We've grown up watching all-American sports from the other side of the world and even if we may not always understand the rules, there's no doubt that attending a sporting fixture in the US is a guaranteed good time. The atmosphere is always electric, you'll get to see some of the world's best athletes in action and the people-watching is worth the admission price alone. So, depending on the season you're travelling, check out the local team's at-home schedules, buy yourself some merch, a hot-dog and get on that Kiss-Cam. Here are a few tips and tricks to get you started.
1.BASKETBALL WHO: LA LAKERS WHERE: STAPLES CENTER, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA SEASON: OCTOBER TO JUNE
Even if you only know the basics of NBA basketball, the names of legendary LA Lakers such as LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O'Neal and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will definitely hit that three-point sweet spot. If you can score seats at an LA Lakers home game at the Staples Center you'll likely get to see James, one of the most famous athletes in the world right now, in action on the court alongside his talented teammates. To get tickets visit NBA.com and book early.
GETTING THERE : Staplescenter.com has information on public transport options and also features rideshare app details. ALSO SEE: If you're more of a Steph Curry fan, catch the Golden State Warriors at Oakland Arena, their home stadium.
2.BASEBALL WHO: CHICAGO CUBS OR CHICAGO WHITE SOX WHERE: WRIGLEY FIELD OR GUARANTEED RATE FIELD, BOTH IN CHICAGO ILLINOIS SEASON: LATE MARCH/EARLY APRIL TO LATE SEPTEMBER/ EARLY OCTOBER
The Windy City loves baseball so much that you've got double the chance to catch a game with two Major League Baseball teams calling Chicago home. The two fiercely competitive teams face each other a few times a year in a handful of entertaining gladiatorial clashes that make up the Crosstown Cup; alternatively catch them playing other MLB teams during the season. For tickets, visit MLB.com
GETTING THERE: Any of the major transportation hubs in Chicago will get you to Wrigley Field or Guaranteed Rate Field, either by bus or train.
ALSO SEE: You can't beat catching the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York City.
3.ICE HOCKEY WHO: SAN JOSE SHARKS WHERE: SAP CENTER, SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA SEASON: OCTOBER TO APRIL
The Golden State is one of the best places to head to the rink to catch a vigorous game of ice hockey and Northern Cali superstars the San Jose Sharks are having a great season in this year's NHL. Join their passionate supporters at downtown San Jose's SAP Center, or the 'Shark Tank', for a home game and make sure you arrive in time to enjoy the dramatic pre-game entrance where players emerge from a 5m shark's mouth. For more information, head to NHL.com. GETTING THERE: Public transport from the Bay Area is set up to get you to this stadium, visit Sapcentertransport.com
ALSO SEE: Watch the LA Kings on their home turf at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles.
4.FOOTBALL WHO: NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS WHERE: GILLETTE STADIUM, BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS SEASON : OCTOBER TO APRIL
The world's most famous quarterback Tom Brady and his team of mighty Patriots have kept Boston's favourite football sons in the spotlight for the past 20 years winning numerous NFL titles. Brady has signed on for another two seasons meaning more chances for you to see him in action at Gillette Stadium, the team's home ground at Foxborough. Go early and check out The Patriots Hall of Fame, an interactive museum which takes visitors inside its multiple Super Bowl triumphs. See NFL.com for more information.
GETTING THERE: The train from Boston or Providence is your easiest option for a Patriots home game.
ALSO SEE: Check out Texas titans the Dallas Cowboys on their home turf at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
5.THE SUPER BOWL WHERE & WHEN: 2ND FEB 2020, MIAMI, FLORIDA & 7TH FEB 2021, TAMPA, FLORIDA
The mecca of US sporting fixtures is the annual Super Bowl which decides the NFL league season champion each February, and not only do you get an amazing American football battle royale, but you're treated to one of the year's most eagerly anticipated half-time musical extravaganzas too. The 2020 Super Bowl is locked down for Sunday February 2 at Hard Rock Gardens in Miami, Florida, with this year's halftime headliners Latino legends Jennifer Lopez and Shakira. Florida is pulling a doubleheader with Super Bowl 2021 set to be held in the Sunshine State as well — it's currently scheduled to take place on February 7 at Tampa's Raymond James Stadium, with the date to be confirmed closer to the time. To book, visit Ticketmaster.com/superbowl.
Visit airnewzealand.co.nz to book now. With the addition of Air New Zealand's non-stop flight from Auckland to New York* commencing October 29 2020, customers will now have non-stop access to five continental USA ports. Coupled with the airline's alliance with United Airlines, there's never been an easier time to discover all that the Land of the Free has to offer — not only are the two airlines providing more flight choices to mainland USA out of New Zealand, once you're in those five port cities you'll find easy connections to over a hundred USA domestic destinations.
* Subject to final regulatory approvals and crewing agreements.