Posts Tagged ‘new jersey’

Top Sports Power Weekends: June 24-26

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011



Thursday’s NBA Draft effectively puts an end to basketball’s participation in Sports Power Weekends this summer, and the CONCACAF Gold Cup concludes this Saturday with the Final at the Rose Bowl. That leaves us with MLB and MLS, as well as PGA, tennis and racing events until we welcome football season. Those sports still have a lot to offer, and make for some great travel weekends in July and August.

I present to you the 10 best Sports Power Weekends of June 24-26. To purchase a Sports Power Weekend package, please contact us at info@SPWtravel.com.

1. Los Angeles

Friday
  • Angels at Dodgers
  • Braves at Padres
Saturday
  • Gold Cup Finals (Rose Bowl)
  • Angels at Dodgers
  • Braves at Padres
Sunday
  • Angels at Dodgers
  • Braves at Padres

The “cross-town” clash between the Angels and Dodgers will take place at Dodger Stadium this weekend, and not even a terrible ownership situation can spoil the beauty of watching a game in Chavez Ravine. Two hours down I-5 the Padres host the Braves at stunning Petco Park. The headliner of the weekend is the CONCACAF Gold Cup Final at the Rose Bowl, possibly a rematch between Mexico and the United States. Who knows, this might provide more excitement that last year’s TCU beat down of Wisconsin.

2. New York

Thursday
  • NBA Draft (Prudential Center)
  • Athletics at Mets
Friday
  • Rockies at Yankees
Saturday
  • Rockies at Yankees
Sunday
  • Rockies at Yankees

The NBA Draft might signal the end of NBA-related activities before a lockout, but it also begins a New York SPW that sees the Colorado Rockies visiting for a three game set at Yankee Stadium.

3. Kansas City

Friday
  • Cubs at Royals
Saturday
  • Cubs at Royals
  • Whitecaps at Sporting KC
Sunday
  • Cubs at Royals

Seven of the eight remaining cities on this week’s Top 10 consist of MLB-MLS Sports Power Weekends, starting with Kansas City. Livestrong Sporting Park opened to rave reviews earlier this month, and will play host to the Vancouver Whitecaps at Sporting KC match on Saturday. This weekend at Kauffmann Field, the young and exciting Kansas City Royals host the Chicago Cubs.

4. Philadelphia

Friday
  • A’s at Phillies
Saturday
  • A’s at Phillies
  • Chivas USA at Union
Sunday
  • A’s at Phillies

2011 marks the 100th Anniversary of the 1911 World Champion Philadelphia A’s, so it is only right that the now Oakland A’s make a trip back to Philly during an Interleague Series. The Phillies will host the A’s at Citizens Bank Park all weekend, while Saturday the Union host Chivas USA at PPL Park in Chester.

5. Dallas

Friday
  • Mets at Rangers
Saturday
  • Mets at Rangers
  • Timbers at FC Dallas
Sunday
  • Mets at Rangers

Jose Reyes and the New York Mets head from Citi Field to the Ballpark in Arlington for a three game series with the defending AL Champion Texas Rangers. Up in Frisco, FC Dallas hosts the Portland Timbers, making for an intriguing MLB-MLS weekend.

6. Bay Area

Friday
  • Indians at Giants
Saturday
  • Indians at Giants
  • Galaxy at Earthquakes
Sunday
  • Indians at Giants

The Indians are in a battle for the top spot in the NL Central, just as San Francisco is in a fight atop the NL West. Both teams hope to put their best foot forward as they meet at AT&T Park in the city by the bay. Meanwhile, down in San Jose on Saturday the Earthquakes will host the Galaxy as they make their way north from Los Angeles.

7. Chicago

Friday
  • Nationals at White Sox
Saturday
  • Nationals at White Sox
Sunday
  • Nationals at White Sox
  • Red Bulls at Fire

The Red Bulls-Fire game doesn’t carry the same intensity as other NY-Chicago matchups, but the fans at Toyota Park will be ready to cheer on their squad. The White Sox and Nationals are both right around the .500 mark and hope a strong weekend will give them momentum heading into the second half of the season.

