They say if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. And that’s true too for the coach planning his or her sports tournament in The Big Apple.
This mega-metropolis of more than eight and a half million people can be tough to navigate, both literally and figuratively. In Manhattan, a booming sports scene features many sports and all sorts of venues. We’ll help you find your way around New York City so you can plan a tournament that matches up.
New York City Sports Venues
With 13 professional clubs across its metro area, New York is the City of Sports Teams, including the vaunted Yankees, Rangers, and Giants. Those teams are spoiled with some of North America’s most legendary venues — and some upgrades on the old jewels.
Up in the Bronx, you have the new(ish) Yankee Stadium, opened in 2009 across the street from the old stadium and its 26 (now 27) World Series banners. Over in Queens, the rival Mets employed the same strategy in ‘09, opening up Citi Field right across from the old Shea Stadium. In football, New York’s two teams, the Giants and Jets, share MetLife Stadium, which opened in 2010 as the most expensive stadium ever built at the time.
And then there’s the so-called “World’s Most Famous Arena”: Madison Square Garden. MSG is more than just a sports venue, though it hosts hockey’s Rangers and basketball’s Knicks. It is also the second busiest concert venue in the world, hosting all the highest-profile acts to come through the northeastern United States.
With the NYC sports landscape in mind, let’s turn our attention elsewhere, to the venues geared toward youth sports and beer leagues.
New York City Baseball Diamonds
New York City has hundreds of ballfields, both Major League and Little League size, and with grass and turf surfaces. What could be cooler than hosting your tournament in one of the most famous parks in the world? Central Park’s North Meadow has a 10-field layout with both baseball and softball diamonds.
New York City Basketball Courts
Looking for a slam dunk for your New York City basketball tournament? Look no further than BasketBall City, a state-of-the art mega-venue on the East River. With seven full air-conditioned courts, electronic scoreboards, high-end locker rooms, a VIP Mezzanine, and a 15,000 sq. ft. deck overlooking Brooklyn and Manhattan, this place is pure basketball heaven.
New York City Outdoor Venues
A good place to find quality outdoor venues is New York City campuses and college-affiliated fields. New York University’s soccer team plays at Gaelic Park in the Bronx. Its artificial turf holds up in any weather and its bleachers seat 2,200 and include a press box and terrace area. Not far from Gaelic, the Columbia University Baker Athletics Complex has Robert K. Kraft Field At Lawrence A. Wien Stadium. The 17,000-seater was dubbed by Sports Illustrated “one of the most beautiful places in the country to watch a football game.”
New York City Hockey Arenas
There’s hockey to be found throughout all five boroughs, but closer to central Manhattan, these rinks can host your New York City hockey tournament with a little extra on the side. Aviator Sports and Events Center in Brooklyn, aside from a rink, has 35 acres of adjoining outdoor space for events. Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers has top-of-the-line training equipment to take your players’ skills to the next level.
Before you can welcome the visiting teams into your city, you have to ensure they can get there. Arranging transportation isn’t something all coaches have experience with — so you can help them figure it out.
Start with the bus rentals available to your incoming teams. As coaches browse the different bus types, they’ll notice each one caters better to a particular group. Depending on their group size and their equipment load, the manager can narrow down their musts and choose a bus type.
Coach bus: Do you see your team travelling in style? Picturing an air conditioned vehicle, plush seats, Wifi, and a bathroom at the back? You’re dreaming of the coach bus. This luxury ride is great for big rosters, long trips, and all-around memorable experiences. Yes, you’ll pay a little more — but it’ll be worth it for the well-rested players you’ll have upon arrival.
Mini coach: You like the amenities offered by the coach, but your travel group is too small to fill it. That’s where the mini coach comes in: Same perks, fewer seats.
School bus: The wheels on the bus go ’round and ’round… Yes, we’re bringing back the big yellow bus from your childhood! This basic ride can hold up to 47 and is great for short trips and a tighter budget.
Mini bus: A pared down version of Big Yellow. Small teams, short trips, and a more intimate experience. The bus is a rental, but the memories are forever.
With that decision made and in the rearview, it’s now time to consider your payment strategy. Just like your team’s most talented player, Bus.com’s Book Now / Pay Later option is a game-changer. It gives you the ability to book transportation well in advance and wait until 21 days before departure date to finalize payment.
Finally, depending on your sport, make sure to check out one of these resources before booking transportation:
- Hockey Coach’s Checklist to Planning The Ultimate Away Games
- Basketball Coach’s Checklist to Planning the Ultimate Away Game
- Football Coach’s Checklist to Planning The Ultimate Away Games
New York City Accommodations
New York City is a beast, and those new to the area are going to need your help finding the best hotels for their team.
We’ve found that the Holiday Inn Express, Best Western, and La Quinta chains are great options for travelling sports teams. But here’s something you may not have thought of: Hotel room blocks.
If you think New York City is loud at night, try sleeping down the hall from a pack of 12-year-old hockey players on an out-of-town tournament. Now that’s loud! Be considerate of others and avoid angry neighbours by booking a hotel room block, which keeps all your rooms next to one another in an ideal part of the hotel. You know, in case yours is the Team That Never Sleeps.