There are many types of sports and athletic competitions today. While sporting events draw a lot of tourists and spectators, you don’t have to see a game to do something sports-related. There are many unique travel destinations for sports enthusiasts. These range from mainstream sports, such as football and baseball, to fringe competitions such as motorsports and collegiate athletics. Museums, halls of fame, and notable landmarks are perfect to see the significance of these events and their cultural impact.
National Baseball Hall of Fame
Located in Cooperstown, New York, this museum opened in 1939 to act as the central cultural institute of baseball in the United States. A research library opened in 1994, and, as of January 2019, has inducted 232 former Major League Baseball players. This includes 35 Negro League players, 22 managers, 10 umpires, and 30 other influential or important figures. Plus, the committee elected 114 of these members posthumously.
Centennial Olympic Park
The Centennial Olympic Park is a public park in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, built for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. Construction of the park underwent two phases: once during the games for spectators and visitors to see, and after the games finished. Today, many know the park for the infamous July 27 bombing that killed one person and injured 111 others. There is an interactive fountain, known as the “Fountain of Rings,” which features computer-controlled lights and a synchronized water show with music. Flags representing all the countries that hosted the Summer Olympic Games before 1996 surround the fountain.
Barber Motorsports Park
This racetrack in Birmingham, Alabama, is just one of many notable racetracks in the United States. Named after Alabaman philanthropist George W. Barber, visitors can see this 2.38-mile, 16-turn racetrack for motorcycles and automobiles. There is a road course as well as off-road courses for motocross, ATVs, and other off-road vehicles. Racing enthusiasts can also visit the Barber Vintage Motorsport Museum on the premises, which is home to over 1,600 vintage and modern racing motorcycles and cars.
Pro Football Hall of Fame
The Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, is the current go-to spot for exceptional figures in professional American football. Since its establishment in 1963, the hall of fame has included players, coaches, franchise owners, and front-office personnel, but—unlike other professional sports halls of fame—no officials. The Chicago Bears have the most Hall of Famers with roughly 27 inductees.
National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame
For those wanting a break from professional leagues, the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame highlights the extraordinary careers of men’s college basketball players. Established in 2006, it showcases 180 players, coaches, and other notable figures. Some distinguished inductees include Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bob Knight, Doug Collins, and Larry Bird.