8. Seattle

Friday
  • Marlins at Mariners
Saturday
  • Marlins at Mariners
Sunday
  • Marlins at Mariners
  • Revolution at Sounders

The newly renamed CenturyLink Field (formerly Qwest Field) can still call itself the best MLS venue in the country, and will host the Sounders-Revolution match on Sunday. Throughout the weekend at Safeco Field, the hometown Mariners welcome the reeling Florida Marlins for three games.

9. Washington, D.C.-Baltimore

Friday
  • Reds at Orioles
Saturday
  • Reds at Orioles
  • Dynamo at DC United
Sunday
  • Reds at Orioles

About an hour separate Baltimore from D.C., but that shouldn’t stop you from making a MLB-MLS SPW in the beltway. The Reds travel to Camden Yards for three games with the O’s, and nearby at RFK Stadium the Houston Dynamo will take on DC United on Saturday.

10. Pittsburgh

Friday
  • Red Sox at Pirates
Saturday
  • Red Sox at Pirates
Sunday
  • Red Sox at Pirates

Red Sox fans haven’t had many opportunities to check out PNC Park, making this a great weekend for Boston fans to travel to Pittsburgh to see the place for themselves. The Pirates have been playing well, but will have their work cut out for them if they want to slow down the red-hot Red Sox.

Top 10 Sports Power Weekends: February 4-6

Monday, January 31st, 2011



Super Bowl XLV between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers headlines a weekend full of great Sports Power Weekend options. As the NFL season comes to a close in Dallas, attention turns to the NBA, NHL and college basketball. Don’t look now though, Spring Training is only weeks away.

I present to you the 10 best Sports Power Weekends of February 4-6. To purchase a Sports Power Weekend package, please contact us at info@SPWtravel.com.

1. Dallas

Friday
Saturday
Sunday
  • Super Bowl XLV


There can hardly be any argument about where the best place to be this weekend is for a sports fan. Super Bowl XLV between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers at Cowboys Stadium concludes another incredible NFL season.

Also see: Super Bowl XLV Travel Guide

2. Boston

Friday
  • Mavericks at Celtics
Saturday
  • Sharks at Bruins
  • Virginia Tech at Boston College
Sunday
  • Magic at Celtics
Monday
  • Beanpot Tournament


The best team in the East, the Boston Celtics host two of the league’s top teams on Friday and Sunday when the Dallas Mavericks at Orlando Magic come to town. Saturday features a Bruins game at the TD Garden, and the first games of the annual Beanpot Tournament drop the puck on Monday.

3. Pittsburgh

Friday
  • Sabres at Penguins
Saturday
  • Cincinnati at Pittsburgh
Sunday
  • Michigan at Penn State


With the Pittsburgh Steelers looking for their record seventh Super Bowl title, Pittsburgh will be buzzing about the big game. The atmosphere will be great at any of the sports bars for Super Bowl XLV on Sunday, but on Friday night check out the Penguins at Consol Energy Center, and on Saturday Pitt hosts Cincinnati in a Big East clash.

4. Philadelphia

Friday
  • Knicks at 76ers
Saturday
  • Stars at Flyers
  • West Virginia at Villanova
  • Rhode Island at Temple
Sunday


Basketball now reigns supreme in Philly with the NFL season over and the Phillies weeks away from taking the field. The Sixers host the New York Knicks on Friday night, and West Virginia visits an always-strong Villanova squad the next day. The Flyers take the ice against the Stars on Saturday as well.

5. New York

Friday
  • Panthers at Devils
Saturday
  • Senators at Islanders
  • UConn at Seton Hall
Sunday
  • 76ers at Knicks
  • Pacers at Nets


You can make this an all New Jersey SPW if you choose, with the Devils, Seton Hall and the Nets hosting games on Friday through Sunday. It is a Knicks game on Sunday against the visiting Sixers that serves as the centerpiece for this weekend, however.

