali, and Sugar Ray Leonard. Then annual Daily News Golden Gloves series (www.usaboxingmetro.com/golden), the largest, oldest, and most prestigious amateur boxing tournament in the U.S., takes place each April at the Garden.
Running/Track & Field
Every February, Madison Square Garden plays host to the Millrose Games (212/317-7171, www.millrosegames.com), one of the marquee events of the USA Track and Field’s Indoor Championship schedule. Each year, 35,000 runners from around the world travel to New York City to compete in the ING New York City Marathon (www.ingnycmarathon.org), held every year on the first Sunday in November. This August, NYC & Company in collaboration with the New York Road Runners (212-860-4455, www.nyrrc.org) will present a half-marathon with the course starting in Central Park and finishing in Lower Manhattan. The Armory Track & Field Center (216 Fort Washington Ave., 212/923-1803, www.armorytrack.com), built as a training center for the National Guard in 1909, hosts approximately 90 track meets and 350,000 athletes and spectators a year. Its Olympic-quality banked Mondo track is the fastest track in the northeast and is one of the fastest indoor tracks in the country. The new $42 million Icahn Stadium in Randall's Island Park, is the only state-of-the-art outdoor track and field venue in New York City designed to host local, national, and international competitions.
Other Sporting Events
Top-flight amateur sports have become a regular attraction at venues in and around New York City. Recent events have included the American Cup Gymnastics, the Big Apple International Indoor Field Hockey Tournament, and the FINA Swimming World Cup.
New York is also home to countless other sporting events throughout the year including the Bear Stearns Tournament of Champions squash (February), NY Open Judo (March), Special Olympics Metro Tournament (June), Ford NYC Triathlon (July), Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival (August), and the New York Super Boat Grand Prix (September)
The superstars of the WWE also make regular appearances at Madison Square Garden throughout the year, while the drivers of the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series wrap up their season with Champions Week every year in December, featuring the year-end awards ceremony at the Waldorf=Astoria. The Heisman Trophy, awarded annually to the most outstanding player in U.S. college football, is presented every December in a nationally televised ceremony in New York City.
Fans of friendly competition will be happy to know that there are numerous ways to get involved in the New York sports scene, both as an individual or as a team.
All-Around Sports Experiences
For the ultimate experience, check out Chelsea Piers Sports & Entertainment Complex (212/336-6666, www.chelseapiers.com). This 30-acre waterfront sports village features a golf driving range and instructional center; 40-lane AMF bowling; field house fitness facilities; in-line skate park and roller rink; indoor ice rink; pool; and a health club. There are also on-site restaurants, sporting goods shops, and meeting facilities.
You might be surprised to learn that New York City has more than 1,700 parks, playgrounds, and recreation facilities across the five boroughs (www.nycgovparks.org). There are more than 28,000 acres of parkland, with 2,765-acre Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx being the largest. Parks’ properties range from swimming pools to wetlands and from woodlands to skating rinks.
Of course, there’s no shortage of things to do in world-famous Central Park (www.centralparknyc.org). Depending on the season, you can play handball, soccer, swim, ice skate, row, and even climb on a state-of-the-art indoor and outdoor climbing wall. This is also the perfect setting for a light jog, relaxing walk, or horseback riding with the oldest continuously operated stable in the United States.
If getting around on two wheels is more your style, get onto the city’s numerous bike paths, including the seven-mile trail through Central Park, the East River Bikeway, Hudson River Bike Path, and the Shore Parkway Bike Path. Bike tours and rentals are available through Central Park Bicycle Tours (212/541-8759, www.centralparkbiketour.com) and Bike the Big Apple (201/837-1133, www.bikethebigapple.com). More than 30,000 cyclists take part in May’s Five Boro Bike Tour (212/932-BIKE, www.bikenewyork.org); the Tour de Bronx (www.tourdebronx.org) in October draws more than 3,000 riders.
Running & Walking
The New York Road Runners (212/860-4455, www.nyrr.org) provides information about where to run and jog in the city, along with a listing of local clubs and race schedules. They also provide qualifying information for the 36th annual ING New York City Marathon (www.ingnycmarathon.org).
Golfers can tee up at numerous area public 18-hole courses. Log on to American Golf’s web site, www.americangolf.com, for a complete listing of courses and to book well in advance (www.nycteetimes.com).
Wide World of Sports
The National Sports Museum (212/837-7950, www.thesportsmuseum.com), the country's first interactive museum dedicated to the history and importance of all sports, will open soon in Lower Manhattan. The National Track and Field Hall of Fame (212/923-1803, www.trackhall.com) is open year-round, and is a must-see stop for all sports fans.
In the heart of Times Square, ESPN Zone (212/921-3776, www.espnzone.com) features American grill food, interactive attractions, and 200 televisions. Catch major sporting events and wager on simulcast Thoroughbred and harness racing at area restaurants with New York City Off-Track Betting (www.nycotb.com).
The world’s only NBA Store (212/515-6221, www.nba.com/nycstore/) features the most comprehensive selection of NBA and WNBA merchandise, player appearances, and more.
For more information about sports in New York City log onto www.nycvisit.com, www.nyc.gov/sports, or www.nyc2012.com.