A Tour of the Past: Visiting New York’s Sports History
New York City has a long and distinguished history of sports. Home to the headquarters of the National Hockey League, the National Football League, Major League Baseball, and the National Basketball Association, the sports scene in New York City is diverse, and travelers to the city can visit some of the most iconic stadiums, teams, and landmarks in sporting history.
Those looking to include sports history in their New York itinerary should consider the following sites.
Image via Flickr by m01229
A visit to Yankee Stadium is a must for every baseball fan. Home of the New York Yankees since opening in 1923, many historic games have been played here.
Icons like Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, and Babe Ruth played here. This is the most expensive baseball stadium ever built and is now known as “The Home of Champions,” having hosted 33 World Series, 27 of which the Yankees have won.
Wooden bleachers have now been replaced by concrete; the stadium having seen many face lifts over the years. After much controversial debate, builders demolished the stadium in 1973, completely rebuilt it, with the reopening in time for the 1976 season. The interior and exterior have changed dramatically over time; however the stadium today incorporates replicas of different elements from the original structure, preserving the heritage of this iconic venue.
Most New York hotels are within reach of the subway. Take the subway to East 161st Street and River Avenue.
Madison Square Garden
One of the city’s most famous sports landmarks is Madison Square Garden.
The Garden, constructed in February 1968, is a multi-purpose stadium, the oldest and most active major sporting facility in metropolitan New York. For basketball fans, it is home of the New York Knicks, one of the founding members of the Basketball Association of America, which in 1949 became the NBA. For ice hockey fans, the New York Rangers play here once basketball season is complete.
Construction of the Garden saw the original Pennsylvania Railroad Station demolished. This was a popular city landmark due to its Beaux-Arts architecture, and public outcry led to creation of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. There is controversy to this day about moving Madison Square Garden for the renovation and future expansion of Penn Station.
Find Madison Square Garden on 7th Avenue between W 31st St and W 33rd St.
Jackie Robinson House
A historic site in Brooklyn, the home of Jackie Robinson is an ordinary Brooklyn house, though the connection to the man responsible for breaking the color barrier in Major League Baseball makes this building of great historical importance.
Robinson was a baseball great and lived here from 1947 until 1950 while playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Declared a National Historic Landmark in 1976, the home is at 5224 Tilden Avenue.
New York is utopia when it comes to traveling for sports, and no matter what your passion or game, this city has it all. From historic stadiums to celebrity teams, and landmarks associated with players who shaped the international sporting scene — no sports fan should miss a visit to New York.