Archive for the ‘homepagefeatured’ Category

Top NFL-College Football Sports Power Weekends in 2012

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012


There are so many great NFL-college football weekends each fall that it is hard to pare down the list. Nonetheless, here are, in my opinion, the 50 best NFL-college football Sports Power Weekends of 2012. The main criteria for this list was that it must include an NFL and college game. There are plenty of great weekends in September that feature MLB games with a great NFL or college game, but I wanted to highlight weekends that included at least two different football games.

I’d love to hear your feedback if you think I am overlooking a great weekend, or ranked one too high.

For more information about planning or booking a Sports Power Weekend package, please contact Jared Cooper at Jared.Cooper@SPWtravel.com, (646) 397-5350, or via twitter at @SportsPowerWknd.

1. Chicago, September 21-23

Friday
  • St. Louis Cardinals at Chicago Cubs
Saturday
  • Michigan at Notre Dame
Sunday
  • Rams at Bears

Wrigley Field, Notre Dame Stadium and Soldier Field during one incredible weekend based out of the Windy City. Sign me up!

2. New York, September 5-9

Wednesday
  • Cowboys at Giants (NFL Kickoff Game)
  • US Open Tennis
Thursday
  • US Open Tennis
Friday
  • Atlanta Braves at NY Mets
  • US Open Tennis
Saturday
  • USC vs. Syracuse at MetLife Stadium
  • US Open Tennis (Women’s Final)
Sunday
  • Bills at Jets (Home Opener)
  • US Open Tennis (Men’s Final)


Three games at MetLife Stadium on this weekend, including the first game of the 2012 season featuring the defending Super Bowl champs against their bitter rival, the Jets home opener, and Heisman and top pick front-runner Matt Barkley from USC. Also see Citi Field on Friday as the Mets host the Braves.

3. New Orleans, November 3-5

Saturday
  • Alabama at LSU
Sunday
Monday
  • Eagles at Saints (Monday Night)

A rematch of last year’s National Championship Game with the winner in great position to win the SEC West takes places on Saturday in Baton Rouge. On Monday night at the Superdome, the Saints host the Eagles in an NFC showdown.

4. Los Angeles-San Diego, November 24-25

Saturday
  • Notre Dame at USC
  • Stanford at UCLA
Sunday
  • Ravens at Chargers

The historic rivalry between Notre Dame and USC leads us to the Coliseum. A day later and two hours south, two perennial AFC heavyweights face off in San Diego. A nice Thanksgiving weekend in southern California.

5. Dallas, November 22-24

Thursday
  • Redskins at Cowboys (Thanksgiving)
Friday
Saturday
  • TCU at Texas
  • Baylor vs. Texas Tech (Cowboys Stadium)

Another great Thanksgiving option, this time in the heart of Texas. The Cowboys continue their Thanksgiving tradition, this time hosting their division rivals. On Saturday in Austin, TCU and Texas clash in the newly-remodeled Big XII. Cowboys Stadium will also host Baylor and Texas Tech on Saturday. (more…)

Kentucky Derby Packages (May 3-6, 2012)

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011



Sports Power Weekends is proud to offer packages in Churchill Downs® for the Kentucky Derby® and the Kentucky Oaks® in Louisville, Kentucky in 2012.

We will provide an unforgettable experience for you and your guests including in-track hospitality and VIP access at this historic event.

Official 2012 Kentucky Derby Packages (click here for PDF of detailed offerings)


Official Package Inclusions:

  • Block Seating Options for the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks
  • Exclusive In-Track Hospitality Venues
  • VIP Access
  • Celebrity Meet & Greets
  • World Class Accommodations at Louisville’s most Luxurious Locations
  • Official Kentucky Derby® 138 Gift Bags, and more!

Official Package Benefits:

  • “Official” packages means peace of mind that you’ll get what you need with no risk of broker and scalper integrity.
  • Exclusive In-Track hospitality gives you race day gourmet food, beverage and terrific experience between races.
  • Knowledgeable Sales Executives that have been to the facility, toured the hotels. Real consultation.
  • Ease of use – your tickets, hospitality, and souvenir are packaged and ready to go in one phone call or web visit.
  • Fixed pricing – no “playing the market” and risk of getting priced out.
  • Packages delivered weeks in advance of the event.

