Every sports lover have certain sports bucket list of sporting events to attend in their life. Everyone has different priorities, like a football fan dreams of watching a football world cup final live and a tennis fan fantasizes a centre court ticket at Wimbledon. Taking into account factors like popularity of the sport, TV viewership, ticket demands, media hype, social media trends and most importantly passion of the fans, here are our ’50 Sporting Events You Should See Before You Die’.
50 events to must have in your sports bucket list –
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50. Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal
The Federer–Nadal rivalry is between two professional tennis players, Roger Federer of Switzerland and Rafael Nadal of Spain. They are engaged in a storied rivalry, which many consider to be the greatest in tennis history. With both moving towards the twilight of their careers, you may not have much time left to watch them live.
49. Chess Boxing
Chess boxing is a hybrid fighting sport that combines two traditional pastimes: chess and boxing.T he competitors fight in alternating rounds of chess and boxing. It is particularly popular in Germany, Great Britain, India and Russia.
48. Indianapolis 500
The Indianapolis 500 is an automobile race held annually at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indiana. The famous 500-mile race first held in 1909 is commonly regarded as one of the greatest spectacle in motor sport.
47. US Open
The US Open is held annually, starting on the last Monday in August, and lasting for two weeks into September. The main tournament consists of five event championships: men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles, and mixed doubles. This tournament is in the sports bucket list of many fans.
46. Grand Sumo Tournament
There are six Grand Sumo tournaments in Japan each year with each one lasting 15 days. The best wrestlers are scheduled to compete at the end of the day, and pairings are made and posted by sumo elder judges each day prior to competition. However, if competitors come from the same training group, or if they are brothers, they are not allowed to wrestle one another.
45. Boxing day match at MCG
Melbourne Cricket Ground or ‘MCG’ is one of the oldest cricket grounds in the world. It was the venue for both the first Test match and the first One Day International, played between Australia and England in 1877 and 1971 respectively. The annual Boxing Day Test is one of the MCG’s most popular events.
44. Running of the Bulls
The Running of the Bulls is a practice that involves running in front of a small group of cattle, typically six, of the toro bravo breed that have been let loose on a course of a sectioned-off subset of a town’s streets. Spanish tradition says the true origin of the run began in northeastern Spain during the early 14th century. this should be in your sports bucket list if you love thrill.
43. Grand National
The Grand National is a National Hunt horse race held annually at Aintree Racecourse near Liverpool, England.It is the most valuable jump race in Europe, with a prize fund of £1 million in 2017.An event that is prominent in British culture, the race is popular amongst many people who do not normally watch or bet on horse racing at other times of the year.
42. Volvo Ocean Race
The Volvo Ocean Race is a yacht race around the world, held every three years.Called the Formula One of yacht racing, the nine-leg race began in 1973 and is known for testing the limits of sailors on a gruesome course with strict rules and regulations.
41. 24 Hours of Le Mans
The 24 Hours of Le Mans is the world’s oldest active sports car race in endurance racing, held annually since 1923 near the town of Le Mans, France.It is one of the most prestigious automobile races in the world and is often called the “Grand Prix of Endurance and Efficiency”.
The unique format requires that the cars race non-stop for 24 hours, making it one of the most demanding car rallies on the planet. It is a must in sports bucket list for motorsports fans.
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40. Celtic vs Rangers
Celtic vs Rangers is the biggest football rivalry in Britain, the rivalry between the two clubs has become deeply embedded in Scottish culture and has contributed to the political, social and religious division and sectarianism in Scotland and also beyond, especially in neighbouring Northern Ireland. Put this in your sports bucket list if you love football.
39. Cricket match at Eden Gardens
Eden Gardens is a cricket ground in Kolkata, India established in 1864.Eden Gardens is often regarded informally as India’s home of cricket. The ground has been referred to as “cricket’s answer to the Colosseum,” and is widely acknowledged to be one of the most iconic cricket stadiums in the world.
38. FA Cup final
The FA Cup, known officially as The Football Association Challenge Cup, is an annual knockout football competition played among English teams. First played during the 1871–72 season, it is the oldest association football competition in the world.The latest FA Cup Final was the final of the 2016-17 FA Cup competition, which was held on 27 May 2017 at Wembley Stadium and played between Arsenal and Chelsea with Arsenal winning 2–1.
37. Australian Open
The Australian Open is a major tennis tournament held annually over the last fortnight of January in Melbourne, Australia. First held in 1905,the Australian Open typically has high attendances, rivalling and occasionally exceeding the US Open. The tournament holds the record for the highest attendance at a Grand Slam event.
36. WWE WrestleMania
WrestleMania is a professional wrestling event produced annually between mid-March to early April by WWE.They first produced the event in 1985 and has since produced 35 editions, with the next one scheduled to be held on 5 April 2020. Wrestlemania is always in the sports bucket list of wrestling fans.