Also see: New York City Guide

6. Washington, D.C.

Friday
  • Magic at Wizards
Saturday
  • Hawks at Wizards
  • Wake Forest at Maryland
  • Providence at Georgetown
Sunday
  • Penguins at Capitals


With all the exciting NBA and college basketball action taking place in the D.C. area, it is the Winter Classic rematch of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals that makes this weekend so strong. If Sidney Crosby is back on the ice, the matchup between him and Alex Ovechkin actually overshadows two Wizards games and college basketball action at Maryland and Georgetown.

Also see: Washington, D.C. City Guide

7. Phoenix

Friday
  • Thunder at Suns
  • Phoenix Open
Saturday
  • Wild at Coyotes
  • Phoenix Open
Sunday
  • Phoenix Open


The Phoenix Open in Scottsdale has a party feel to it and is a fun atmosphere on a nice day in Arizona. Having Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder in town to play the Phoenix Suns only adds to the allure of this weekend.

8. San Francisco

Friday
  • Spurs at Kings
Saturday
  • Bulls at Warriors
  • Arizona at Cal
  • Arizona State at Stanford
Sunday


The Bay Area provides some star power with the NBA best San Antonio Spurs traveling to northern California to face the Sacramento Kings in the state’s capital, and Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls taking on Monta Ellis and the Warriors in Oakland. Cal and Stanford also host the Arizona schools in Pac-10 action on Saturday.

9. Miami

Friday
Saturday
  • Virginia at Miami
Sunday
  • Clippers at Heat


Let Virginia at Miami on Saturday serve as an ACC appetizer for Blake Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers taking their talents to South Beach to visit the Big Three of LeBron, DWade and Bosh and the Miami Heat. Miami is not a bad place to be in early February, to say the least.

10. Milwaukee

Friday
Saturday
  • Pistons at Bucks
Sunday
  • Michigan State at Wisconsin


Just like in Pittsburgh this weekend, Super Bowl XLV is all the rage. Warm up your weekend in frigid Wisconsin with the Detroit Pistons-Milwaukee Bucks game on Saturday. Sunday would be all about the Green Bay Packers if not for a sure-to-be hard-fought Big Ten battle between perennial powers Michigan State and Wisconsin in Madison. The state motto may be changed this weekend to Go, Pack, Go!

Top Sports Power Weekends: January 21-23

Monday, January 17th, 2011



The sad truth is that Sports Power Weekends anchored by football are coming to an end. With over a month until Spring Training, it is the NBA, NHL and college basketball that rule the roost. That being said, Chicago and Pittsburgh are bringing the heat in the middle of winter, with the AFC and NFC Championship Games coming to town.

I present to you the 10 best Sports Power Weekends of January 21-23. To purchase a Sports Power Weekend package, please contact us at info@SPWtravel.com.

1. Chicago

Friday
Saturday
  • Cavs at Bulls
  • Pitt at DePaul
  • Marquette at Notre Dame
  • Ohio State at Illinois
Sunday
  • Packers at Bears
  • Flyers at Blackhawks
  • Wisconsin at Northwestern


What a weekend for Wisconsin. After checking out the hometown Bulls on Saturday night, the cheese heads can check out the Badgers in Evanston at noon taking on Northwestern before heading to Soldier Field for the 2:30 local time NFC Championship Game between bitter rivals the Packers and Bears.

Also see: Chicago City Guide

2. Pittsburgh

Friday
Saturday
  • Hurricanes at Penguins
Sunday
  • Jets at Steelers
  • USF at West Virginia


After the Jets toppled the Patriots, Steelers fans cancelled their plans to travel to New England, and instead get to the host second best Sports Power Weekend option, with the Penguins taking on the Hurricanes the night before the AFC Championship Game. The Terrible Towels will be waving at full force.

3. Denver

Friday
  • Lakers at Nuggets
Saturday
  • Bruins at Avalanche
Sunday
  • Pacers at Nuggets


Carmelo Anthony’s days in Denver may be numbered, but that shouldn’t preclude you from enjoying a weekend in the Rocky Mountain State. Mix some skiing with trips to the Pepsi Center to see the Nuggets and Avalanche throughout the weekend.