Contact Sports Power Weekends by calling Jared Cooper at (646) 397-5350 or via email at Jared.Cooper@SPWtravel.com.

Chicago Bulls Fantasy Experiences Offered By Sports Power Weekends

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011



The Chicago Bulls led the NBA in wins in 2010-11 and are looking to ride that success all the way to an NBA championship in 2012. Here is your chance to not only watch the action, but also be a part of it! The Chicago Bulls are offering many exciting experiences through Sports Power Weekends that promise to be unforgettable.

Chicago Bulls Fantasy Experiences are available for purchase through Sports Power Weekends by calling Jared Cooper at (646) 397-5350 or via email at Jared.Cooper@SPWtravel.com.  Please note all prices are subject to game dates and availability.

Courtesy of NBA.com

Gameday VIP Experience                        $3,500 -$4,500

Enjoy a Bulls home game like a true VIP – and bring three of your closest friends. This opportunity caters to the sports enthusiast who likes to be treated like royalty.

  • 4 tickets (100 level) and parking
  • Watch shoot-around
  • Photo on center court
  • Custom jerseys for each participant
  • Gift bags for all participants
  • Name on scoreboard
  • Personal host for the night


Honorary First Ball Presentation                  $3,000-$4,000

Those aspiring to be a CEO would relish this opportunity to be treated like one. As presenter of the game ball, you immediately earn the reputation of an official mover and shaker.

  • 4 tickets to game (100 level)           
  • One guest will present team ball to referees prior to tip-off           
  • Gift bags for all participants            
  • Photo on court during presentation           


Reporter for a Day                              $3,000-$3,500

For those who have a keen knowledge of sports and a gift with the written word, but haven’t yet been hired by Sports Illustrated, this fantasy will have them dreaming about Pulitzer Prizes.

  • Arrive at 5:00pm           
  • 4 tickets for the game (100 level) and parking           
  • “Work” courtside           
  • Photo of experience on court

Courtesy of NBA.com

Ball Person Experience                        $3,000-$4,000

Help the Bulls sharpen their shooting skills by assisting during pre-game warm-ups.

  • 4 tickets (100 level)
  • Arrive at gate 4 at 5:15pm for 7:30pm game
  • Participant to receive t-shirt/hat/gymbag
  • One child (10-18 years old) rebound for players until 6:45pm
  • Photo at center court

Suite Party Experience                              $7,500-$10,000

For those who like to share their good fortune with others, this “sweet” suite party is the ideal.

  • Suite for 20 people (date to be agreed upon)           
  • Food and drink (classic package)           
  • Entire group to watch shoot around                       
  • Name of group on scoreboard           
  • Visit from Benny the Bull and Bob Love           
  • Gifts for all attendees           
  • Photo on court           

VIP Tour of the United Center                  $3,000-$3,500

For the chance to go behind the scenes and see the United Center from top to bottom, fans can take the VIP tour with up to 20 of their closest friends.

  • 15-20 people (1-1½ hour tour)           
  • Bob Love, Benny the Bull and 2 tour guides           
  • Every participant receives a gift bag           
  • Tour locker room, suite levels, concourses, floor and office lobby           
  • Photo of outing with entire group           
  • Photo by MJ Statue           

Courtesy of NBA.com

6th Man Experience                               $2,500-$3,000

The Bulls have always said the fans are their sixth man. They’re making that statement a reality by allowing a fan to become part of the team for a night.

  • 2 100 level seats and VIP passes to watch shoot around           
  • Custom jerseys for participants              
  • Scoreboard announcement during game           
  • Photo sitting on bench and/or at half court

PA Announcer Experience                        $3,000-$3,500

If you have ever called play-by-play from your couch, now is your chance to step up to the real mike. Take Bulls’ PA Announcer Steve Scott’s seat for a night and chase down your dream career in broadcasting.

  • 4 tickets to game (100 level) and parking
  • Announces gates open at the United Center, announcements during pregame                       
  • Photo with other announcers            

H-O-R-S-E Experience                              $3,000-$3,500

H-O-R-S-E around like the players do and host three friends on the Bulls’ court for a little competition.

