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What makes a city’s sports fans legendary: their sheer numbers, their loyalty, or perhaps even their anguish?
For Linda Beltran, a baseball enthusiast, it’s the sportsmanship. The D.C.-based hotel exec attended Game 3 of the 2011 World Series, wearing an Albert Pujols Cardinal jersey. “While I was heckled by a few drunk Texas Rangers fans, the rest were showing that "Texas hospitality", going so far as to apologize for their brethren’s behavior.”
That wasn’t the case in Philadelphia, Beltran says, where the infamous fans harassed her more vividly for her jersey choice. Still, you can’t argue with either city’s passion—which is why both Philly and Dallas made the top 10 of sports-crazed cities, according to Travel + Leisure readers.
In this year’s America’s Favorite Cities survey, readers voted on travel-related categories in 35 big cities, such as the best hotels, street food, and reliable wireless coverage. For some travelers, however, playoffs, bowl games, and even stadium tours are the stuff of great vacations. (Full disclosure: a few sports-oriented places weren’t part of the general Travel + Leisure survey, such as Detroit, Indianapolis, and World Series champs St. Louis.)
For each of America’s most sports-crazed cities, we’ve highlighted a landmark, museum, or experience that lets fans tap into the local fervor—whether that’s a lesser-known team, a historic stadium, or a bar owned by a local sports hero. In Chicago, for instance, you can enjoy the city’s legendary pizza while reliving Blackhawks history in one restaurant; in Austin you can rent a bike from a shop owned by Lance Armstrong.
Ironically, though, some of the biggest winners in the sports survey were not the homes of winning teams, implying that “sports-crazed” does not always equal happy fans. Then there’s Boston, which has won seven championships in 11 years but couldn’t clinch the No. 1 title in our survey.
“I’ve actually noticed that Boston fans have become slightly less passionate, perhaps due to their success,” says Beantown native Andrew Schrage, who now edits personal finance site MoneyCrashers in Chicago. “It’s become easier to get tickets to games, and the competitive attitude has dwindled a little bit.”
But in the Windy City? “The frustration has definitely risen, especially with Cubs fans,” he says. “They’re incredibly passionate.”
Outdoor Sports and the Weather
The southeastern United States is facing the risk for damaging thunderstorms this weekend.
A pattern of persistent downpours, beginning with a rainstorm this weekend is likely to disrupt travel, hinder outdoor plans and projects and put summer heat on hold in the Northeast into early August.
Gusty winds caused blowing dust to sweep across the Las Vegas area on Saturday, creating dangerous conditions for travelers.
Near-record heat will set the stage for a heightened risk of wildfires in the southwestern United States, including Southern California, next week.
The intense record heat baking the south-central United States is expected to get trimmed back early next week, but a sweep of refreshing air is not on the horizon.
A deadly heat wave is expected to continue into early week across Japan as Ampil bypasses the region to the south.
An uptick in monsoon rainfall is expected to heighten the flood threat across eastern and northern India this week.