4. New York City

Friday
  • Pistons at Nets
Saturday
  • Mavericks at Nets
  • Rutgers at Seton Hall
Sunday
  • Notre Dame at St. John’s
  • Panthers at Devils
  • Sabres at Islanders


This is more of a New Jersey Sports Power Weekend, but setting up home base in NYC allows you to take public transportation to easily access the events in Jersey. Check out the Prudential Center in Newark and some college basketball at Madison Square Garden, while seeing the sights in Manhattan.

Also see: New York City Guide

5. Boston

Friday
  • Jazz at Celtics
Saturday
  • Tennessee at UConn
  • Louisville at Providence
Sunday


A New England Patriots win would have vaulted this weekend into the top two, but as it is, this is still a pretty good weekend in Boston and the local area. A Celtics game at TD Garden on Friday followed by a UConn out of conference game against Tennessee in Hartford makes for a nice weekend in New England.

6. Atlanta

Friday
  • Hornets at Hawks
Saturday
  • Rangers at Thrashers
  • Mississippi State at Georgia
Sunday


This is another weekend that would have been strengthened by the top-seeded team holding serve in the NFL playoffs. As it is, the Falcons lost, but Atlanta still offers the Hawks and Thrashers, as well as Georgia in an SEC battle an hour away in Athens.

Also see: Atlanta City Guide

7. Washington, D.C.

Friday
  • Suns at Wizards
Saturday
  • Clemson at Maryland
  • Celtics at Wizards
Sunday


The Wizards may be near the bottom of the Eastern Conference, but John Wall is one of the handful of NBA players that you have to see live. In addition, seeing Maryland at the Comcast Center is one of the top college basketball venues in the country.

Also see: Washington, D.C. and Baltimore City Guide

8. Miami

Friday
  • Lightning at Panthers
Saturday
  • Raptors at Heat
Sunday


The NHL game on Friday night might not set the world on fire, but it is a nice appetizer to the Heat game on Saturday. When you get a chance to see the Big Three in action, you do it.

9. Los Angeles

Friday
  • Bob Hope Classic
Saturday
  • Warriors at Clippers
  • Stanford at UCLA
  • Cal at USC
  • Bob Hope Classic
Sunday
  • Bob Hope Classic


Two hours from Los Angeles in La Quinta is the Bob Hope Classic, a nice option outside of the city. Back in LA, the Clippers, UCLA and USC all hold court. That and the beautiful weather make this a good option in late January.

Also see: Los Angeles City Guide

10. Buffalo

Friday
  • Islanders at Sabres
Saturday
  • Villanova at Syracuse
Sunday


Buffalo isn’t a place you would normally associate with a good option for a late January visit, but with the Sabres hosting the Islanders on Friday night, and a less than three-hour drive to Syracuse for the Villanova-Cuse game on Saturday, the area makes for a good weekend option.

Facility Roundup: New York

Friday, December 10th, 2010

NFL:

New Meadowlands Stadium (New York Jets & New York Giants)

The Skinny:  The $1.6 billion stadium opened hosted its first NFL game in August of 2010 in a preseason matchup between the two tenants, the Jets and the Giants. Getting to the stadium has never been easier with the addition of a New Jersey Transit stop directly in front of the stadium. The stadium is able to seamlessly transition between hosting Jets and Giants games over the course of an 18-hour process that is aided by interior lighting system.

Year Opened:  2010

Capacity:  82,500

Best Attribute:  The technology. The stadium sports four massive 30 x 118 foot HD display boards at each corner of the stadium, and more than 2,100 HD monitors throughout the stadium. If you are going to get food at some of the vastly upgraded concession stands, you will not miss any action with all of the TV coverage.

MLB:

Yankee Stadium (New York Yankees)

The Skinny:  The dimensions of the field remain the same, but just about everything else has changed as compared to the old Yankee Stadium. The concourses are nearly twice as wide, there are tons of food options, and the 59 x 101 foot HD video board in centerfield is among the best in the majors. With wider seats and more legroom, the new stadium may lack the history and tradition of the 85+ year-old original, but the viewing experience is on a different level.