  • 4 total guests (date to be agreed upon at United Center or Berto Center)
  • 4 basketballs
  • Game of horse (1 hour)
  • Tour of facility
  • Catered lunch
  • Gift bags for all participants

Sweep the Floor                               $3,000-$3,500

Got no game, but want some court time? Become a part of the crew behind the scenes by participating as an Honorary Floor Sweeper at a home game.

  • 4 tickets to game (100 level) and parking                       
  • Guests will sweep the court once during pregame and once at half-time           
  • Gift bags for all participants
  • Photo with entire group on court            

Courtesy of NBA.com

Berto Center Clinic Experience                        $5,000-$10,000

A basketball clinic at the Berto Center is the perfect answer for the “weekend warrior” looking for a few tips from the pros.

  • Berto Basketball Clinic for 10 in April or May (after season; date to be agreed upon)
  • Former player involved (i.e. Bob Love, Bill Wennington)           
  • Tour of facility           
  • Gift bags for all participants            

VIP Shoot-around Opportunity                   $2,500-$3,000

Fans who just can’t get enough Bulls basketball will love watching the game unfold from beginning to end from some of the best seats in the house.

  • 4 tickets to game (100 level)           
  • Watch shoot-around from 5:00pm until 7:00pm
  • Gift bags for all guests
  • Photo on court with all guests

Or create your own Chicago Bulls Fantasy Experience!!!!

Chicago Bulls Fantasy Experiences include premium game tickets and exclusive perks.  A portion of the proceeds for every experience benefits CharitaBulls.  It is a perfect gift for all ages!

To book your experience now, contact:

Jared Cooper, Founder/CEO, Sports Power Weekends, Inc. — Jared.Cooper@SPWtravel.com, (646) 397-5350

A great Sports Power Weekend in Minneapolis

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011



The fans in attendance at the Jack Morris meet and greet in Minneapolis were able to get autographs, take photographs and chat with the local legend and 1991 World Series MVP for the Twins.

I also took the opportunity to ask Jack a few questions about his career and away game travels.

Jack, what was the most intimidating road stadium you ever played in?

Jack Morris: I supposed when you are young it is Yankee Stadium, but Boston was a pretty rowdy crowd. In reality, I think the Red Sox fans are a little crueler than Yankee fans. Yankee fans yell, but they will cheer for you too. Boston fans I don’t think ever cheer for the other team.

Living in the area and playing one championship season with Minnesota, what do the fans here mean to you?

JM: They are about the nicest people in the world. The saying “Minnesota nice” is true. We have no reason to accuse you of anything bad until you prove you are worthy of it. They’ve been great.

Re: your time in Detroit?

JM: Detroit is a hard-working town and is a town that really embraces their sports teams because of the geography of what it is. It is an auto industry town, not a lot of theatre or arts, but sports are huge for them and sort of an escape. It is their passion and they really support their sports teams well.

What was the loudest stadium that you ever played in?

JM: The Metrodome.

Re: favorite stadium/city to visit on the road?

JM: The old ballpark in Oakland before they closed it all in what a great pitcher’s park; a lot of foul territory. Those are the things that pitchers like. I loved to play in Seattle because whenever we were there it seemed like the weather was beautiful, without the rain and ugliness that you hear about all the time. It was not an easy place to pitch; it was just a great city. I have always enjoyed Chicago, which was not necessarily the greatest place to pitch either. Those are good towns.

* * *

Pregame field view at the Metrodome

After the fun meet and greet with Jack, we headed over to the Metrodome to see the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers visit the Minnesota Vikings in the 100th ever meeting between the franchises. Rookie quarterback Christian Ponder what his first career start, but even though he performed admirably, the Packers prevailed. The future is bright for the Vikings with Ponder at the helm however.

Some other notable aspects of the Minneapolis Sports Power Weekend:

  • The Mall of America is as advertised. It is a colossus, and you can probably spend the entire day there and still not accomplish everything you set out to do. The Nickelodeon theme park in the center of the mall is a kid’s dream.
  • The light rail is a great way to get around town. We took it all weekend long, from Nicollet Mall, to the Metrodome, to the aiport, and to the Mall. It is inexpensive, convenient, and easy to ride.
  • Nebraska was in town to face the Gophers at TCF Bank Stadium, and wow, do those fans travel well. Between the Packers and Huskers, Minneapolis was taken over by two of the best traveling fanbases in all of football.
  • Dinner at 112 Eatery even better than advertised. The place is small and cozy, but we hardly had to wait to get seated on Saturday night. We ordered what we thought would be way too much food, but we somehow found room to put it all down. The tagliatelle and foie gras meatballs are recommended.
  • The baseball season was over but people were still walking by Target Field to take photos and peek in. It seems the novelty has not worn off, and with good reason. The stadium is fantastic.

