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The Ultimate Sports Events for Travelers with New York Times Best-selling Author Larry Olmsted

From a cricket match in London, to rugby in South Africa, baseball in Japan, the Ryder Cup, and the Kentucky Derby, New York Times-bestselling author Larry Olmsted has the best insight into the world’s greatest sports events, and how travelers can get the very best out of them.

In honor of Super Bowl LVI this week, sports expert and New York Times best-selling author of Fans, Larry Olmsted, discusses the world’s ultimate sporting events and how they can provide some of the most insightful cultural experiences for travelers. In this episode, Olmsted shares his favorite (and least favorite) events, ranging from the Super Bowl, to the Kentucky Derby, the Women’s World Cup, the Rugby World Cup in South Africa, and more!

His newest book Fans, takes an exciting deep-dive into the positive impacts of sports on the individual and collective levels of society. According to Olmsted, the world of sports invites travelers to witness a true melting-pot of cultures. He cites events like the Melbourne World Cup in Victoria, the Rugby World Cup in South Africa, baseball games in Japan, the Rugby Sevens in Hong Kong or Fiji, and cricket matches in India or the West Indies.

For those looking for a big-ticket event held in the U.S., Olmsted highly recommends the Kentucky Derby. In fact, he prefers the spectacle and tradition of the Derby over the Super Bowl. Attendees can enjoy balls and parties leading up to the race and can spring for hospitality packages, which include private lounges equipped with open-bars, covered seating, and a close proximity to betting windows.

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If under-the-radar sporting events are more your speed, Olmsted has some great alternatives to big-ticket events. To avoid the expenses and crowds of Montecarlo, try the Singapore Grand Prix or the Indy500. Instead of the Kentucky Derby, Olmsted suggests the Palio di Siena in Tuscany. Road-tripping across New Zealand and Australia for the 2023 Women’s Cup is another less expensive yet adventure-filled alternative for soccer fans. Olmsted also suggests the Waste Management Phoenix Open, otherwise known as “The Greatest Show on the Grass, which will be held on February 10-13. Olmsted's other pick is the LA Sevens Rugby tournament in August 2022.

Whether your sports event adventure includes attending the Super Bowl or the Olympics, Olmsted has one key piece of advice: go based on location. For Super Bowl-goers, pick a year when the event is hosted in cities whose arenas are close to downtown. For those with their eyes on the Olympics, Olmsted suggests picking a year when the games will be held in a location you can build a trip around. No matter what is on your sports event bucket list, Olmsted has the ultimate insider-access into exploring the world through the lens of sports fandom.

Be sure to stick around for after the interview, when Bruce shares his epic sports spectator's story of his own in the Wallin-Wrap Up. 

Hosted by: Bruce Wallin

Produced and edited by: AJ Moseley

Music by: Joey Salvia