Year Opened:  2009

Capacity:  50,287

Best Moment:  November 4, 2009. The Yankees defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 7-3 in Game 6 of the 2009 World Series at Yankee Stadium, bringing home the franchise’s 27th World Series title.

Citi Field (New York Mets)

Courtesy of Mets.com

The Skinny:  The state of the art facility is much more intimate than Shea Stadium as a result of the reduction of more than 13,000 seats. The classic design was inspired by Ebbets Field, former home of the Brooklyn Dodgers, and the wider seats angled towards the action, increased legroom, and widened concourses make the in-game experience significantly better. Concessions such as Shake Shack and Blue Smoke behind center field are hard to top.

Year Opened:  2009

Capacity:  41,800

Best Attribute:  Fans are welcomed through the Jackie Robinson Rotunda, a magnificent tribute to the late Brooklyn Dodgers hero. An eight-foot sculpture of Robinson’s number 42 stands amid the 160-foot-diameter rotunda.

NBA/NHL:

Madison Square Garden (New York Knicks & New York Rangers, College Basketball)

The Skinny:  Known as “The World’s Most Famous Arena,” Madison Square Garden opened in its current location in 1968 and is the third busiest arena in the world in terms of ticket sales. Located above Penn Station between 31st and 33rd Streets and Seventh and Eighth Avenue is Manhattan, The Garden is the longest-active major sports facility in the New York metropolitan area. A nearly $800M renovation from 2011-2013 will keep The Garden alive for another 40+ years.

Year Opened:  1968

Capacity:  19,763 for basketball; 18,200 for hockey

Best Moment: MSG has been the site of some of the most historic moments in NBA (Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals), NHL (Game 7 of the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals), boxing (Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier), college basketball (home to the Big East Tournament since 1983), and music history.

Prudential Center (New Jersey Nets, New Jersey Devils, & Seton Hall basketball)

The Skinny: The Prudential Center is the cornerstone in the revitalization and renaissance of downtown Newark, and hosts Located in downtown Newark, just 2 blocks from Newark Penn Station, the arena is accessible via New Jersey Transit, PATH and Amtrak making it easy to get there. An externally mounted 4,800 square-foot LED display, one of the largest in the world, welcomes fans entering the arena, and a 6,000 square-foot mural along the Grand Concourse wall features depictions of famous New Jersey sports legends.

Year Opened:  2007

Capacity: 17,625 for hockey and 18,500 for basketball

Best Attribute:  With more than 750 flat screens and the Championship Plaza, an outdoor space designed to celebrate the Devils’ championship history, the fan experience at the Prudential Center is a vast improvement over the former home of the building’s tenants, East Rutherford’s Izod Center.

Nassau Coliseum (New York Islanders)

The Skinny: Located in Uniondale on Long Island, the Coliseum opened in 1972 and has housed the Islanders ever since, also playing home to the New York Nets of the ABA and NBA from 1972-77, during which time Julius “Dr. J” Erving was leading the Nets to the ABA title and winning the ABA MVP (1974). The Coliseum was nicknamed “Fort Neverlose” during the Islanders’ four consecutive Stanley Cup championships from 1980-84; over the course of those four seasons the Islanders sported a home record of 141-36-23, including the postseason.

Year Opened:  1972

Capacity:  16,250

Best Moment: May 24, 1980. The Islanders defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 5-4 in overtime in Game 6 of the 1980 Stanley Cup Finals on a goal by Bobby Nystrom that started the Islanders dynasty in the early 1980s.

MLS:

Red Bull Arena (New York Red Bulls)

The Skinny:  The soccer-specific stadium opened in Harrison, New Jersey, a suburb of Newark, in the Spring of 2010 and has become a big draw for metropolitan soccer fans. It is a short walk from the New Jersey transit station in Harrison, making it easy for fans from New York and New Jersey to attend. Sections 133, 101 and 102 are nicknamed the “South Ward” and are reserved for fans of the Red Bulls support clubs, making that area the rowdiest and loudest area of the arena.

Year Opened:  2010

Capacity:  25,000

Best Moment: July 22, 2010. French national team star Thierry Henry makes his Red Bulls debut and scores a goal in front of more than 20,000 fans during a New York Barclays Challenge game against Tottenham. The fans greeted Henry with a roar and he delivered, blowing kisses to the crowd after his goal.