Overall, a successful weekend in Minneapolis, from good food, good company, a fun meet-and-greet, and an exciting NFL game. We’ll keep you updated on the next city to host our meet-and-greet & game SPW!

Ultimate Minnesota Sports Fan Experience — Sunday, October 23

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011


Courtesy of MLB.com

Event Details

What: A package featuring a one-hour meet-and-greet with Jack Morris and an upper level ticket to the Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings game.

Where: The meet-and-greet will be held at Kieran’s Irish Pub in downtown Minneapolis. Contact information, including the address and an area map can be found here.

When: Sunday, October 23. The meet-and-greet will be held from 12 noon CT until 1 PM CT. The NFL game kicks off at 3:15 PM CT.

How: Purchase a combo pack, including access to the Jack Morris meet-and-greet AND a ticket to the Packers at Vikings game for $100.


You can also purchase access to the Jack Morris meet-and-greet without an NFL game ticket for $35.


For more information or if you have any questions, please contact Jared Cooper at (646) 397-5350 or via email at Jared.Cooper@SPWtravel.com.

Note: ALL SALES ARE FINAL. Please review our Terms & Conditions.

* We will have a photographer on hand, but please bring your own camera to ensure your personalized photos with Jack are taken.

* * *

Champions Series Tour puts you on court with your tennis heroes

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011



Who among us hasn’t dreamed about getting on the court and rallying against Pete Sampras, or Andre Agassi, or John McEnroe, or Jimmy Connors? Now fans in 12 cities around the country will have just that opportunity.

The Champions Series is a competitive tennis circuit featuring those aforementioned legends, as well as others such as Jim Courier, Bjorn Borg, Mats Wilander, and Michael Chang, competing in one-night tournaments in a dozen cities between September 22 and October 22. Each tournament features four headliners, paired off to play a one-set semifinal with the winners meeting in an eight-game pro-set championship match.

In each city, the tennis legends will share their on-court expertise in exclusive tennis clinics, and mingle with VIP guests at receptions prior to each event. Fans will be able to hit with two of the headliners for one hour, go “backstage” to meet all four headliners and get an autographed photo with them, have access to a hospitality event featuring a dinner and open bar, as well as a Q&A session with the headliners, and have access to the locker rooms before and after their clinic. The Champions Series will be held in arenas such as the Staples Center in LA, United Center in Chicago, and Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. These guys were like rock stars when they were winning Grand Slam championships, and now they are doing a nationwide tour in stadiums and arenas like rock stars.

Check out the schedule and headlining players below:

Date City Arena Players
Thursday, September 22 Fort Lauderdale, FL BankAtlantic Center
  • Pete Sampras
  • John McEnroe
  • Jim Courier
  • Jimmy Connors
Friday, September 23 Washington, D.C. Verizon Center
  • Pete Sampras
  • Andre Agassi
  • Jim Courier
  • Michael Chang
Saturday, September 24 Philadelphia, PA Wells Fargo Center
  • Pete Sampras
  • Andre Agassi
  • Jimmy Connors
  • Jim Courier
Friday, September 30 Minneapolis, MN Target Center
  • Andre Agassi
  • John McEnroe
  • Jim Courier
  • Michael Chang
Saturday, October 1 Boston, MA TD Garden
  • Andre Agassi
  • John McEnroe
  • Jim Courier
  • Michael Chang
Saturday-Sunday, October 8-9 Surprise, AZ Surprise Recreation Campus – Tennis and Racquet Complex
  • Pete Sampras
  • Mats Wilander
  • Jim Courier
  • Michael Chang
  • Chris Evert
  • Tracy Austin
Thursday, October 13 Seattle, WA Key Arena
  • Pete Sampras
  • John McEnroe
  • Jim Courier
  • Michael Chang
Friday, October 14 Los Angeles, CA Staples Center
  • Pete Sampras
  • Andre Agassi
  • John McEnroe
  • Jim Courier
Saturday, October 15 Las Vegas, NV Thomas & Mack Center
  • Pete Sampras
  • Andre Agassi
  • Jim Courier
  • Michael Chang
Thursday, October 20 Chicago, IL United Center
  • Andre Agassi
  • John McEnroe
  • Bjorn Borg
  • Jim Courier
Friday, October 21 St. Louis, MO Chaifetz Arena
  • John McEnroe
  • Bjorn Borg
  • Jim Courier
  • Michael Chang
Saturday, October 22 Buffalo, NY HSBC Arena
  • John McEnroe
  • Bjorn Borg
  • Jim Courier
  • Michael Chang


