Top 7 Sports Fan Experiences You Shouldn’t Miss in 2019
 

Staff writer – February 13, 2019

There has never been a better time to be a sports fan. You can buy a jersey of your favorite team that’s chipped, giving you discounts at the stadium. Apps allow you to order food from your seat so you don’t miss a moment of the action. Stadiums are getting more and more high-tech and high-touch. If you love sports, try out these seven fan experiences in 2019.

1. Tour the “Theatre of Dreams”
 

Old Trafford was built in 1909, and it has been the home of Manchester United since 2018. But the site was a sports center even before then—shinty, a sport now played primarily in the Scottish Highlands, was once played there. American soldiers took some time off to play baseball in Old Trafford during WWI. The stadium has undergone numerous expansions, including a new dressing room (where you can sit in a footballer’s seat) in 2018. In May 2019, Old Trafford will open its new Treble display, where you can learn about the trio of trophies that mark the 20th anniversary. Stay at the nearby Hotel Football for the full experience. 

 

2. 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup
 

The FIFA Women’s World Cup will take place in different cities around France from June 7 to July 7. The last match was won by the U.S.A. in 2015, and they will be up against 23 other teams to hold on the title, including Jamaica, the first Caribbean team to qualify for the event (thanks to Cedella Marley’s sponsorship). Other newcomers to the match are South Africa, Scotland, and Chile. If you get tickets for the final round, you can see the final parade and trophy ceremony! 

 

3. Hoops in India
 

One normally associates India with soccer and cricket, but in 2019, the NBA is going to Mumbai. The NBA India Games, held on October 4 and 5 at the NSCI Dome, will feature the Indiana Pacers and the Sacramento Kings in two pre-season games. To bring local fans into the action, there will also be NBA Cares community outreach events, interactive experiences, and Jr. NBA youth basketball programming. Don’t miss this opportunity to catch a basketball game in beautiful Mumbai!

4. Experience the Fast Lane in Monaco
 

The Monaco Grand Prix is an elite F1 racing event that everyone ought to attend at least once in their lives. But these tickets go fast, so book as soon as possible for this year’s race from May 23–26. If you get a seat in Casino Square, you can watch the drivers do a sharp turn at 77mph. There is also a large screen so you can see the rest of the route. Last year’s winner was Lewis Hamilton, from the U.K. Enjoy the glitz and the electric atmosphere in lovely Monaco as the cars roar by. Oh, and the track is actually a public street, so you can drive it yourself or have your taxi driver do it.

5. Do the Tour de France
 

The 2019 Tour de France will run from July 6 to July 28, but the route has already been planned and announced. It will begin in Brussels and end in Paris. That leaves a few months for you to get there first and cycle the route yourself! You must be a strong cyclist to do this, but you can take your time (unless you’re racing a friend!). During the actual Tour de France, stand with other spectators to welcome the cyclists and cheer them on. South African company Dimension Data provides technology that allows spectators to track the cyclists with 100% accuracy.

6. See It Begin
 

Before the Super Bowl, before the season leading up to it, comes the NFL Draft, where teams choose new players. In 2019, this will happen in Nashville, from April 25–27. As of now, 111 applicants plan to try their luck. There will also be virtual reality, interactive exhibits, and autograph sessions.

7. Go Virtual with the Vikings
 

If you’re a Minnesota fan, the newly built Vikings Museum is a must-see. Along with the usual player mementos, there are handprints of the Vikings Hall-of-Famers. When you touch the handprint, it activates an information display. Perhaps the virtual reality display, which allows you to experience standing on the sidelines at U.S. Bank Stadium, is the most exciting part. And you can literally follow in the footsteps of your favorite players in the “Vikings Voyage” exhibit, which uses interactive technology and virtual-reality goggles to put you right in the game.

Whatever sports event you attend this year, whether it’s high-tech or low-tech, close to home or far, the most important fan experience is the joy of watching the game with other fans who love the sport as much as you do!