New York: A Guide for Sports Lovers in the Big Apple

New York City takes its sports very seriously. The Yankees, Giants, and Knicks are all beloved institutions in NYC, and seeing these teams play live really is something else. As well as its evergreen teams, New York hosts hundreds of amazing sporting events each year – it’s the place to be! Here’s my guide to traveling to New York for sports and how to plan a trip to NYC for a sporting event. 

Top sporting events happening in New York

I’m not sure how sports fans in New York ever get any sleep, as the city’s sporting calendar never seems to rest. Here’s a sneak peek at what you can expect to see in New York in the upcoming months and beyond. 

Copa America

Fans of (European) football rejoice – New York is about to become the place to be to catch some of the sport’s top players in action. Copa America, the showdown of 16 teams from North, Central, and South America, kicks off on June 20th and wraps up on July 14th. 

New York is hosting three matches at MetLife Stadium (yes, technically in New Jersey but a short NJ Transit ride from NYC) including a semi-final showdown on July 9th. Messi fans can also catch Argentina’s group stage match at MetLife on June 25th. Info and tickets here

Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup

Cricket? In New York City? It may be hard to believe, but the Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup is being co-hosted by the West Indies and the USA, with eight matches being played in New York. With no existing suitable cricket pitch in NYC, the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium was developed for the event, with a capacity of 34,000 in East Meadow, Long Island. The tournament runs from June 1st to June 29th. 

U.S. Open

If tennis is your thing, you can’t miss the U.S. Open. Held at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, the final grand slam of the calendar year never fails to serve up the drama. This year’s competition runs from August 19th to September 8th. 

Men’s FIFA World Cup 2026

Football fans will barely have time to recover from Copa America before the next big event hits NYC – the Men’s FIFA World Cup in 2026. The tournament runs from June 11th to July 19th, with eight matches set to be played in New York, including the final. Matches will be played at MetLife Stadium, which will be known as “New York New Jersey Stadium” for the tournament. 

Must-see New York sports teams 

New York has no shortage of beloved sports teams – whether you’re into baseball, basketball, NFL, hockey, or football, you can visit New York for sports and have an amazing experience. Here are the top teams in the city and where to catch them. 

New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets 

There are two NBA teams in New York, the Knicks and the Nets. The Knicks play their home games at the iconic Madison Square Garden (MSG), which is a venue worth a visit even if you’re not there for the ball. The Nets play at the Barclays Center in downtown Brooklyn. Both games are a fun experience, but you can’t beat a packed MSG for a Knicks game. 

New York Yankees and Mets 

The New York Yankees are by far the most successful and storied Major League Baseball (MLB) team in the US. Catching a Yankees game in NYC is an unforgettable experience, and a great chance to check out the iconic Yankee Stadium in The Bronx. The Mets play at Citi Field in Queens – also a fun time! The regular MLB season runs from March to September. 

New York Giants and Jets 

Just as there are two NBA and MLB teams in New York, there are also two NFL teams. The city is home to both the Jets and the Giants, though neither made the playoffs in the most recent season. The Giants have been around for about 50 years longer than the Jets, but both teams have great fan bases and the games are equally enjoyable for a neutral. 

Both the Giants and the Jets play at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The stadium is only about 15 minutes from Manhattan by bus or train on the NJ Transit system. The regular NFL season runs from September to January. 

New York Rangers

Ice hockey is a fun sport to watch, and there’s no better league than the NHL. The New York Rangers play at Madison Square Garden, which they share with the Knicks. As I said, MSG is an iconic venue to visit, and a Rangers game is a great place to check it out. The season runs from October to April each year. 

New York Red Bulls and New York City FC

New York is also home to two Major League Soccer (MLS) teams, New York Red Bulls and New York City FC. With “round-ball football” becoming more and more popular in the US, and New York preparing for both Copa America and the Men’s 2026 FIFA World Cup, there’s never been a better time to experience a game of football in New York. 

The Red Bulls play at Red Bull Arena, a new stadium in Harrison, New Jersey. It’s easy to get to from Manhattan, and has a great match-day experience. NYCFC plays at Yankee Stadium, which is normally home to the Yankees but moonlights as a football stadium occasionally. If you’re keen to check out this iconic venue, an NYCFC game is a great place to do it! 

Gotham FC

In my opinion, there aren’t many teams with a cooler name than Gotham FC. This NWSL soccer team is based in New York / New Jersey, but went with “Gotham” to keep things short and simple. They also play at Red Bull Arena, and their star-studded lineup of world cup champions and USWNT players is a great reason to check out one of their games. Go bats! 

Where to stay, drink, eat, and shop for sports fans in New York

As well as planning the sports games you’re hitting up in New York City, don’t forget to find somewhere to stay! Here’s a look at hotels, restaurants, bars, and shopping opportunities for sports fans visiting the Big Apple. 

Best hotels

Manhattan is surprisingly compact, and the NY subway system makes it easy to navigate right across the rest of the city. I always recommend staying in Manhattan as I believe it’s best for tourists – you can check out Times Square, hang out in Central Park, explore SoHo, visit Wall Street, and so much more. 

Check Airbnb for apartments on the Upper East Side – I’ve stayed in some great ones there and it’s a nice, central location, and sometimes cheaper than a hotel room. In terms of Manhattan hotels, I like the Noble Den in Lower Manhattan. If you’re traveling on a budget, NYC is one of the few US cities with hostels. Check out the HI New York City Hostel, but be prepared to spend more than you would for a European hostel.  

Best restaurants for sports fans traveling to New York

Sports fan or otherwise, there are a few staple foods you absolutely have to try while you’re in New York. Of course, a traditional NY pizza slice is the first one. You can find these everywhere, but Rubirosa and John’s of Bleecker are two of the absolute best the city has to offer. You also have to try the pastrami on rye at Katz Deli, the oldest and most famous deli in the entire city. 

Tops bars for sports Travelers

It’s safe to say there’s no shortage of sports bars in New York – you’ll find one on almost every street and most of them are pretty good quality. In lower Manhattan, Liverpool fans have to hit up Carragher’s, while anyone in Greenwich Village (well worth a visit in its own right) should pop into 3 Sheets. 

In the East Village, hit up The Grafton, while The Stumble Inn is always a safe bet on the East Side. If you’re looking for something near MSG, Goldie’s Tavern is just a couple of blocks away. And, for an option that’s close to Yankee Stadium, Stan’s Sports Bar in the Bronx should be at the top of your list. 

Best shopping for sports fans in New York City

New York’s shopping scene is second to none, especially for high-end fashion. A stroll down Fifth Avenue takes you past (or into) some of the city’s most exclusive and high-end designer stores. Sports fans might like to pop into the NBA Store on Fifth Avenue to check out gear, and on Avenue of the Americas, you’ll find the MLB Flagship Store for all your baseball fan gear. 

New York: Perfect for Your Next Sports Travel Adventure

They say you can’t have it all, but New York does! From hockey to baseball to basketball, and all codes of football, the city is a paradise for sports lovers. Plus, there’s so much to do and see when you’re not at the game, from the Empire State Building to the Statue of Liberty. Make NYC your next sports travel destination – you won’t regret it!