Three different VIP experiences are being offered by the Champions Series, including the player clinic experience, the player backstage experience, and the player Q&A with hospitality experience. What those three entail is listed below:

Player Clinic Experience

  • Exclusive one-hour group clinic with two headlining players on the arena court
  • An autographed photo of you with the clinic headliners
  • Entry to a pre-match hospitality event with dinner, featuring a Q&A session with all four headlining players
  • A Champions Series gift bag

Price: $1,500

Player Backstage Experience

  • Backstage meet and greet with all four headlining players before the matches start
  • An autographed photo of you with the clinic headliners
  • Player walk out: Accompany the players as they leave the backstage area and take center court
  • Entry to a pre-match hospitality event with dinner, featuring a Q&A session with all four headlining players
  • A Champions Series gift bag

Price: $750

Player Q&A with Hospitality Experience

  • Entry to a pre-match hospitality event featuring all four players with dinner and open bar
  • Rub shoulders with the players and hear their thoughts on all topics in a Q&A session

Price: $250

As always, for more information on the event and VIP experiences, contact Jared Cooper at Jared.Cooper@SPWtravel.com or at (646) 397-5350.

Upcoming Steiner Sports Events Offered via Sports Power Weekends

Saturday, June 4th, 2011



Steiner Sports is offering a bevy of exclusive events that will put fans on the field at the three most iconic baseball stadiums in the country: Wrigley Field, Fenway Park, and Yankee Stadium. All of the packages below also include tickets to the game being played that day, and a variety of other collectibles and unforgettable experiences.

There is a limited supply available for a number of these events, so act fast to secure your spot. For additional information regarding the packages or with help planning your weekend or travel arrangements, contact Jared Cooper at Jared.Cooper@SPWtravel.com.

VIP Pre-game Tour of Fenway Park – Red Sox vs. New York Yankees – September 1st, 2011

Cost: $1,000

Location: Fenway Park

Package Includes:

– (2) People to attend the VIP pre-game tour of Fenway Park, including watching batting practice from the field (weather permitting). NOTE: BP is not guaranteed every game and if the tarp is on the field there is no field access.

– (2) Tickets to the game, location is Section 7/Box B93

Steiner Sports gift bag Gift bag includes:

– (1) Set of Red Sox Coasters – (Steiner Sports ships item)

– (1) Red Sox Dirt Crystal – (Steiner Sports ships item)

– (1) Unsigned MLB baseball

– (1) Yankees Stadium vs. Fenway Park Rivalry Dual Dirt Collage

VIP Pre-game Tour of Fenway Park – Red Sox vs. Baltimore Orioles – September 20th, 2011

$1,000

Location: Fenway Park

Package Includes:

– (2) People to attend the VIP pre-game tour of Fenway Park, including watching batting practice from the field (weather permitting). NOTE: BP is not guaranteed every game and if the tarp is on the field there is no field access.

– (2) Tickets to the game, location is Section 7/Box B93

Steiner Sports gift bag Gift bag includes:

– (1) Set of Red Sox Coasters (Steiner Sports ships item)

– (1) Red Sox Dirt Crystal (Steiner Sports ships item)

– (1) Unsigned MLB baseball (Steiner Sports ships item)

– (1) Yankees Stadium vs. Fenway Park Rivalry Dual Dirt Collage (Steiner Sports ships item)

Sports Power Weekends Options for CONCACAF Gold Cup

Friday, June 3rd, 2011


The CONCACAF Gold Cup, the biennial regional championship for national teams from North and Central America and the Caribbean, has set its groups and matches for the 2011 tournament. The Gold Cup Final will be held at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, with the winner advancing to the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil.

