Planning a holiday that is either partially or fully a sports vacation can be very simply or intricate. Many sports fans travel to their destination city to take in their one game of preference but it does not need to be this way. I take almost as much joy from the schedule announcements as any other portion of the sports year.
Taking a step back and weighing opponents, time of year, other concurrent events and overall cost is a fun (to me) equation to solve.
The beauty of it is that there is no right or wrong answer. Except when it comes to football. I have had discussions with Alan (other Fambalee blogger) that waiting too late in the season typically means a player we are excited to watch may be on the injured reserve.
Below please find numerous examples of potential destination trips to get your sports fill. It is difficult to write a piece that can encapsulate everyone’s team or sport preferences but I attempted to capture the best opportunities. If your team is not listed, please try to adapt the thought process to your team.
1. Minnesota Destination (Winnipeg Jets’ Fan)
Being from Winnipeg, I need to include a trip to Minnesota. I have attended a Viking game on almost a yearly basis for the past twenty years.
Through all the trips, I am still amazed how a city that is only eight hours away can be so much warmer during the fall than Winnipeg. That being said, I love travelling down to Minneapolis for a September Vikings game.
Taking in the beautiful downtown and having some drinks on a patio is great fun. But nothing is better than combining sports and seeing your hometown team in an opponent’s building.
Here is a trifecta of sporting events:
Friday November 23 2018 3:00pm: Winnipeg Jets @ Minnesota Wild
Saturday November 24 2018 7:00pm: Chicago Bulls @ Minnesota Timberwolves
Sunday November 25 2018 7:20pm: Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings
Add to this that the weekend is over American Thanksgiving. So while driving on the Thursday, you can load up the Thanksgiving Day games on your SiriusXM radio to make time go fast. Get in some Black Friday shopping to get ready for Christmas and watch three amazing games.
Cheering for your hometown team on Black Friday will be an unbelievable environment. And the Packers and Vikings should be battling for the division crown during primetime.
The only negative would be if the Blue Bombers make it to the Grey Cup. You would be watching the end on your phone at the Vikings game. But seeing we have not hoisted the Grey Cup since 1990 in a league that has fluctuated between 8 and 9 teams does not fill me with confidence.
2. Florida Destination (Montreal Canadiens’ Fan)
Not all trips can be an eight hour car ride away. Sometimes the stakes are brought up by flight costs.
An easy way to get your family involved and happy to be spending a vacation to take in some sporting events is to go somewhere warm with fun for everyone.
Please see my previous posting on Family Vacation Destinations for Sports & Entertainment.
Saturday February 16 2019 7:00pm: Montreal Canadiens @ Tampa Bay Lightning
Sunday February 17 2019: 61st Daytona 500
Sprinkle in the amusement parks and other fun and you have an awesome family getaway.
3. California Destination (Edmonton Oilers’ Fan)
Building on the same mould of a warm location with sports and family fun, here is California.
Thursday January 3 2019 7:30pm: Houston Rockets @ Golden State Warriors
Saturday January 5 2019 8:00pm: Edmonton Oilers @ Los Angeles Kings
Sunday January 6 2019 5:00pm: Edmonton Oilers @ Anaheim Ducks
4. Phoenix Destination (Calgary Flames’ Fan)
I would highly recommend a trip to the desert for a couple’s getaway or for a bunch of adult friends. Beautiful scenery, golf courses and hikes.
Sunday November 25 2018 1pm: Calgary Flames @ Arizona Coyotes
Tuesday November 27 2018 7:00pm: Indiana Pacers @ Phoenix Suns
The restaurants and places surrounding the Gila River Arena are amazing. Go early for pre-gaming and plan a safe way back to your hotel for post-gaming.
No games are lined up with the Cardinals schedule this year but missing a Cardinal game is not necessarily a bad thing…
5. Las Vegas Destination (Vancouver Canucks’ Fan)
The great thing about Las Vegas is that there are always complementary events going on.
No matter what your spouse or your interests are, every day of the week you can get tickets to see any Cirque du Soleil, Carrot Top, Jeff Dunham, Brad Garrett, Blue Man Group, etc.
Sunday March 3 2019 1:00pm: Vancouver Canucks @ Las Vegas Golden Knights
Add in relaxing at the pool, going for walks down the strip and a little Sportsbook gambling, it should be a great weekend.
Overall, I tend to tightly follow two release dates: mid April for the new NFL schedule and mid June for the NHL schedule. But if college football or Major League Soccer are your sports of choice, it is easy to put together a fun sports vacation.