Which sporting events make the ultimate to-do list? We asked you for your favourites…
- The World Cup Final
All those goals we scored in our back gardens as children won us countless World Cups, yet it seems that as adults we’re still enthralled by football’s ultimate prize. Top of our Bucket List is the World Cup Final, so if it’s your lifelong dream, then look into tickets for Russia 2018.
Expect tickets to go on sale in the autumn via a lottery on the FIFA website, and start saving: the cheapest available Final ticket for non-Russians will set you back £350. The ultimate experience doesn’t come cheap!
- The FA Cup Final
The FA Cup is football’s oldest competition and, even now it has to compete with the moneybags Premier League, remains a showpiece sporting event – hence it’s place on this list.
Sure, you could wait until your team makes it all the way to Wembley, but some of us have to accept that it may never happen. So why wait? While tickets are not easy to come by, around 30,000 are made available to neutrals through charities, corporate sponsors and football groups throughout the country every year.
There are tennis tournaments, and then there’s Wimbledon. Whether it’s the green, green grass, the ice-white playing kits or the crowds that pack into Court 18 as giddily as they do into Centre Court, Wimbledon is must for a tennis fan.
What’s more, it’s easier to go than you might think. While you can buy in advance, Wimbledon is also one of the few major sporting events where tickets are kept back for public sale on the day of play – all you need is a bit of queue commitment!
- European Championship Football Match
If absorbing yourself in the passionate, intense atmosphere of a major international tournament is on your list, UEFA Euro 2020 gives you a great chance to tick it off.
To celebrate the 60th birthday of the Championships, rather than being hosted entirely in one country, games will be hosted in 13 different countries.
While group and knockout games will take place across the continent, from Stockholm to Skopje and Munich to Minsk, the semi-finals and final will all take place at Wembley.
- The Olympics
The Olympics is a festival of sport unlike any other, where the best athletes in the world compete for the biggest prize in sport: not money, but an Olympic gold medal and sporting immortality. Throw in plenty of national pride and more sports than you can shake a stick at, and you’ve got a spectator event you’ll never forget.
If you want to tick the Olympic Games off your bucket list, keep your eye out for the announcement of ticket sales for Tokyo 2020 – you can be sure they’ll sell quickly!
- F1 Grand Prix (Any)
While the best place to see all the action of an F1 race is in front of your TV, the live experience is something every motorsport fan should try at least once. All the HD TV and slow-mo replays in the world can’t convey the sheer speed and bone-shaking noise that F1 cars produce.
The British Grand Prix at Silverstone typically produces an atmosphere unlike any other on the calendar, but if you’re feeling adventurous look at some of the European races, such as the Belgian Grand Prix at the iconic Spa-Francorchamps circuit.
- Club Team Playoff Final
If your team is involved, there can be no greater joy, or greater pain, than watching them battle it out at Wembley in a playoff final. If you’re a neutral, there may be no greater spectacle.
Some are cagey affairs, at least to begin with, but as desperation and nerves set in, strange things begin to happen. The Championship Playoff Final in particular, with its promise of hundreds of millions of pounds of reward for gaining promotion to the Premier League, is regularly one of the standout games of the season for drama and excitement.
- Club Team European Game
If you really want to find out what a city is all about, then go to a football match: better still, a local derby.
What better way to experience Rome than through the lens of Roma v Lazio? Or a balmy night in Lisbon watching Benfica vs Sporting? Don’t be afraid to stray away from the big names, either. Anyone who has seen Borussia Dortmund vs Schalke in Germany’s Ruhr derby will recommend it, and you’ll find tickets for games abroad are a lot kinder to your wallet.
- El Clásico
Speaking of derbies, this is the biggest one going – Barcelona vs Real Madrid is more than just a football match between the two biggest teams in the world.
The rivalry has its roots not only on the pitch, but with politics and Catalonia’s desire for independence from Spain. The cities talk about El Clásico for weeks beforehand and weeks afterwards, and the atmosphere in the stadium is electric. It’s a game that will sell out but if you’re committed you can get there – Barcelona’s Camp Nou has the bigger capacity.
- Grand National
The ultimate ‘Day at the Races’, the Grand National has so cemented a place in British culture that it still today prompts people who know nothing about horse racing to start reviewing how to place a bet the form, and jumping up and down shouting at horses on the TV.
The race itself, held at Aintree just outside Liverpool, is considered to be the ultimate test of horse and jockey, making a powerful visual spectacle as they thunder down the course tackling those huge fences. It’s an unforgettable scene – win or lose.