A number of the cities hosting Gold Cup matches also have Major League Baseball games taking place over the same weekend, opening up the possibility of some strong Sports Power Weekends. To purchase a Sports Power Weekend package, please contact us at info@SPWtravel.com.

  • June 17-19

Quarterfinals at New Meadowlands Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.
Group A runner-up vs. Group B runner-up
Group A winner vs. Group B/C third-place

New York Friday
  • Los Angeles Angels at New York Mets
Saturday
  • CONCACAF Gold Cup
  • Los Angeles Angels at New York Mets
Sunday
  • Los Angeles Angels at New York Mets

The first two games of the Gold Cup quarterfinals take place on Saturday at New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Bracketing that soccer doubleheader is some interleague action at Citi Field as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim cross the country to pay a visit to the New York Mets.

Also see: New York City Guide

Quarterfinals at RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C.
Group B winner vs. Group C runner-up
Group C winner vs. Group A/B third place

Washington, D.C. Friday
  • Baltimore Orioles at Washington Nationals
Saturday
  • Baltimore Orioles at Washington Nationals
Sunday
  • CONCACAF Gold Cup
  • Baltimore Orioles at Washington Nationals

This interleague battle will hit close to home as the Baltimore Orioles take on the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. On Sunday at RFK Stadium, the finals two legs of the Gold Cup quarterfinals will be played, leading into Wednesday’s semifinal at Houston’s Reliant Stadium.

Also see: Washington, D.C. City Guide

  • June 24-26

Final at Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California
Semifinal winners, 9 p.m. ET

Los Angeles Friday
  • Los Angeles Angels at Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Atlanta Braves at San Diego Padres
Saturday
  • CONCACAF Gold Cup
  • Los Angeles Angels at Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Atlanta Braves at San Diego Padres
Sunday
  • Los Angeles Angels at Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Atlanta Braves at San Diego Padres

The site of the 1994 World Cup Final is center stage again as the Gold Cup Finals will be played with the winner clinching a spot at the 2013 Confederations Cup in Brazil. The United States will try to avenge a loss to Mexico in the finals in 2009 in East Rutherford. Also this weekend, the Dodgers will host the cross-town Angels in an interleague battle and two hours south the San Diego Padres will play three with the Atlanta Braves at PETCO Park.

Also see: Los Angeles City Guide

Next NFL Labor Twist takes us to St. Louis

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011



Members of the NFL media horde, as well as league and union employees and lawyers are getting quite a U.S. tour as the NFL labor dispute drags on. They’ve made stops in courthouses and headquarter offices in St. Paul, Minnesota, New York City, and Washington, D.C. thus far. We can add an upcoming trip to St. Louis, Missouri to the list as well, as the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in the NFL’s appeal of a district court ruling on Friday June 3 at Thomas F. Eagleton Courthouse.

As we did for the proceedings in St. Paul, Sports Power Weekends will break down some of the great activities, restaurants, and of course sporting events in the area as a service to those traveling to cover the appeal hearing. First and foremost is a rundown of sporting events being held in the area when NFL media members will be in town! The St. Louis Cardinals will be home at Busch Stadium over the course of that weekend, closing their series with the World Series champion Giants on Thursday before their bitter rivals the Chicago Cubs visit for a weekend set.

St. Louis Cardinals
Thursday, June 2 San Francisco Giants at St. Louis Cardinals (7:15 PM)
Friday, June 3 Chicago Cubs at St. Louis Cardinals (7:15 PM)
Saturday, June 4 Chicago Cubs at St. Louis Cardinals (3:10 PM)
Sunday, June Chicago Cubs at St. Louis Cardinals (1:15 PM)

Photo courtesy of MLB.com

The St. Louis Blues missed out on the NHL playoffs this season, meaning the Scottrade Center will be vacant on this early June weekend. In addition to featuring Blues hockey during the NHL season and a bevy of other events and concerts throughout the year, the Scottrade Center also features the new St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame. The display features artifacts and memorabilia from the city’s current and former professional teams, including the Rams’ Super Bowl XXXIV trophy, Lou Brock’s stolen base number 898, and many game-used jerseys from the Cardinals and Blues.

