Sports Fans Bucket List – 5 Must See Events

Sports Fans Bucket List – 5 Must See Events

OK, so I am going to nail my colours firmly to the mast. I love sports almost as much as I love food. Almost, but not quite, as no sport in the world could match my mums hot pepper soup. But that’s another story. To show you how much I love sports though, I will tell you a little story.

When I got married in 1988, I booked our honeymoon for three romantic weeks in the Bahamas. My wife was thrilled when I told her where we were going and, for how long. Unfortunately for her, the first two weeks of our honeymoon coincided with the 1988 Olympics and as an avid sports fan it was a must watch for me.

I spent two weeks watching the TV in one of the most romantic settings you could imagine and the next seven days trying to make it up to my now ex-wife. I guess no woman wants to be a sports widow, but us guys can’t help but live vicariously through our sporting heroes. Come on guys, back me up here, wouldn’t you have done the same?

Anyway, enough of my failings. Here are five events, that any sports fan should most definitely be adding to their bucket list.

Football – Barcelona v Real Madrid

Real Madrid

There is a reason that they call this match El Clasico (The Classic). These are the two biggest clubs in world football and not only are they from the same country, but they have contrasting political positions, with Barcelona being viewed as representing the Catalan nationalists and Real Madrid representing Spanish nationalism.

It doesn’t matter whether the match is held in the Santiago Bernabéu with over 80’000 fans, mostly supporting Real Madrid or the Camp Nou which holds almost 100,000 ardent fans, the atmosphere is always electric. No wonder it’s almost a peculiar event to find a match between these two fierce rivals where at least one player doesn’t get sent off.

Other notable football rivalries are Rangers v Celtic, Internazionale v Milan, Boca Juniors v River Plate and Fenerbahce v Galatasaray.

Find the best deal, compare prices, and read what other travellers have to say about the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium at TripAdvisor

Athletics – 100 mens Olympic final

olympics 100m final

The mens 100m Olympic final is considered the blue riband event of the Olympics. Win the 100m Olympic final and you are set up for life, unless your name is Ben Johnson of course.

This event always brings the best of the best together, at the peak of their physical condition and for as long as I can remember, run under 10 seconds.

Imagine being in Barcelona when Britain’s’ Linford Christie shot his rivals down to silence his doubters or in Beijing where a new superstar called Usain Bolt burst onto the scene and almost jogged over the finish line in an incredible 9.68 seconds!

I wonder who the next superstar will be to don the mantle of the fastest man in the world.

Boxing – Watch a fight at Madison Square Garden

Ali vs Frazier Madison Square Gardens 1971

I love boxing, I think because I grew up in the era of a true legend, Muhammed Ali. Don’t you believe it when Floyd Mayweather Jr calls himself the greatest, there was only one greatest.

This venue is such a legendary place. Ask any fighter where they dream of fighting and nine out of ten would say MSG.

There is something primitive about boxing, two men in the ring, relying on their skills, guts and fortitude to prevail. I remember the first time I took my girlfriend to a boxing match in the York Hall. I saw another side to her that night. She was screaming at each boxer to knock the others head off and seemed to be getting more and more excited as each round went by.

If I could teleport myself back in time, it would be to watch Ali v Frazier at MSG in 1971.

Find the best deal, compare prices, and read what other travellers have to say about Madison Square Garden at TripAdvisor

Cricket – West Indies v England at the Oval


Back in the day when the Windies had a cricket team with the likes of Richards, Garner, Holding, Marshall, Grenidge, Haynes, Lloyd and others, watching the West Indies “Blackwash” England 5-0 in the Test series at the Oval was amazing.

The cricket was being played to the calypso rhythm of the steel drums with Haynes at his swashbuckling best and Holding, Garner and Marshall skittling England out with 172 runs to spare. Playing England at the Oval always seemed to bring out the best in the West Indies.

Find the best deal, compare prices, and read what other travellers have to say about The Oval at TripAdvisor

Cycling – Tour de France

tour de france cycling

Merckx, Hinault, Fignon, LeMond, Indurain, Contador (minus a bit of steak) and Froome are all legends of Le Tour, a three week cycling test of endurance both physical and mental.

Who could forget Chris Froome having crashed with Richie Porte and Bauke Mollema, running up Mont Ventoux in an effort to limit his time loss in 2016.

To be at any mountain stage of Le Tour and see the effort these guys put in would be amazing.

If you call yourself a sports fan, then these are five events that you should add to your bucket list of things to do. I certainly have.


  1. Though I’m not much of sports person but would love to know as much. Glad to see list of these five options, I will try to get more information on this now.

  2. I wish I was here in China during the Beijing Olympics watching the 100 meter dash. It’s one of my favorite sports to watch during the Olympics, aside from diving. I hope to be in Tokyo in 2020 for the next!

  3. This is pretty cool. As someone who has been to MSG for MANY concerts, i think it would be awesome to see a fight there.

  4. I live in Madrid, so I should probably go to El Clasico sometime:D I imagine it might get a bit tense this year though… And it’s so expensive:( I would add some sort of rugby to this list as well:D And ice hockey. And the Olympics. I have a lot to do!:D

  5. I would definitely add a rugby match to this list – perhaps England V Scotland as that is always intense! And Basketball too 🙂 Good list though!

    1. When it comes to Rugby, the British Lions v The All Blacks is a tough one to beat

  6. Great list I could say, my top 1 would be the Athletics to watch Usain Bolt, Boxing, Basketball then Football would be next.

  7. I was actually looking forward to seeing the US Open at Green Meadows 🙂

  8. I am a cricket fan I haven’t been to stadium to watch the matches. But would love to visit it some day. I would also like to watch boxing match sounds like fun.

  9. I’m not into any of these sports, but I have friends who would ditch the biggest of plans to watch a game of football. I would love to watch a boxing match someday though. 🙂 Cheers!!

  10. I am not really a sports person, but I do support Arsenal as a north Londoner. I do like watching football sometimes and Athletics.

    1. Welcome fellow Gooner

  11. My husband loves seeing different sports whilst we travel so would love this post!

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