35. Football at the Maracana Stadium
Maracana Stadium is a football stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.The stadium was opened in 1950 to host the FIFA World Cup, in which Brazil was beaten 2–1 by Uruguay in the deciding game. Since then, it has mainly been used for football matches between the major football clubs in Rio de Janeiro, including Flamengo, Fluminense, Botafogo and Vasco da Gama. It has also hosted a number of concerts and other sporting events.
34. Ryder Cup
The Ryder Cup is a biennial men’s golf competition between teams from Europe and the United States. The competition is contested every two years with the venue alternating between courses in the United States and Europe.
The current holders are the United States who won in 2016 at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota, by a score of 17 to 11. The next contest will be on the Whistling Straits, Kohler, Wisconsin in 2020.
33. Dubai World Cup
The Dubai World Cup is the ninth and the final race of Dubai World Cup Night and carries with it a purse of $10 million. It was the world’s richest horse race until it was surpassed by the Pegasus World Cup in 2017.
32. Dakar Rally
The Dakar Rally is an annual rally raid organised by the Amaury Sport Organisation. The race is an off-road endurance event. The terrain that the competitors traverse is much tougher than that used in conventional rallying, and the vehicles used are true off-road vehicles rather than modified on-road vehicles.
Most of the competitive special sections are off-road, crossing dunes, mud, camel grass, rocks, and erg among others. The distances of each stage covered vary from short distances up to 800–900 kilometres (500–560 mi) per day.
31. Copa Libertadores
30. X Games
The summer and winter event that focuses on extreme sports began in 1995 in the United States and has spawned X Game competitions in Asia and Europe.The competition often features new tricks such as Tony Hawk’s 900 in skateboarding, Travis Pastrana’s double backflip in freestyle motocross, Heath Frisby’s first ever snowmobile front flip in Snowmobile Best Trick, and Torstein Horgmo’s first landed triple cork in a snowboard competition.
In 2014, the summer event was held in Austin, Texas, and was attended by a 160,000 people. The last edition saw 200 of the world’s best athletes take part in events like BMX Freestyle, Moto X, Rally Car and Skateboard.
29. Baseball All Stars
The Major League Baseball All-Star Game is an annual professional baseball game sanctioned by Major League Baseball (MLB) contested between the All-Stars from the American League (AL) and National League (NL), currently selected by fans for starting fielders, by managers for pitchers, and by managers and players for reserves.
The first All-Star Game was held on July 6, 1933 as part of the 1933 World’s Fair in Chicago, at Comiskey Park (1910–1990) and was initiated by Arch Ward, then sports editor for the Chicago Tribune. Initially intended to be a one-time event, its great success resulted in making the game an annual one. One for your sports bucket list.
28. The Ashes
The Ashes is a Test cricket series played between England and Australia. The Ashes are regarded as being held by the team that most recently won the Test series. The term originated in a satirical obituary published in a British newspaper, The Sporting Times, immediately after Australia’s 1882 victory at The Oval, their first Test win on English soil. The obituary stated that English cricket had died, and “the body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia”.
The mythical ashes immediately became associated with the 1882–83 series played in Australia, before which the English captain Ivo Bligh had vowed to “regain those ashes”. The English media therefore dubbed the tour the quest to regain the Ashes.
27. Liverpool vs Manchester United
Considered to be one of the greatest football rivalries in the world, the clash between the two teams has been dubbed as the most high-profile grudge match of the premier league season. The two clubs are among the most successful sides in Europe and also enjoy an unprecedented fan following from around the globe.Players, fans and the media alike often consider games between the two clubs to be their biggest rivalry.
26. Stanley Cup
The Stanley Cup is the championship trophy awarded annually to the National Hockey League (NHL) playoff winner. It is the oldest existing trophy to be awarded to a professional sports franchise, and the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) considers it to be one of the “most important championships available to the sport”.
25. Daytona 500
The Daytona 500 is a 500-mile-long Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series motor race held annually at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. It is one of the four restrictor plate races on the Cup schedule. The inaugural Daytona 500 was held in 1959 coinciding with the opening of the speedway and since 1982, it has been the season-opening race of the Cup series.
Owing to its importance, the 500-lap race is hailed as the “Great American Race” or the “Super Bowl of Stock Car Racing.”
24. Red Sox vs Yankees
The Yankees–Red Sox rivalry is a Major League Baseball rivalry between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. The two teams have competed in MLB’s American League for over 100 seasons and have since developed one of the fiercest rivalries in sports.
In 1919, Red Sox owner Harry Frazee sold star player Babe Ruth to the Yankees, which was followed by an 86-year period in which the Red Sox did not win a World Series.This led to the popularization of a superstition known as the “Curse of the Bambino”, which was one of the most well-known aspects of the rivalry.