Additionally, the home of the St. Louis Rams, Edward Jones Dome, is just a short walk northeast from both Busch Stadium and the Scottrade Center. They are all in the shadow of the Gateway Arch along the Mississippi River.

The Gateway City is home to some of the country’s most well known attractions, none more visible than the aforementioned Gateway Arch, which is part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. This memorial signifies the westward expansion beyond the Mississippi River of U.S. settlers.

There is no shortage of things to do and see in St. Louis, and here is just a small sampling:

  • Go to the top of the Gateway Arch.
  • Take a riverboat tour on the Mississippi.
  • Tour the Anheuser Busch Brewery and see the famous Clydesdales in their stables.
  • Go to Forest Park, which is one of the largest urban parks in the United States. It opened in 1876 and is 500 acres larger than Central Park. Additionally, it is home to the St. Louis Zoo, the St. Louis Art Museum, and the Missouri History Museum, which all feature free admission.
  • Visit Grant’s Farm, the ancestral home of the Busch Family. The farm is named after President Ulysses S. Grant, who founded and farmed a portion of the area. More than 24 million visitors have taken a trip to the farm, which features more than 900 animals.
  • Stroll through the campuses of Washington University in St. Louis and St. Louis University.
  • Press your luck at one of the number of casinos in the city, including Lumiére Place, Harrah’s, and Casino Queen.
  • Walk along Laclede’s Landing, an entertainment district featuring restaurants, nightclubs and casinos along the cobblestone streets.

St. Louis is also known for its fantastic barbeque. There is a reason St. Louis style ribs are so famous, and here are some of the best restaurants in town to try them, and other great local food:

  • Roper’s Ribs – They have been serving BBQ in St. Louis since 1976, and in that time have won awards for best ribs in the city, and even the country by Steve Harvey’s Hoodie Awards.
  • Pappy’s Smokehouse – Pappy’s has been featured on the Travel Channel and has been voted best BBQ in St. Louis three years running by the Riverfront Times.
  • Iron Barley – Their fantastic food has been featured on both the Travel Channel and Food Network for its freshness, quality and eclectic menu.
  • Sweetie Pies at the Mangrove – This soul food spot has also been featured on Food Network, which was particularly fond of their Mac and Cheese.
  • Crown Candy Kitchen – Since 1913 they have been satiating the cravings of the locals, making their own chocolate candy, and not to mention some of the best malts and shakes you will ever try.
  • Ted Drewes Frozen Custard – A St. Louis tradition for more than 80 years.

As always, for those interesting in booking a Sports Power Weekends experience anywhere in the country, please email me at Jared.Cooper@SPWtravel.com.

Top Sports Power Weekends: June 3-5

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011



The NBA and NHL Finals are in full swing this weekend in Dallas and Vancouver as the Miami Heat visit the Mavericks and the Canucks host the Boston Bruins. Meanwhile, in addition to MLS games, soccer international friendlies and even meaningful tournament games take place throughout the country. Mix that will America’s pastime as we enter the month of June, and you have got yourself some top notch SPW options this weekend.

I present to you the 10 best Sports Power Weekends of June 3-5. To purchase a Sports Power Weekend package, please contact us at info@SPWtravel.com.

1. Dallas

Friday
Saturday
  • Revolution at FC Dallas
Sunday
  • Heat at Mavericks (Game 3)
  • Gold Cup at Cowboys Stadium (Costa Rica vs. Cuba; Mexico vs. El Salvador)

There is action on Sunday at Cowboys Stadium, but it is of the futbol variety rather than football. The Gold Cup gets underway with two matches, but Sunday’s real strength is the NBA Finals Game 3 between the Mavericks and Heat at the American Airlines Center. Dallas is still bitter about their Finals loss to the Heat in 2006, and they will be ready to make their voices heard as the series comes home.

Also see: Dallas City Guide

2. Vancouver-Seattle

Friday
  • Rays at Mariners
Saturday
  • Bruins at Canucks (Game 2)
  • Rays at Mariners
Sunday
  • Rays at Mariners

About a three-hour drive and a national border separate Vancouver and Seattle, but that shouldn’t stop any potential international SPWers. The Mariners host the Rays at Safeco all weekend, but Saturday is reserved for the hockey fans. The Stanley Cup Finals will be played not far from Stanley Park, as the Canucks make their first trip back since 1994 and host the Boston Bruins in Vancouver. Game 2 will take place over the weekend before the series heads to Boston for Games 3 and 4.