College Football:

Rutgers Stadium (Rutgers Scarlet Knights)

The Skinny:  A recent $102M expansion pushed the capacity to more than 52,000 and was completed prior to the 2009 season. The on-campus stadium added a 38-foot x 112-foot video board as part of the renovations, and features a cannon that fires upon Rutgers scoring drives. The stadium has also hosted NCAA tournament soccer and lacrosse games, including the Men’s lacrosse championship games in 188, 2001 and 2002.

Year Opened:  1994

Capacity:  52,454

Best Moment:  November 9, 2006. The #15-ranked Scarlet Knights faced the #3-ranked Louisville Cardinals in front of a then-record crowd of 44,111. In what was heralded as the most important game in Rutgers history, they defeated Louisville and the fans stormed the field. It was known as “Pandemonium in Piscataway.”

College Basketball:

Carnesecca Arena (St. John’s Red Storm)

The Skinny:  Between opening its doors in 1961 and its renaming for long-time St. John’s legendary coach Lou Carnesseca, Carnesseca Arena was called Alumni Hall and was home to some high-quality basketball. The Johnnies play most of their high-profile games at Madison Square Garden, using Carnesseca Arena mostly for their early-season non-conference games.

Year Opened:  1961

Capacity:  6,008

Fun Fact:  Carnesseca Arena is the last venue in New York City that the NCAA Tournament was held; it hosted first-round games from 1970-74. Madison Square Garden is the home to the NIT and Big East Tournament.

Louis Brown Athletic Center “The RAC” (Rutgers Scarlet Knights)

Courtesy of ScarletKnights.com

The Skinny:  It has been called “louder than a 757 at nearby Newark” and it is definitely one of the loudest arenas in the nation. It has a trapezoidal design that allows the noise to resonate, making it an incredibly tough place to play. In addition to hosting the Scarlet Knights since 1977, the RAC (it was officially called the Rutgers Athletic Center until 1986 but still goes by the RAC moniker) was also home to the NBA’s New Jersey Nets from 1977-1981.

Year Opened:  1977

Capacity:  8,000

What They’re Saying:  “It is very difficult at the RAC. They have a great home crowd. The student body and everybody really comes out to support them. Just the way the gym is shaped, it seems like everybody is on top of you. At times, if you’re not focused, you can get lost in the game just by how intense the crowd is.”
– Former Connecticut Guard Ben Gordon

Sports Power Weekend Destination: New York

Friday, December 10th, 2010


December 17-19 Friday
  • Heat at Knicks
  • Predators at Devils
Saturday
  • Coyotes at Islanders
Sunday
  • Eagles at Giants
  • Hawks at Nets
  • NJIT at Seton Hall


Big Bite Out of the Big Apple

With so many professional and college teams calling New York (and New Jersey) home, hardly a weekend goes by without multiple teams playing here. It is not hard to find a Sports Power Weekend in New York in any season, but picking the right one can be tricky. As December rolls along, baseball and college football have given way to the NBA, NHL and college basketball, and the NFL regular season approaches its end. This creates a rare window where you can see the Knicks play at “The World’s Most Famous Arena” and a game from the perfect Sports Power Weekends league: the NFL.

The holiday spirit has cast over New York by the middle of December, and so has the cold weather. But that shouldn’t chill your excitement, especially with the Heat coming to town. With the Knicks and Giants both home, and the possibility of an NHL game on Saturday in play, there is a lot to be cheerful for this holiday season.

Travel note: With potential weather issues and traffic this time of year, it is important to know your options regarding traveling from the airports. Cabs back from LaGuardia are often in the range of $25 and take about 30 minutes depending on traffic to Manhattan. Cabs from Kennedy airport are a flat $45 plus tips and tolls. A more inexpensive option is taking the Air Train from the airport to Jamaica station, and then taking the E subway line into Manhattan. This will take between 45 minutes and one hour, but only costs $7.25.

