New York City is renowned as one of the world’s greatest destinations, drawing millions of visitors every year for its iconic sights and unique atmosphere.
However, tourists are increasingly grabbing cheap flights to New York for another reason – to watch world-class sport. Sports tourism is a growing market, with more and more governments realising the economic impact that sporting events can provide for a city, a region or a country. Sports tourists will generally pay good money to watch the best sports teams and events, and their spend will extend to other areas during their stay. New York City just happens to play host to some of the finest and most recognised sports teams, brands and events in the world, and this is being recognised by the city’s authorities. Mike Hopper, vice president of sports marketing for NYC & Company, has picked up on the trend, and says, “when people look at the New York–New Jersey region, they see it as a sports hub unlike any other. They can come to town and, if they play their schedule right, they can probably see four games within a few days.” In recent years, New York City has added to its already top-class sporting offer. While iconic teams such as the Yankees, Knicks and Giants all call New York home, there are plenty of other top-level teams in and around the city offering Major League Baseball, NFL (American football) and NHL (ice hockey), and even soccer, with the growing popularity of the MLS and the New York Red Bulls. Add to that New York’s great annual or one-off sporting events, such as the US Open tennis, the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, hosted in Queen’s this summer, and the 2014 Super Bowl at Met Life Stadium in New Jersey, and the city and region is set to continue to benefit from its position as one of the greatest places to watch sport anywhere in the world. Image sources: 123