3. Boston

Friday
  • A’s at Red Sox
Saturday
  • USA vs. Spain (Gillette Stadium)
  • A’s at Red Sox
Sunday
  • A’s at Red Sox

The resurgent Red Sox are tied atop the AL East after a tough start to the season. They will welcome the Oakland A’s to Fenway Park for a weekend set. Meanwhile, Gillette Stadium will be buzzing on Saturday as the defending World Cup Champs from Spain travel to Foxboro to take on the Americans in an international soccer friendly. Uncle Sam’s Army will be out in full force to cheer on our men.

Also see: Boston City Guide

4. Los Angeles-San Diego

Friday
  • Yankees at Angels
  • Astros at Padres
  • DC United at Galaxy
Saturday
  • Yankees at Angels
  • Astros at Padres
  • Timbers at Chivas USA
Sunday
  • Yankees at Angels
  • Astros at Padres

With both the Angels and Padres home for the weekend an ambitious sports fan can catch both American and National League action in southern California. Additionally, both LA-based MLS teams are home as the Galaxy host DC United on Friday and the Portland Timbers travel to Chivas USA on Saturday.

Also see: Los Angeles City Guide

5. New York

Friday
  • Braves at Mets
Saturday
  • Braves at Mets
  • Crew at Red Bulls
Sunday
  • Braves at Mets

The Mets host their NL East rivals over the weekend before heading out for a long road trip. While on the road, Citi Field will host its first soccer match, and friendly between Greece and Ecuador on Tuesday, June 7. At Red Bull Arena on Saturday, the Red Bulls host Columbus in Harrison, New Jersey.

Also see: New York City Guide

6. Chicago

Friday
  • Tigers at White Sox
Saturday
  • Tigers at White Sox
  • Sounders at Fire
Sunday
  • Tigers at White Sox

The White Sox have the Windy City to themselves with the Cubs out of town, and they’ll host the Tigers at The Cell over the weekend. These two teams are fighting for positioning behind Cleveland in the AL Central. Out at Toyota Park, the Fire host the Seattle Sounders in an MLS matchup.

Also see: Chicago City Guide

7. San Francisco

Friday
  • Rockies at Giants
Saturday
  • Rockies at Giants
  • Dynamo at Earthquakes
Sunday
  • Rockies at Giants

Yet another MLB and MLS weekend comes together as the defending World Series champs host NL West rival Colorado at AT&T Park. San Francisco is challenging for the division lead and the Rockies are clawing back to .500. Down in San Jose, the Quakes host the Houston Dynamo, rounding out this Bay Area SPW.

Also see: Bay Area City Guide

8. St. Louis

Friday
  • Cubs at Cardinals
Saturday
  • Cubs at Cardinals
Sunday
  • Cubs at Cardinals

It is hard to determine which matchup in St. Louis will be more hostile this weekend: the labor dispute between the NFL owners and players, or the NL Central rivalry between the Cubs and Cardinals. Busch Stadium will play host to the baseball rivalry as the Cardinals aim to increase their division lead.

Also see: Next NFL Labor Twist Takes us to St. Louis

9. Cleveland

Friday
  • Rangers at Indians
  • The Memorial Tournament (Dublin, OH)
Saturday
  • Rangers at Indians
  • The Memorial Tournament (Dublin, OH)
Sunday
  • Rangers at Indians
  • The Memorial Tournament (Dublin, OH)

The AL-best Indians host the defending AL Champs as the Rangers travel to Progressive Field. Meanwhile near Columbus in Dublin, Ohio, Buckeye fans will turn to the PGA’s Memorial Tournament to take their mind off of the Ohio State scandal.

10. Pittsburgh

Friday
  • Phillies at Pirates
Saturday
  • Phillies at Pirates
Sunday
  • Phillies at Pirates

The in-state battle between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Pittsburgh Pirates will start another chapter at PNC Park, rated as the top ballpark in Major League Baseball. The Pirates are just below .500 on the season, while the Phillies own the top record in all of baseball.