Friday

  • Madison Square Garden
  • Lombardi’s
  • Lower East Side

Courtesy of Getty Images

They don’t call Madison Square Garden “The World’s Most Famous Arena” for nothing. Since opening in its current location in 1968, MSG has been the site of some of the most historic moments in NBA (Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals), NHL (Game 7 of the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals), boxing (Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier), college basketball (home to the Big East Tournament since 1983), and music history.

While tonight’s game may not live up to those lofty moments, the Knicks welcome LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and the Miami Heat to The Garden in what promises to be an electric atmosphere normally befitting a playoff game. James and Michael Jordan are the only players who have scored multiple 50-point games at the current Madison Square Garden; it is always a show when he comes to New York in front of 19,763 fans and a tremendous media contingent.

Your next move should be from an historic arena to an historic pizza joint. The over 100 year-old Lombardi’s Pizzeria (take the F subway line from Herald Square to Second Avenue) is worthy of the incredibly lofty praise that has been heaped on it like cheese and sauce. Lombardi’s was the first pizzeria in the country, and has a story that will make your head spin (Scott’s Pizza Tours has the inside scoop for you as part of what could be a fantastic afternoon of pizza eating and pizza history).

There is no shortage of nightlife options while you are down on the lower east side. Right around the corner from the Meatball Shop is Arlene’s Grocery, a small, unassuming live music joint that promises a good time. Also, a few blocks north is Alphabet City in the East Village, where even more young-leaning bars reside.

Saturday

  • Sarabeth’s
  • Central Park
  • NBA Store
  • Rockefeller Center
  • Radio City Music Hall
  • China Grill
  • Museums
  • o   Museum of Natural History
    o   Metropolitan Museum of Art
    o   Guggenheim

  • P.J. Clarke’s
  • Second Avenue

There are so many great breakfast and brunch spots in Manhattan that it is difficult to only offer one suggestion for starting your Saturday morning, but Sarabeth’s on Central Park South is a good option. Its location, just across from Central Park between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, sets up your morning nicely. It is up to you if you want to wander through the park and see what it is all about; the 18th is the final day of Winterfest at the Central Park Zoo, which is located just off Fifth Avenue at 64th Street.

Making your way south, the NBA Store on 52nd Street and Fifth Avenue is the world’s only NBA Store and is worth a visit. It opened in its current location in 1998 and will actually be moving in February of 2011, so this may be your best chance to check it out. With a half-court shooting area, video games, memorabilia and tons of merchandise, you are sure to find something you can wear to represent your favorite team.

Next up, a little holiday spirit in the heart of midtown. Head two blocks south to Rockefeller Center at 50th Street and Fifth Avenue to check out the Tree, the Ice Skating Rink, NBC Studios and 30 Rockefeller Plaza. If it is a clear day you can even go to The Top of the Rock, 70 floors high, for exhilarating and unobstructed views of the Manhattan skyline. It isn’t quite as far-reaching a view as the top of the Empire State Building, but you will avoid that tremendous wait and those higher prices. You can then make your way through the rest of the plaza towards Sixth Avenue (Avenue of the Americas) to check out Radio City Music Hall and perhaps catch one of the several Radio City Christmas Spectacular performances that are put on daily.

After the show you will have built up a bit of an appetite, and the nearby China Grill is just the thing for you. Right across the street from the Museum of Modern Art, this Asian-fusion restaurant serves some great lunch dishes, including their Confucius chicken or crackling calamari salads.

An avenue west of China Grill is the 1-2 Subway line that will take you up to 79th and Broadway and drop you off just a few blocks west of the Museum of Natural History and the adjoining Hayden Planetarium. Just across Central Park and its Great Lawn over on 82nd and Fifth Avenue is the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In addition, the Guggenheim Museum resides at 89th Street and Fifth Avenue. There is a whole lot of culture in a small radius in this city.

