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It doesn’t matter whether you’re attending the Olympics, the World Cup, or stopping into a local stadium or even sports field for a game – sport is the one thing that unites the world across cultures.

Sport is a huge part of the cultural identity of most countries, and experiencing a game alongside thousands of cheering locals is an experience that shouldn’t be missed when you’re traveling.

Sporting matches are usually very accessible when you travel overseas, but buying tickets isn’t the hardest part – it’s knowing how to make the most of the experience!

Think about incorporating these tips and tricks the next time you stop by a sporting event when traveling in a different country.

How to Make the Most of Sporting Events Overseas

Learn Sporting Language

Sport fans RF

Learning some of the language is a main tip for visiting any country where you don’t speak the local dialect, but it does also pay to learn some sports specific phrases. 

You’ll want to know terms like ‘where is the bathroom’, and the general basics, but you may also want to learn how to pronounce things like the name of the Stadium, the name of the teams, and research some mid game chants the crowd is likely to take part in.

It’s also worth noting that stadiums are loud places where people will be yelling, screaming, and perhaps even be a little drunk, so relying on Google translate may not be your best option at a sporting event.

As such, make sure you really brush up on your key phrases, and know them well enough to shout over the noise, if you need to find the bathroom!

Place Bets on Games

Horse race ladies bet RF

Learning the language also makes it easier if you want to place bets on the games. This is often another local part of the sporting event, just as taking part in the chanting is. 

Whether it’s an NBA matchup or Super Bowl final, it automatically becomes more of a thrill if you’re involved in the outcome of the game.

Before betting on games for the first time, make sure you’re familiar with the sport, with the event, and with the betting rules in the country you’re in. 

There’s the old trick of placing a few bets at an online casino in the US first so you have the hang of it once you arrive. There’s a major crossover between casino gambling and sports gambling if you need to increase your familiarity with how betting works.

Download a Map of the Stadium

Football stadium RF

Most stadiums these days come with online apps which allow you to easily navigate to your seat, and around the stadium. This way, you don’t have to rely on signage which may be in a foreign language.

That said if you can’t download an app, there are uisually seating guides you can research in advance, like this one for Madison Square Garden.

Most major stadiums around the world now have been thoroughly reviewed, so there should be plenty of information to find online.

Subscribe to a Sports Streaming Service

It pays to watch some of the sport you plan to be there for in person before the event, so you know how the game is played, how the crowd interacts and behaves, and have a general idea of what happens. 

The best way to do this is to find out about upcoming televised events, and you can join sports streaming services for this (think of them like Netflix but for sports). Good examples of these services include: 

  • Hulu+
  • ESPN+ 
  • YouTube TV 
  • fuboTV
  • Fox Sports Go 

These services all come with different price plans and features, so make sure to compare and contrast them before signing up. Also, some of these platforms, such as YouTube TV, offer free trials to users.

Buy Merchandise

Chicago RF

The great thing about being a sports fan is that you get to represent and support your team by wearing different merchandise, from jerseys and caps to sweatshirts.

And you can bet that most of the crowd will be in their merch, so it’s a great way to blend in.

Make sure you’re wearing the right merchandise for the area of the stadium you’re seated though – for instance, it could get rough if you’re wearing the gear for the visiting team, in the bleachers or stands that are full of home team fans!

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.


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