Sports Junkie? Los Angeles has the Fix
I always here about how
Los Angeles has no NFL team and the reason is that there is so much to
do in SoCal that they just don’t have the time for Pro Football. It’s
true that there is a lot to do in Southern California. You can hit Big
Bear for some Snowboarding in the morning and catch a wave that same afternoon
at the beach. With plenty of Museums, fantastic hiking, biking and great
parks it’s easy to find something to do rather than follow your favorite
sports team. So is LA too busy?
I think not. Los Angeles and Orange County have plenty of professional sports teams all of which have a tremendous fan base. There are two Major League Baseball teams, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Anaheim Angels of Los Angeles. The Dodgers play in the National League with Home games played at Chavez Ravine. The Angels are at home at Edison Field and are in the American League. Both Stadiums are open air and are great parks to catch a ball game.
The STAPLES Center is home too both National Basketball Teams, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers. Although the Lakers get most of the recognition in LA, the Clippers fans I have met are die hard and extremely supportive of their team. Probably a bit frustrated as well, as the Clippers seem to continue to struggle as the Lakers are considered one of the premiere teams in the NBA. The Staples Center is located in Downtown LA and easily accessible from most major freeways.
Los Angeles is also home to the LA Sparks, the Women’s Basketball Association team. The Sparks play at the STAPLES Center and were dominant earlier this decade winning back-to-back championships in 2001 and 2002.
There are also two National Hockey League Teams. The Los Angeles Kings also call the STAPLES Center home and the Anaheim Ducks play at the Honda Center in Anaheim. The Ducks have been more competitive the last several years having won the Stanley Cup in the 2006-2007 season. If you happen to have an opportunity to catch either team you should as there is nothing like being at a live Hockey game. TV just does not do this sport justice.
If you are into the ponies, Southern California has got you covered. With some of the best horseracing in the country it’s easy to pack up and head to the races no matter where you live. Hollywood Park is located between LAX and downtown LA. Fairplex Park races at the LA County Fair 20 miles north of Downtown, Los Alamitos Race Course is just east of downtown and Santa Anita Park is 14 miles northeast of downtown LA. And if that wasn’t enough, you can always take a quick drive down I-5 to San Diego’s Del Mar Thoroughbred Club located 20 miles north of San Diego (100 miles south of LA).
If Racing is your thing then you can catch some drag racing at the NHRA races held each year in Pomona. I have actually been to one of these races and its pretty incredible. With speeds topping 300 MPH you gotta pay attention because these races don’t last long! For NASCAR fans you can easily shoot down to Fontana Auto Club Speedway to get your fix. Located just south of LA, the race seats 92,000 for a race that normally takes place in October.
With all the Professional Sports happening in SoCal, there is also some fantastic College teams that compete in the area. Of course, the University of Southern California football team is probably the most popular ticket in town in regards to college sports. However, the UCLA basketball program continues to be one of the top rated in the country each year. NCAA Baseball also has some of the best teams in the country playing in and around Los Angeles. Cal-State Fullerton, Pepperdine and the Long Beach State Dirtbags always compete for the top spots in NCAA rankings.
So yes, it might be easy to get distracted in Southern California with everything to do, but the sports scene is alive and well there. So much great sports going on in a metro area of close to 17 million people has a something going on for everyone. Tickets are generally easy to find and some of these games can be found at close to half price if you look around a local ticket companies. So enjoy your self…and don’t worry about an NFL team.