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The ultimate American sports road trip

Suzan Woodcock

The ultimate American sports road trip

When the summer is slowly coming to an end, to sports fanatics, this means only one thing: Kicking off the new seasons in the major sports leagues! This also goes for the major leagues in the US where all the big teams are getting ready to lead their cities to eternal glory. To you, it means it’s time to start planning your US road trip to experience some of the biggest sports showdowns on the planet! How many times have you listened to your dad, uncle or granddad going on about the Miracle on Ice, Maradona’s Hand of God, The Rumble in the Jungle, Pele, Ayrton Senna, Wayne Gretzky, Joe Montana, Michael Jordan, and … and… and you probably zoned out of the conversation. Rather than having to listen to any more of their nostalgia, why not go on an all-American sports road trip for your own chance to experience history in the making?

Sports in the US

Watching sports is one of America’s favourite activities. Attending the big game with the whole family or your friends while supporting your local team – what could be better than that?! We have been brought up watching movies about sports in the US – from the college jocks and cheerleaders in the endless teen flicks to big blockbusters. It is a big part of American culture and something that should be part of every road trip around the US.

Whether you’re into American football, ice hockey, motorsports, basketball, baseball or none of them, we recommend you watch a game in your city of choice. To help you plan your trip, we have prepared the ultimate guide on American sports incl. schedules, tips, movies to watch to learn more about the sports, and lots of other cool stuff to help you plan the ultimate American sports road trip!

Ultimate American sports road trip | road trip USA | KILROY

NFL – Touchdowns in the biggest show on turf

Famous for: Touchdowns, huge crowds, highly-paid men in tights, cheerleaders, mascots, big stadiums, foam fingers and much, much more.

Superstars: Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Calvin Johnson & Marshawn Lynch

Movies to watch: The Replacements, The Blind Side, Any Given Sunday, Jerry McGuire & countless others

Get in on the action: The National Football League (NFL) has teams nationwide so there is every chance you can see a game on your road trip in the US. The schedule for 2015-16 is out so start planning and get your tickets to NFL. The season kicks off on September 10, 2015 and ends on February 7, 2016 with the Super Bowl 50 in San Francisco.

Pro tip: Show up early to the game and participate in tailgating outside the stadium to get under the skin of the locals, indulge in the best home-made burgers, and make sure you are geared up to support your team.

Ultimate American sports road trip | road trip USA | KILROY

NHL – Not on thin ice

If you think American football is a bit too slow or not “macho” enough, then ice hockey might be more up your alley.

Famous for: High-paced action, big hits, beautiful goals, big arenas, crazy crowds, and an endless stream of snacks.

Superstars: Don’t miss the superstar rivalry between Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin, the battle between Nordic goaltenders Henrik Lundqvist and Frederik Andersen, or the emerging youngsters all around the league. Who knows - you might be looking at the next superstar?

Movies to watch: The Mighty Ducks, The Rocket: The Maurice Richard Story, Slapshot, Miracle

Get in on the action: The National Hockey League (NHL) has 30 teams including six based in Canada. More than 1200 games are played per season so it is nearly impossible to plan your road trip in North America without including a game. The season starts on October 7 and ends with the Stanley Cup finals in June, 2016.

Pro tip: For an extraordinary experience get tickets to the NHL Winter Classic, which is held the 1st of January every year at an outdoor stadium. The 2016 Winter Classic will be held at Gillette Stadium outside of Boston. 

Ultimate American sports road trip | road trip USA | KILROY

NBA – A sure slamdunk

Famous for: Hoops, dunks, rebounds, alley-oops, celebrities, cheerleaders, kiss-cams, and celebrity attendance.

Superstars: Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant

Movies to watch: Semi-Pro, Space Jam, White Men Can’t Jump, He Got Game

Get in on the action: 30 teams are part of the National Basketball Association (NBA) (29 in the US and one in Canada). The big cities on the east and west coast are well represented, but you will have chances to catch a game regardless how you plan your road trip. The 2015 season has ended, but NBA will be back in October and continue all the way to the finals in June next year.

Pro tip: Scout the front row seats for celebrities. Big names like Jay Z, Beyonce, Rihanna, David Beckham, Ashton Kutcher, Mark Wahlberg and numerous others are known to attend the big games.

Ultimate American sports road trip | road trip USA | KILROY

NASCAR – Feel the need, the need for speed

Famous for: Speed, huge oval tracks, stock cars, Daytona 500

Superstars: Joey Logano, Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Dale Earlhardt Jr.

Movies to watch: Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Days of Thunder, Cars

Get in on the action: Most of the NASCAR tracks are located in the southeastern part of USA so make sure to plan with this in mind if you hope to attend a race. The stadiums are huge with the biggest stadium capacity surpassing a quarter million seats (!) so there should be one for you too.

Bonus info: You won’t be starving during the 4-hour races. Nascar has the most delicious food!

Ultimate American sports road trip | road trip USA | KILROY

Planning your sports vacation

When planning the ultimate sports road trip make sure to consider the season you are travelling and the weather you might encounter. Watching a 4-hour NFL game in the snow is an epic experience, but probably also one that will challenge your ability to stay warm. Similarly, you will have a hard time sitting under open air for hours and hours if the temperature surpasses 30C.

The cost of attending a big game varies a lot and ticket prices can set you back several hundred dollars for the expensive tickets. Book early or look for tickets in the higher sections of the stadiums as these are often cheaper.

Besides the weather and the cost, an important thing to remember is distance between the events. Use a tool like Google Maps to plan your route. If the seasons of the different sports are perfectly aligned, an epic trip might look something like this:

Now the ball is on your court. What are you waiting for? Start planning your sports road trip now for unforgettable experiences all over US and Canada.

Need help planning your own American sports road trip*? We can help!

* Please note that we are unable to assist you with finding or purchasing tickets to any of the above-mentioned events, but will gladly help you plan your road trip, book your car, and find the best flight tickets for you.

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