Sports Travel – How To Attend The Biggest Sports Events In The World

Sports fans are in luck right now, as we are about see a convergence of huge events, many of them held only once every two to four years, along with some entirely new but very high-profile options. Here are some of the biggies and how you can go see them.

World Cup 2022: Next up is the world’s number one sports spectacle, soccer’s World Cup, a quadrennial tournament like the Summer or Winter Olympic Games. Soccer is the most popular spectator sport in the world, and if you don’t go this fall, you won’t be able to see it again until 2026. 1.3 million visitors are expected to visit the Qatar in November, when the 2022 edition is played across eight glorious stadiums and almost a full month. The U.S. has earned a minimum of three appearances. The location makes travel especially easy and attractive since Qatar Airways is widely ranked the world’s best, and just won the most important industry award, Skytrax Airline of the Year, for the sixth time (read more about what makes them so good here at Forbes). Qatar flies nonstop to Doha from 12 U.S. cities (New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Houston, San Francisco, Miami, Philadelphia, Seattle, Boston, and Washington DC). November 21 – December 18, 2022.

Miami-based Overseas Network is the official travel partner for Qatar Airways, which in turn is the Official Airline of FIFA, soccer’s global governing body. To prepare, Overseas Network opened an office in Qatar and has spent the last year creating experiences focused on local cultural attractions around each stadium, and has an additional partnership with the country’s tourism entity, Discover Qatar. Overseas Network is offering Official Fan Travel Packages for FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 that include airfare, the games and a range of unique experiences such as pearl fishing in traditional Dhow boats, Bedouin desert camp excursions, meet-and-greet receptions with professional players, and more. Soccer fans in the U.S. can obtain game tickets, round trip flights and accommodation in one package, from $5,667 per person.

Ryder Cup 2023: For the first time in history, golf’s biggest international event will be contested in Italy, the country more Americas polled say they want to visit than any other. It’s a perfect opportunity to combine two passions. The bi-annual competition was last held at Wisconsin’s excellent Destination Kohler, one of the world’s best golf resorts, on the vaunted Straits Course at Whistling Straits, and it drew huge crowds as the Ryder Cup continues to ascend in spectator popularity. The Cup alternates between the U.S. and Europe, and will next be held at the Marco Simone Golf Club on the outskirts of Rome. On Location, a well-known sports event travel provider, is the official package partner for the U.S. market, and has lots of options. There are packages of 2,3,4,5, and 7-nights that are all-inclusive with event tickets, lodging, and roundtrip ground transportation from hotels to the venue. Many packages add an on-site VIP hospitality tent. For each length of stay there is broad choice of hotels from mid-range to luxury, and some include opening ceremonies. Lengthier packages have both included and optional non-golf tourism activities, and if you actually want to tee it up, golf add-ons to area courses will be an upgrade available. From $3,635 per person without air. September 25 – October 1, 2023

Las Vegas Grand Prix: The popularity of Formula One racing (F1) is at an all time high in the United States, in large part due to the hit Netflix series Drive to Survive. But the ante gets upped considerably next year when an all-new annual U.S. race debuts in Las Vegas. It will be a street race at night, with a long straightway right on the Strip (Las Vegas boulevard), one of the most iconic tourism spots in the world. The race is expected to be the most attended event of any kind in Las Vegas history, breaking a nearly 30-year-old record held by a Grateful Dead concert. With many of the largest hotels in the world overlooking the course, there will be ample opportunity to attend. Tickets and travel packages have not yet gone on sale, but when they do, they will be available at F1 Experiences. However, one of the things that makes the race so appealing is that it can be viewed from many non-ticketed advantage points, including the sidewalks. It is expected to literally be the beigest thing to hit Vegas, and expectations in the racing community are so high that it will likely immediately become second only to Monaco as the most desirable F1 race of the season to attend. The race is next November (2023), details TBD, but rumored to be on Thanksgiving weekend.

Paris Olympics 2024: After a disappointing spate of recent venues including Tokyo (great city, but COVID made it very hard to attend), Beijing and Pyeongchang, a tourism friendly Olympics is finally back in one of the most beloved traveled destinations of all, Paris, for the 2024 Summer Games. On Location is also the official hospitality provider for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, with a variety of experiential packages that will run throughout the entire length of the Games. Guests will be able to book multi-night travel packages that will include hotel stay, transportation and excursions based on their non-sportive interests, spanning food and wine, fashion and style, history and culture, music, physical activities and wellness. On Location is also set to offer hospitality experiences inside the venues where sporting events will take place. Customers can choose the dates they wish to attend the games and the level of hospitality and accommodation they prefer, and they will be matched with the sporting events and packages that fitting those criteria. Currently they are taking a list of interested travelers. July 26 – August 11, 2024

What else is there? In the past I’ve done stories here at Forbes on how to attend other Bucket List sporting events including the Super Bowl and Kentucky Derby, both still among the most desirable in sports. In a new twist, the world’s largest hotel loyalty program, Marriott’s Bonvoy, has rolled out a new platform called Bonvoy Moments where travelers can redeem their hotel points for events instead of lodging, or complete travel packages to concerts and marquee sporting events that include the NCAA Final Four March Madness, the U.S. Open tennis tournament, F1 races and many more, including international events all around the world. Read this primer to find out why it may be much better to redeem your hotel points for things besides hotels.

Safe travels sports fans!

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