If you’ve ever watched ice hockey, you’ll know it’s a sport like no other. Fighting between players is a traditional part of the game, for one thing. You can certainly expect tempers to flare when local champs the Boston Bruins come face to face with the Montreal Canadiens on 3 March. The friction between the teams has been dubbed “one of the greatest rivalries in sports”, so while it might feel frosty at the rink, temperatures are sure to rise when they meet. The NHL season lasts till early April, with plenty of other games to catch too at the TD Garden arena.
Anyone with half an interest in sport can’t come to Boston without making time for the Red Sox. Based at Fenway Park, an iconic venue which dates back well over a century, this is a team which is woven into the history of the United States. The Red Sox once counted Babe Ruth, arguably the greatest baseball star of all time, among their players, and you can see the current crop of legends do their thing in Boston from 5 April onwards. Try to get tickets for one of their clashes with the New York Yankees – their epic rivalry is always a thrill to behold.
On 16 April, it’ll feel like the whole of Boston is out on the streets for one of the most joyous events of the year. This will be the day of the 2018 Boston Marathon – an annual event held to coincide with Patriots’ Day, which commemorates the first battles of the American War of Independence. Around half a million spectators come out to watch the runners in action, in a sporting extravaganza which dates right back to 1897. The energy and the atmosphere make it an unmissable experience if you’re in Boston in April.
The TD Garden arena isn’t just home to the Boston Bruins ice hockey team. This is also the temple where basketball lovers worship at the altar of the Boston Celtics. The greatest team in NBA history with 17 championships to their name, the Celtics enjoy god-like status in this neck of the woods, and you can see what all the fuss is about right through to April, when they take on the likes of the Washington Wizards and the Indiana Pacers. And if you’re curious about their cheeky mascot, his name is Lucky the Leprechaun.
Football – that is, American football – is more than a sport. It’s a religion across the Pond, and you may well become a convert once you see the New England Patriots in action. Their home games take place at Gillette Stadium, which sits just outside Boston itself, and even if you’ve never watched American football before, the sheer exuberance will sweep you along. Plus, you’ll get to see their star quarterback, and US sporting icon, Tom Brady. The 2018 football season kicks off in September, so you’ll certainly feel the city-wide buzz if you’re in Boston around that time.
The name may be a bit of a mouthful, but summing up the Head of the Charles Regatta is simple: this is the largest 2-day rowing event in the world. Unfolding on the 20 and 21 October, this sparkling event on the social calendar will see many thousands of rowers, and even more spectators, congregate around the Charles River. There are countless races to watch from scenic vantage points – including the many bridges that span the river – while the food stalls, bars and carnival-like atmosphere are worth coming for on their own.
Cape Cod is an irresistible draw for many visitors to nearby Boston, and at its very tip is the idyllic coastal community of Provincetown. A haven for artists, bohemians and dreamers, it’s a picture-postcard image of New England charm, but come 9 June things will get very lively indeed during the annual coastal rowing regatta. One of America’s top beach towns will host a succession of exciting races, with paddleboards and kayaks all part of proceedings. Be sure to tuck into some spankingly fresh seafood after spurring on the competitors.
It may come as a bit of a surprise that rugby is very much a Thing in the United States. Indeed, some pundits have suggested it might grow to become one of the big national games, alongside baseball, basketball and football. In the meantime, you can see how Americans do it at the Union Point Athletic Facilities, where the Boston Rugby Football Club has recently moved. Home matches are set to start in spring 2018, and it’s sure to be an eye-opener. Trivia tidbit: some BRFC players appeared alongside Matt Damon in the quintessential Boston-set blockbuster, The Departed.
Ice hockey in this city isn’t just about the Boston Bruins. There’s also a formidable women’s team to catch in action. The Boston Blades played their first season relatively recently, in 2010, but have since established themselves as a force to be reckoned with, and you can see them hit the ice at the Lawrence Larsen Skating Rink in February and March, where they’ll take on rivals like Markham Thunder and Kunlun Red Star.
You may have to get used to calling it soccer rather than football when you’re over there, but there’s no denying the passion for the beautiful game in the Boston area. Their local stars are New England Revolution, who are part of the Major League Soccer league. The regular season begins on 3 March 2018 and runs through to October, and you can check out their skills at Gillette Stadium, where fast and furious home games are played against the likes of Colorado Rapids and New York City FC.
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