The Best Sports Events in 2018

Calling all sports fans! 2018 is going to be a barnburner of a year for amazing sporting events.

2018 Best Sport Events

Here’s our completely unbiased, totally inarguable list of the best events to attend or participate in over the coming year. Get your airline tickets now!

The Rose Parade and Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA
January 1, 2018

Rose Bowl
For a lot of Americans, watching the Rose Parade on New Years morning and the Rose Bowl later that day is a family tradition. Why not take it a step further, and attend the festivities in person? Locals line up as early as 3 am in a festival atmosphere to witness unique floats covered in flowers and other organic material, as well as some of the country’s best marching bands! Later that day, attend the oldest bowl game – this year we’ll be watching Georgia and Oklahoma square off!

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Super Bowl LII, Minneapolis, MN
February 4, 2018

super bowl LII
Super Bowl LII is nearly upon us and it couldn’t happen in more of a hotbed of football fandom. Minneapolis is pulling out all of the stops to make this a memorable party for the ages, and they’ve got the brewpubs and tailgate party street cred to pull it all off. Just keep in mind that it’s going to be chilly out there, so bundle up if you’re headed to the game.

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The Winter Olympics, PyeongChang, South Korea
February 9-25, 2018

winter olympics 2018
South Korea is hosting this year’s already controversial Games (the Russians aren’t going to be there due to doping violations), but the host city of PyeongChang is ready to roll out the welcome mat to the world’s finest athletes who will compete in 102 events across 15 sports. We’ll be watching for the classic events like figure skating and downhill skiing, but also the human-interest stories. Our favorite this year? Seun Adigun, a Nigerian woman and former Olympic hurdler who will drive the first African bobsled in the history of the Games.

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NCAA Men’s Division Basketball Tournament, San Antonio, TX
March 31-April 2, 2018

march madness 2018
March Madness is in San Antonio this year and we’re already getting juiced for this, arguably the most exciting tournament in all of college sports each year. San Antonio is a picturesque backdrop for the tourney, with the Riverwalk and the selfie-bait of the Alamo as must-do activities for visitors to this great little town when you’re not at the Alamodome watching the Final Four. You can sign up for an email alert for pre-sale ticket codes now, though they’re not on sale yet.

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Boston Marathon, Boston, MA
April 16, 2018

boston marathon
credit: J. Tang/shutterstock.com

For distance runners of a certain constitution, the Boston Marathon is a rite of passage and a must-do item to tick off the list. If this sounds like music to your ears, start your training. If spectator sports are more your speed, you can still join in the fun – the festival atmosphere descends upon Boston for the entirety of the run and people line the streets of the route to cheer on their favorite entrant.

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Kentucky Derby, Louisville, KY
May 5, 2018

kentucky derby
If you’re used to watching the Kentucky Derby on television, you’d be forgiven for not knowing that the race caps off a full two weeks of mint julep-misted bacchanalia. But if you enjoy that sort of thing, you might consider attending the race in person (or even just hanging out in Louisville enjoying Derby-adjacent revelry). Plenty of people do. Of course, if you need to be at the center of the action, pick out your most attention-grabbing head covering and get yourself to Churchill Downs.

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Indianapolis 500, Indianapolis, IN
May 25-May 28, 2018

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The Indy 500 has been around for more than 100 years and is considered part of the Triple Crown of Motorsport (the other two are the Monaco Grand Prix and the 24 Hours of Le Mans). If you don’t understand why race enthusiasts would want to watch a 200-lap race around a 2.5 mile track, you’re probably not the audience for this entry. But if you’re the sort of person whose blood gets pumping at the mere idea of a race or you just like participating in outdoor events with dyed in the wool rabid fans, you might have fun at the Indy 500.