23. Singapore Grand Prix
Marina Bay Circuit is Asia’s first street circuit, which also hosted the inaugural F1 night race. The race takes two hours to complete, making it the longest race on the F1 calendar.
The race under artificial lights start at midday GMT (8 pm local time), which is the standard time for European Grands Prix, moderating the extreme daytime apparent temperature in the tropical climate. Even so, given the race is held just about 137 km from the equator,the cockpit temperature can reach 60 °C (140 °F).
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22. UEFA Champions League
One of the first names in the sports bucket list of football fans is the UCL. The UEFA Champions League is an annual continental club football competition organised by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) and contested by top-division European clubs.
It is one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world and the most prestigious club competition in European football, played by the national league champion (and, for some nations, one or more runners-up) of each UEFA national association.
The UEFA Champions League final is the most watched annual sporting event worldwide. The final of the 2012–13 tournament had the highest TV ratings to date, drawing 360 million television viewers.
21. World Series
The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball (MLB) in North America, contested since 1903 between the American League (AL) champion team and the National League (NL) champion team. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff, and the winning team is awarded the Commissioner’s Trophy.
As the series is played in October (and occasionally November), during the fall season in North America, it is often referred to as the Fall Classic.
20. Winter Olympics
The Olympic Winter Games is a major international sporting event that occurs once every four years. Unlike the Summer Olympics, the Winter Olympics feature sports practised on snow and ice. The first Winter Olympics, the 1924 Winter Olympics, was held in Chamonix, France.
19. El Clasico
Hailed as one of the great rivalries in sport, the name is given to all the matches played between Real Madrid FC and FC Barcelona. The clash enjoys widespread popularity and it is termed as one of the biggest football club game in the world. With Messi and Hazard in the mix, it is a must for sports bucket list of football fans.
18. French Open
The premier tennis event is one of the four Grand Slam tournaments, also known as the Majors. The slow clay surface that favors players who can win long rallies from the baseline has made the French Open one of the most physically demanding tennis tournaments on the ATP and WTA calendars.
17. Heavy Weight Title fight at Madison Square Garden
The Garden has hosted some of the greatest heavyweight championship bouts and over fifty world title bouts. The iconic venue, once considered to be the mecca of boxing, has been graced by the likes of Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Joe Louis, Sugar Ray Robinson and Henry Armstrong. In 1971, the venue hosted the famous “Fight of the Century” between Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali. While promoters have taken many of the big fights to Las Vegas, there’s still nothing like a fight at the Garden.
16. The Kentucky Derby
The Kentucky Derby is a horse race that is held annually in Louisville, Kentucky, United States, on the first Saturday in May, capping the two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival.The race is known in the United States as “The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports” or “The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports” for its approximate duration, and is also called “The Run for the Roses” for the blanket of roses draped over the winner. This race is in the sports bucket list of every horse race fans.
15. ICC Cricket World Cup
The ICC Cricket World Cup is the international championship of One Day International (ODI) cricket. The event is organised by the sport’s governing body, the International Cricket Council (ICC), every four years, with preliminary qualification rounds leading up to a finals tournament. The tournament is one of the world’s most viewed sporting events and is considered the “flagship event of the international cricket calendar” by the ICC.
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14. NBA Finals
The NBA Finals is the seasonal championship series of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The entrants are determined by the victors of the Eastern and Western conferences, who engage in a best-of-seven game series to determine the league champion. The winners of the Finals are awarded the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy, which replaced the Walter A. Brown Trophy in 1983.
13. Copa America
One of the most widely viewed sporting events in the world, Copa America, is an international football tournament that features teams from South American nations. The tournament is famous for the participation of legendary players and the intense rivalries between countries like Uruguay and Argentina.
12. Rugby World Cup
The Rugby World Cup is a men’s rugby union tournament contested every four years between the top international teams. The tournament was first held in 1987, when the tournament was co-hosted by New Zealand and Australia. New Zealand are the current champions, having defeated Australia in the final of the 2015 tournament in England.
11. India vs Pakistan
The India–Pakistan cricket rivalry is one of the most intense sports rivalries in the world. The political friction between the two countries has paved the way for one of the greatest sports rivalries in the world. An India-Pakistan cricket match has been estimated to attract up to one billion viewers, according to TV ratings firms and various other reports. The 2011 World Cup semifinal between the two teams attracted around 988 million television viewers.
Tickets for the India-Pakistan match in the 2015 World Cup sold out in 12 minutes after they went on sale. A must one for the sports bucket list of cricket fans.
