Sporting events have had spectators for centuries and the desire for watching live action is one thing which hasn’t diminished with time. Live sports are as popular as ever and whilst we’ve come a long way from the Gladiatorial battles in Roman times, there are still plenty of events which pit people against each other to see who will triumph. Nowadays you don’t have to be at an event in person to watch it. In fact, it’s often advantageous to view events remotely as you get to see angles you may not in the flesh. In this article, I’ll rank the best sporting events for spectators.
The Cheltenham Festival (Horse Racing)
Horse racing is a perfect example of a supreme spectator sport, and there’s nothing like the roar of a crowd as your steed is romping home for the win. The Cheltenham festival is the pinnacle event of the horse racing world for a viewer, and media engagement is huge for the four days of racing. You can research professional opinions on which horses are likely to triumph and take advantage of generous bookmaker promotions ahead of the key contests.
For the racegoer, the four days of Cheltenham races (Tuesday 16th-Friday 20th March for this year’s event) is supreme racing. During the festival the racecourse usually welcomes over 265,000 guests, but whilst spectators won’t be allowed at the course this year, there’ll still be plenty to enjoy from the fully televised event. With the races being broadcast on television, there’s plenty of time for the pundits and experts to provide their thoughts on the next race and give the casual horse racing fan a clue on what to expect and where to place their bets. Even those uninterested in the sport can enjoy the beautiful scenery Cheltenham has to offer and the wonderful equine athletes on show.
With hundreds of millions of pounds bet over the event, Cheltenham is the most lucrative Jump festival in the world and offers prize money of over £1 million each race day. The huge prize money draws the best horses and trainers from around the globe to challenge for each individual race. As the finest horses in the world are going head-to-head, it makes spectacular viewing for watchers as even those uninterested in horse racing can get a rush from the fine margins which separate first from the rest.
The 2018 World Cup in Russia had huge viewership
The World Cup Finals (Football)
For many it’s the greatest month and a shame that it only appears once every four years. The World Cup finals are the epitome of football and when it arrives the entire world is transfixed on it. With spectatorship of the 2018 World Cup at an eye watering 3.5 billion people, half of the people on Earth were watching the competition.
The World Cup finals pit football’s most elite players from each nation against each other in a quest to find out who the best nation on Earth is. It truly is a global event with every country given the opportunity to qualify for the finals, and that’s part of what makes it such an inclusive event which resonates with so many people.
Often with three matches a day, the World Cup is a sporting phenomenon which is made for viewership. Whether it’s two fairly unknown countries battling or it’s your home country taking on Brazil, each match brings its own set of intrigue and piques the interest of even the most uninitiated football fan.
The World Cup has such an impact on spectators that it echoes far beyond the TV screen. Streets and cars are lined with national flags, some people get tattoos with their favourite player emblazoned on them and ‘did you watch the match?’ usually becomes the first question friends ask each other on a daily basis.
The Super Bowl (American Football)
The National Football League’s Super Bowl is the biggest game of the year and the one which crowns the winner of the NFL for the season.
With TV viewing figures more than double that of the NBA, American Football is the USA’s number one sport and 100 million viewers tuned in across the country for last year’s game which Kansas City Chiefs won.
Super Bowl Sunday is a celebrated occasion across America and it’s the day that most snacks are consumed on a single day in the country. There are cooking shows dedicated to preparing the perfect Super Bowl grub to the delight of American football fans everywhere, and there’s often debates on the best food and drink to compliment the game. It’s estimated that on average Americans will consume up to 2000 calories during the match alone, eating 327% more chicken wings than any other day and Domino’s expect to sell 12 million slices of pizza throughout the gluttonous game.
Centre Court is the biggest stage at Wimbledon
Anyone for tennis? During Wimbledon the answer is always ‘yes’! During the two weeks in which the Wimbledon Championships are held, local tennis court bookings increase by 30% as amateurs from around the country visit their local clubs and parks trying to emulate their favourite players.
Taking place in the decadent SW1 postcode, the most sought-after tennis tournament in the world is the third major of the calendar year so the players have shaken off any rust and are in their best form when the event takes place in Summer. It’s the perfect occasion for spectators to visit. The Wimbledon grounds boasts 18 championship quality grass courts which you can freely walk around to take in the sights of your favourite players.
The opulent grounds are worth visiting just for the aesthetics, let alone the elite tennis on offer. To compliment your appreciation of the surrounds, it’s only right that you try the iconic strawberries and cream whilst at the tournament, too.
Formal wear is always on show on centre court with a strict dress code in the Royal Box. You’ll always find A-List celebrities in the best seats in the house and there’s a reason the likes of David Beckham, Tom Cruise and Samuel L. Jackson make frequent trips to Wimbledon – because it’s one of the best occasions for fans in world sport.