With the glaring exception of American football, you can now catch a game from every major sport within the five boroughs of New York City. This town might be known for Broadway, but there’s plenty of shows to catch. And if you want, you can even break a sweat and get in on the action.
From neighborhood parks where legends honed their craft to rowdy rugby bars where you can have a craft beer with fans from around the world, NYC is a sports town as much as anything else. So anyone hopping on any flights to New York should probably bring along a jersey or two to wear to these places.
From Julius Erving to Kyrie Irving, countless basketball stars grew up at Rucker Park. Slam dunks were basically invented here. If you can hold your own, head to Rucker on West 155th Street and ask in on the next game. Just want to watch? That’s perfectly fine, too. The former Polo Grounds were just across the street, so this is a natural sports tourist destination.
Birthplace of Baseball Monument
Across the Hudson River in Hoboken, the first organized baseball game took place. Take a taxi to see the monument and to drink in the history, then head to Washington Street for an Italian dinner in Sinatra’s hometown. Stop by the Hoboken Historical Museum for info on self-guided walking tours.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Did you know the Met houses much more than paintings and sculptures? Take the Jefferson R. Burdick collection of more than 30,000 baseball cards including artifacts like the famed T206 Honus Wagner. Permanent collections also include scores of sports-related artwork and historical items.
Even if you aren’t visiting NYC around the time of the Belmont Stakes, it’s worth making the trip to Elmont just on the Long Island side of the Queens border. A typical weekend at Belmont Park includes gourmet food and drinks while you watch the ponies — and you might as well make it interesting while you’re there.
Clyde Frazier’s Wine and Dine
You can scarcely walk a New York block without finding a sports bar, but Clyde Frazier’s Wine and Dine is probably the only one you’ll find with half-court basketball right inside. Located in Hell’s Kitchen, Clyde’s place is perfect for birthday parties and large groups, but also a fun meet-up spot with friends after work.
World-Class Rugby and Football Bars
You can drill down further than just a soccer bar in NYC — after all, this is a town where Oklahoma State has its own college football watch party bar. You can definitely find any Liverpool or All Blacks game on a big screen. Our top pick would have to be The Australian on West 38th Street, where you can munch on actual kangaroo meat while cheering alongside Aussie expats. Cricket fans, you’re in luck, too.
Bergino Baseball Clubhouse
This is one of the most unique shops in New York — period. Like a boutique or gallery, the Bergino Baseball Clubhouse displays museum-quality souvenirs and memorabilia from the great pastime.
Gotham Baseball Club
Using 19th-century rules and equipment, the New York Gothams play baseball with all the showmanships and attention to detail that you would expect from a Civil War reenactment. Catch them throughout the summer on Governors Island or at away games upstate and in New Jersey.
Riding the 4 Train to Yankee Stadium
Before a Bronx Bombers game — and afterward, if they win — the subway ride to 161st Street is as fun as the rest of the experience. More than half your subway car might be wearing pinstripes if you leave about an hour before game time. Red Sox fans: take a cab or wear unmarked clothing (mostly kidding).
Know where the best pickup games are? Looking for a team-specific bar on game day? Share your tips and ask questions below.