52 Places to Go: Where to Watch Sports in 2018

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52 Places to Go

The roster includes the Winter Olympics in South Korea, the World Cup in Russia and the World Equestrian Games in North Carolina.

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The Winter X Games will take place in Aspen in January.CreditAnna Stonehouse/The Aspen Times, via Associated Press

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Jan. 11, 2018

After years of planning and construction, the Winter Olympics and the World Cup are generally regarded as the marquee sporting events of 2018. But there is an abundance of events throughout the year for sports enthusiasts around the globe, from the British-centric Commonwealth Games to the rough-and-tumble Rugby World Cup Sevens to the refined World Equestrian Games.

Super Bowl LII, or 52, will be played on Feb. 4 at the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. The city, which previously hosted the Super Bowl in 1992, will offer a range of fan-friendly events over the course of the 10 days leading to the game. The singer Justin Timberlake will headline the halftime show.

Pyeongchang, South Korea, will be the site of the Winter Games from Feb. 9 to 25. Spectators can take in skiing, snowboarding and bobsledding among the 102 events, a record number for a Winter Olympics. Curling, ice hockey, figure skating and speed-skating competitions will be held in the nearby city of Gangneung, but the activities don’t stop there. The Paralympic Games, which follow the Winter Games in Pyeongchang, are set for March 9 to 18.

From April 4 to 15, the Commonwealth Games will be held on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia. The competition, which features badminton, basketball, artistic gymnastics and squash, among other sports, features athletes from 70 Commonwealth countries and territories.

The World Cup, the quadrennial international men’s soccer tournament, will take place from June 14 to July 15 with 64 games across 11 Russian cities, including Kaliningrad, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, St. Petersburg and Sochi. There will be 32 participating countries, including teams from Egypt, Japan, Nigeria and Panama. Germany, the 2014 champions, will be defending their title. Notable team absences include Italy, which had previously qualified for 14 consecutive tournaments, and the United States, which lost a qualifying game to Trinidad and Tobago last year.

For horse racing fans, there are several notable events on the calendar. The Kentucky Derby is scheduled for May 5 and the 143rd Preakness Stakes at Baltimore’s Pimlico Race Course will be held on May 19. In Liverpool, England, the famed Grand National steeplechase is scheduled for April 14 at the Aintree Racecourse, and the Melbourne Cup, a 3,200-meter race (just under two miles), is set for Nov. 6 in Victoria, Australia.

Mill Spring, N.C., which lies near the state’s border with South Carolina, will be the host for the World Equestrian Games from Sept. 11 to 23, with events that will include jumping, reining and vaulting.

The Winter X Games, scheduled for Jan. 25 to 28 at Buttermilk Mountain in Aspen, Colo., includes competitions like snowboarding and snow bike racing. There are a range of ticket options, with single-day general admission tickets ranging from $25 to $50 to a four-day platinum sports and diamond music club admission for $1,888. The Summer X Games, from July 19 to 22 in Minneapolis, will include skateboarding and BMX biking, among other sports. The Games will then head to Sydney from Oct. 19 to 21, marking the event’s Australian debut.

The Rugby World Cup Sevens, with 40 men’s and women’s teams competing for separate rugby titles, will take place from July 20 to 22 in San Francisco. Single-day tickets to the international event, held every four years, start at $108, excluding taxes. Three-day passes will also be available for revelers.

Nearly everyone is familiar with the endurance-testing behemoth of cycling that is the Tour de France, which will be held from July 7 to 29 and weaves through the countryside and coastal towns and cities. The Union Cycliste Internationale Road World Championships in Innsbruck, Austria, which will welcome over 1,000 participants and thousands of spectators from Sept. 22 to 30, is another premier road cycling tournament. Another competition to watch is the Track Cycling World Championships in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands, where participants will engage in a competition of track cycling (track bikes on velodrome or custom-built tracks) from Feb. 28 to March 4.

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