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Sports tourism? Yes, it exists

Posted by on December 21, 2011

I was in the gym yesterday playing basketball and overheard a group of guys talking about the Los Angeles Clippers and their addition of Chris Paul, one of the best players in the NBA, and how they are going to be VERY good. Some of the guys even stated that they were thinking of traveling to LA to go watch the Clippers and the Lakers play. Really? Really? Oh well, that’s their life not mine…

It’s funny that I used to partake in it myself as I loved attending sports games in different places such as the old Yankees stadium in NYC (the one that Babe Ruth played in, not the new one) or some other arena. What could I say? I was a big follower of sports but now… not so much now as I’ve decided that the best spot is and has always been in front of the TV or not watching at all (I’ve taken this route instead). But yet, sports tourism exists especially after hearing about how many Japanese people travel to the US to watch their fellow professional countrymen (such as Ichiro Suzuki and Daisuke Matsuzaka) play in the major leagues.

I guess it’s one form of traveling since people are going from point A (home) to point B (sports stadium/arena) and partake in the physical festivities of rooting, ranting, and cheering on the participants on the field of glory. And it can be a whole bunch of party flavors that can occur before and during the game. For example, every all-star game for the major sports leagues has these fan-friendly events such as see how much you measure to the professionals by throwing a ball, compare heights and weights, maybe even meet the players themselves, etc. It’s a big event not just for the fans but the league itself as rival teams will set aside traditional hate and anger and roll each other a cigar of fun, laughter, and a good time. Of course, the good time could equate to as BIG PROFITS. Yes, I stated that because there are lots of money-vacuuming entities at these places as well as outside that want to suck your money dry. I suppose it’s not stealing if you willingly agree to the prices and have a good time with it then by all means go ahead.

I was looking around on the internet and found this website:

http://www.sportstravelandtours.com/

I was actually fascinated by the whole thing. It looks like they work really hard to make any fan’s dream come alive by cutting out a lot of fat and give him/her/them the thick, juicy piece of the beef. For example, the agency sells not only tickets but full-blown packages to accommodate the fan so he/she/they don’t have to sweat out the little stuff and just focus on having a great time. Very nice, very nice. Great business model.

I, however, probably won’t do it since my objectives lie on a different track but still find amusement in it. I’m still that adventurous traveler who would prefer to go to foreign countries and see what’s out there. If someone were to accidentally “drop some money on the ground” for me to pickup and no one claimed it then yeah, I might consider taking a trip to go see an All-Star Game or perhaps the biggest event of the year, every year, the Super Bowl.

And there are others who reel in great levels of pleasure from attending live sports events so they make it their world, their way to emulate that same kind of success by being part of a live audience. I must admit watching sports on TV is just not the same as being in attendance and feeling the vibe and energy of the crowd and atmosphere. But yet, I decided to not become a serious sports fan anymore as doing the real thing is a lot more than watching from afar.