10. Football match at Signal Iduna Park
Signal Iduna Park or Westfalenstadion is Germany’s largest stadium,and is the home of German football club Borussia Dortmund.The stadium is one of the most famous football grounds in Europe and is renowned for its atmosphere.It has a league capacity of 81,360 and it is full most of the times courtesy of their passionate fans.
9. Super Bowl
The Super Bowl is the annual championship game of the National Football League (NFL). The game is the culmination to a regular season that begins in the late summer of the previous calendar year.
The game was created as part of a merger agreement between the NFL and its then-rival league, the American Football League (AFL). It was agreed that the two leagues’ champion teams would play in the AFL–NFL World Championship Game until the merger was to officially begin in 1970.
After the merger, each league was redesignated as a “conference”, and the game has since been played between the conference champions to determine the NFL’s league champion. Currently, the National Football Conference (NFC) leads the league with 26 wins to 25 wins for the American Football Conference (AFC). The Pittsburgh Steelers have the most Super Bowl championship titles, with six. The New England Patriots have the most Super Bowl appearances, with nine.
8. Masters Tournament
Held every year at the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia, the tournament features the best from the golfers in the world in a beautiful setting.First played 83 years ago in 1934, the tournament is an official money event on the PGA Tour, the European Tour, and the Japan Golf Tour. The field of players is smaller than those of the other major championships because it is an invitational event, held by the Augusta National Golf Club.
7. Boca Junior vs River Plate
Superclásico is the name used to describe the football match in Argentina between Buenos Aires rivals Boca Juniors and River Plate. The Superclásico is known worldwide as one of the fiercest and most important derbies.
The Superclásico is particularly noted for the passion of the fans,It can be described as “a sea of colourful flowing banners, screams and roars, chanting, dancing and never-ending fireworks”.Both sets of supporters sing passionate chants aimed at their rivals, often based on popular Argentine rock band tunes.
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6. Tour de France
First organized in 1903 to increase the paper sales for the magazine L’Auto, the Tour de France has expanded its base and stature with each passing year. As the Tour gained prominence and popularity the race was lengthened and its reach began to extend around the globe. Participation expanded from a primarily French field, as riders from all over the world began to participate in the race each year.
The modern editions of the Tour de France consist of 21 day-long segments (stages) over a 23-day period and cover around 3,500 kilometres . The race alternates between clockwise and counterclockwise circuits of France
5. English Premier League
The Premier League is the most-watched sports league in the world, broadcast in 212 territories to 643 million homes and a potential TV audience of 4.7 billion people.Seasons run from August to May. Teams play 38 matches each (playing each team in the league twice, home and away), totalling 380 matches in the season.
The league is also popular for being home to some of the most renowned and popular clubs in league football. Manchester United, Manchester City Liverpool, Chelsea etc have become household names and enjoy an unprecedented fan following.
Wimbledon is the oldest tennis tournament in the world, and is widely considered the most prestigious. It has been held at the All England Club in Wimbledon, London, since 1877 and is played on outdoor grass courts. It is probably the top most game in the sports bucket list of tennis fans.
The tournament takes place over two weeks in late June and early July, culminating with the Ladies’ and Gentlemen’s Singles Final, scheduled for the second Saturday and Sunday of July respectively. Five major, junior, and invitational events are held each year. Wimbledon traditions include a strict dress code for competitors and Royal patronage.
3. Monaco Grand Prix
The Monaco Grand Prix is a Formula One motor race held each year on the Circuit de Monaco. One of the gems of the Triple Crown of Motorsport, the Monaco Grand Prix is said to be the most prestigious automobile race in the world.
The race is characterized by the narrow lanes laid out on the streets of Monaco, the tight curves,the scenic harbor dotted with luxury yachts, with many elevation changes and tight corners as well as a tunnel, making it one of the most demanding tracks in Formula One. In spite of the relatively low average speeds, it is a dangerous place to race and often involves the intervention of a safety car.
The biggest festival in the world of sport attracts thousands of athletes and cuts across racial and political boundaries. As per the modern format, the event is held every fourth year in a different city that is selected via a diligent process. The games are inspired by the ancient Greek Games that date back to 8th century B.C. The last Olympic Games were held in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and saw the participation of over 200 nations in 28 sporting events.
The Olympics have increased in scope from a 42-event competition with fewer than 250 male competitors from 14 nations in 1896 to 302 events with 10,768 competitors (5,992 men, 4,776 women) from 204 nations in 2012.The next Olympics will be held in 2020 at Tokyo, Japan.
1. FIFA World Cup
The World Cup is the most prestigious association football tournament in the world as well as the most widely viewed and followed sporting event in the world, exceeding even the Olympic Games.
More than one billion fans tuned in to watch the final of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, with the competition reaching a global in-home television audience of 3.2 billion people.
France won the last World Cup beating Croatia in the final in 2018.