The Sporting Bucket List: 5 Major Events to Attend Before You Die


Sport is a wonderful thing. Whether you’re a fan of football or passionate about rugby, sport brings out the best in people – and most supporters follow their respective sides on a weekly basis. Rain or shine, sport fans are committed enough to travel to watch their team play in the hope that they can win; ensuring that all supporters go home with smiles on their faces.

Some events, such as the Super Bowl in the United States, are bigger than sport. This year, Lady Gaga played the infamous half-time show; with millions of people tuning in to watch from all over the globe. These kind of events are the standout sporting moments of the year and fans will pay an extortionate amount of money to be in attendance. Here are five of the biggest sporting events that YOU must attend in your lifetime.

Champions League Final

The dream for every football fan is to watch their side win the Champions League trophy; arguably the biggest accolade in club football. Real Madrid have been fortunate enough to lift this famous trophy a record 11 times – including victory over city rivals Atletico in last year’s final.

Without a shadow of a doubt, the European Cup final is the pinnacle of the football calendar and fans will travel from all over the world to take in the festivities and fun ahead of the big clash. Whilst the World Cup final steals the thunder every four years, the Champions League continues to surprise us all on a yearly basis; you’d be foolish to miss it.

Champions League Final” (CC BY 2.0) by Johnny Vulkan

In 2017, Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium, now known as the Principality Stadium, will play host to the showpiece event, with over 80,000 fans set to attend the iconic arena. The venue is known for its intense atmosphere and neutrals will be hoping that the roof is closed in a bid to crank the decibels up even further.

If you are lucky enough to get tickets for the Champions League final in the future, we would advise you to attend; you won’t regret it. If watching the two best teams in Europe wasn’t enough, there are plenty of other activities and events on around the stadium and there is a real carnival ambiance for one of the most prestigious matches in football.

Wimbledon Tennis Championship

Tennis is popular in all four corners of the globe and Wimbledon might just be home to the best tournament of the year. Every summer, world-class players travel to England to partake in the only Grand Slam event to be played on grass; and tennis fans queue for hours to secure their tickets.

Getting a seat on Centre Court is very difficult indeed and Wimbledon-obsessed tennis fans will queue for hours on end in a desperate bid to get the best seats in the house. If you are lucky enough to acquire tickets for the men’s final, you could see Andy Murray, arguably the best player in the world right now, defend his crown against Novak Djokovic.

running” (CC BY 2.0) by Marc Di Luzio

The vast majority of the crowd will be expecting Murray to fly the flag for Great Britain once again but legends such as Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal always receive plenty of support at the event. Ultimately, there is a real friendly atmosphere around the venue and you can also watch some of the action on the outdoor courts if you attend during the early rounds.

The other three major events; the Australian Open, the French Open and the US Open are all big but Wimbledon is arguably the most important tournament in the sport and tennis lovers will have fingers and toes crossed for no rain in the build-up and throughout the competition.

Rugby World Cup Final

Imagine being an England rugby fan in Sydney when Jonny Wilkinson kicked that infamous drop goal in the final minute to beat Australia back in 2003? Supporting your country in a key Six Nations contest is one thing but imagine what it is like to sing your nation’s anthem before the World Cup final? It would be very surreal indeed…
Rugby union might not be your cup of tea but the World Cup final is an incredible spectacle – and the 2019 edition in Tokyo might just be the greatest yet. With an opening and closing ceremony before the main event on the field, you will witness the atmosphere cranking up a notch as kick-off draws closer and the players take to the pitch.

Rugby World Cup 2007: Opening Ceremony” (CC BY 2.0) by Jonathan SMITH – Thames Path Online Guide

New Zealand were crowned champions when beating Argentina in the showpiece event at Twickenham back in 2015; a tournament that English fans would rather forget. Union tickets don’t come cheap but the passion on offer both on the field and in the stands is unrivalled in any other sport; international rugby brings out the best in the supporters.

You will find fans of all ages, gender and colour in the crowd and that is what makes union so special – it is inclusive of everybody. Whether you are Scottish or English, Argentinian or French, one thing is for sure: you won’t be able to take your eyes off one of the most nerve-wracking sports around.

Cheltenham Festival

The biggest horse racing event of the year takes place in March, and 250,000 racegoers will travel to Cheltenham over the course of the four-day meeting. Some of the most successful trainers, owners and horses in the business compete in a number of the finest Grade 1 races in the sport– and punters will be excited for the start of this year’s edition.

The 2017 event may be too soon for you to attend but it is sure to be a very exciting few days of racing and you can catch all of the action retrospectively or live on TV. Punters will flock to bookmakers for the best odds and tips – Oddschecker has reviewed the prospects of a number of festival winners who will be looking to maintain their record at the famous meeting.

Cross-country chase” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Carine06

With Douvan and Altior, both of whom were first past the post in separate races just twelve months ago, featuring prominently in major races at this year’s event, spectators will be mesmerised at just how quick and agile these thoroughbreds really are.

Cheltenham might not be everybody’s cup of tea but horse racing fans know that this is the pinnacle of the National Hunt season. The Gold Cup on the fourth and final day is arguably the highlight but the entire meeting will be full of excitement – the Cheltenham Festival is an absolute must for both the racing aficionado and novice.

The Ashes

Every cricket fan has dreamt of bowling the winning ball in an Ashes Test match but sadly, not everybody can have the honour of making the grade in international cricket. Instead, you can go and watch the oldest and most prestigious sporting series around in England versus Australia – you won’t regret it.

Your average Test match may be little tedious at times but the intensity always reaches a new level when England face Australia. With so much at stake for both nations, the Ashes tends to throw up plenty of shocks throughout the five-match series and cricket fans have learnt to expect the unexpected when these two sides collide.

Ashes – Australia struggling” (CC BY 2.0) by piesgardiner

This time around, England will attempt to retain the Ashes down under; and head coach Trevor Bayliss will be confident of completing a turnaround in his native land. Australia aren’t quite as dominant as they were a decade or so ago and new England captain Joe Root can inspire his troops to success if he steps up to the plate.
A trip to Australia isn’t cheap but it won’t be too long before the Ashes are back on English soil. With five Test matches, there are enough opportunities to attend just one day of the greatest series in sporting history – just pray that the weather holds off long enough for a full day of play.


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