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U.S. Open, Southampton, NY
June 11-18, 2018

us open
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The Hamptons has long been where the beautiful people from New York play each summer, and this year’s U.S. Open is taking place at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton (the oldest and most established of all the enclaves). All this is to say that if you make the trip to the Open this year, (and it’s an easily four to five hour drive from New York Coty in the summer months), you’ll be rewarded with a party schedule that might find you mingling with local glitterati. Just get your plans in order early. Accommodations book out very early and are extremely expensive.

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FIFA World Cup, Finals in Moscow, Russia
June 14-July 15, 2018

fifa worldcup
credit: shutterstock.com

The United States is still playing catch-up on the world stage in men’s soccer (the women’s team has trounced the competition in recent years), but there’s no denying the international sport’s force throughout the world. This year, the World Cup is being mounted in Russia, in cities west of the Ural mountains (which keeps things on the European side and easier for many countries to participate). 11 western Russian cities will narrow the field until the final match is played in Moscow, on July 15.

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Wimbledon Tennis Tournament, London, UK
July 2-15, 2018

wimbledon
credit: shutterstock.com

One of the four Grand Slam Tournaments, Wimbledon is generally thought to be the most prestigious (as well as the oldest). The English like to do things their own way, so it should come as no surprise that they buck the trends in tennis as well. Wimbledon is the only major tournament still played on grass, disdains corporate sponsorships on the court (you’ll see nary a banner), and has a strict dress code for participants (the queen herself might be there – you have to show some decorum, after all!

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Dodgeball World Cup, New York, NY
August 3-4, 2018
Maybe you never quite got over your 5th grade aspirations of world domination. Maybe you’ve got some psychic scores to settle. Or maybe you’re just interested in attending a slightly less serious, but totally hip sport in Madison Square Garden, one of the most iconic venues in the world! We’re in that category ourselves. Here’s the thing. The participants take this VERY seriously. As hosts, the United States are automatically qualified – but there are nearly 60 countries vying to participate and see England’s men’s’ team and Australia’s women’s’ team defend their titles.

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U.S. Open, Flushing Meadows, Queens, NY
August 27-September 11, 2018

us open
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Ahem. Contrast Wimbledon’s stiff upper lip style with the U.S. Open. Held in Queens, NY (don’t let the name fool you – Queens is not rarefied real estate). Rather, the U.S. Open is dedicated to the people who play. The U.S. Tennis Association uses net proceeds from the tournament to promote the development of tennis in the country (so kids benefit, mostly). Singles winners this year will take home nearly $4 million a piece, a crazy increase from what singles winners took home in 1973 ($25,000). If you plan to attend, it’s completely reasonable to stay in Manhattan (you can easily take the subway to Flushing Meadows). Best of both worlds!

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Football Season commences, various cities
September 6, 2018

professional football
Okay, okay. We just couldn’t do a post about the Best Sports Events without at least mentioning the start of football season. The travel plans are completely up to you. But mark your calendars. Get your fantasy football draft weekend in Vegas booked for August.

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Baseball World Series, TBD
October 23-31, 2018

baseball season
Once again, this is an event that might require a crystal ball (unless you’re REALLY sure of your team’s odds in 2018. But we like to plan things in advance and it’s not too early to start putting some dough aside so you can travel to the game, wherever it lands in 2018!

New York City Marathon, New York, NY
November 5, 2018

nyc marathon
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Unlike Boston, which is somewhat of an elite runner’s Mecca (you have to have a qualifying time, after all), New York’s marathon is more of a run for the people. And as such, we highly encourage even a first time marathoner to lace up their shoes and plan ahead. You can easily start to train for this doable race—it’s an almost completely flat course around the city and is attended by more than a million people every year who show up to just cheer you on (ok, so there are some hecklers too, but it wouldn’t be New York if there weren’t a few). Can we say it once more with feeling? WE LOVE NEW YORK.

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Sports not really your thing? Check out our other Best of Events lists for the year: Music Festivals, Food/Culture, and Family Fun. Happy travels in 2018!

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