You do have the option of making your way to Penn Station to catch the Long Island Railroad to Uniondale station, a stone’s throw from Nassau Coliseum, where the New York Islanders are hosting the Phoenix Coyotes. The Coliseum opened in 1972 and has housed the Islanders ever since, also playing home to the New York Nets of the ABA and NBA from 1972-77, during which time Julius “Dr. J” Erving was leading the Nets to the ABA title and winning the ABA MVP (1974). The Coliseum was nicknamed “Fort Neverlose” during the Islanders’ four consecutive Stanley Cup championships from 1980-84; over the course of those four seasons the Islanders sported a home record of 141-36-23, including the postseason. The Coliseum has since become quite dilapidated, but if you have the urge to catch an NHL game on this day, the trip from the city is easy and you can be back in the city for the nightlife.

If you opt to skip the hockey game, head down towards Midtown to P.J. Clarke’s on 55th and Third Avenue, a location it has maintained since the late 1800’s. P.J. Clarke’s serves up some of the best burgers in New York, and it will be worth the wait at the historic, if not cramped, bar at the front of the restaurant. Just a block east of P.J. Clarke’s on Second Avenue there are a bunch of bars that you can feel free to pop in and out of to see what suits your tastes. The bars cater to a mostly young professional crowd, but even though they all seem to be constructed the same, one may have more of a vibe that fits you better than the others.

Sunday

  • H&H Bagels
  • New Meadowlands Stadium

Courtesy of AP Images

You would be remiss if you came to New York but didn’t have one of the delicacies that helps separate the city from the rest of the country: the bagel. And there is no better place to have one than H&H Bagels. With locations on both the east and west side of Manhattan, regardless of where you are staying this should be your first stop of the morning. After devouring one (or two), your mindset should switch from food to football, as two of the NFL’s premier franchises are set to face off across the river.

With the New Jersey Transit rail line making stop directly in front of New Meadowlands Stadium, traveling to and from Giants and Jets games has become much more convenient. For maximum tailgating experience, driving and arriving early is still the best way to go, but if you are coming from Long Island, New York City, Westchester or parts of New Jersey, the NJ Transit (via Penn Station and Secaucus) is a great option.

The New Meadowlands Stadium made its debut earlier in the 2010 season and offers fans four massive video boards, one at each corner of the $1.6 billion stadium, and a tremendous number of TVs throughout the wide concourses. The concession stands have been tremendously upgraded from the options previously offered at Giants Stadium. More than 82,500 fans pack the stands each week for either the Giants or the Jets, who share the building. The stadium is set up to seamlessly transition between the Giants blue and Jets green by an interior lighting system. The whole process of changing over the stadium, including the field decorations, takes about 18 hours.

With the division-rival Eagles coming to town this late in the season, the NFC East title is essentially on the line, adding importance to an already heated rivalry. Make sure you bundle up; three hours or more in the mid-December chill of New Jersey is no joke. Especially since you can always count on a bit of a wait to actually make your way home, even if you decide to take the train, which is situated right outside of the stadium.

As your weekend in New York winds down, you will realize that even though you crammed an incredible amount of sports, food, and sightseeing into your weekend, you barely scratched the surface of “The City That Never Sleeps.” So hop over to the Sports Power Weekends tab, check out the next weekend that works for you, and contact us to make it happen!

Top Sports Power Weekends: New York

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010



Below are the Sports Power Weekend options in New York and the surrounding area in the coming months. Please visit the New York City Guide page for information on activities and events in New York on days that do not have sporting events.

For more information on booking a travel package to New York, please contact us at info@SPWtravel.com.

April 1-3 Thursday
  • Tigers at Yankees (Opening Day)
  • NIT Finals
Friday
  • Flyers at Devils
Saturday
  • Tigers at Yankees
  • Hurricanes at Islanders
  • Canadiens at Devils
  • Dynamo at Red Bulls
Sunday
  • Tigers at Yankees
  • Cavaliers at Knicks
  • Heat at Nets
April 8-10 Friday
  • Nationals at Mets
  • Knicks at Nets
  • Penguins at Islanders
Saturday
  • Nationals at Mets
  • Devils at Rangers
Sunday
  • Nationals at Mets
  • Bruins at Devils
April 15-17 Friday
  • Rangers at Yankees
Saturday
  • Rangers at Yankees
  • Earthquakes at Red Bulls
Sunday
  • Rangers at Yankees
April 22-24 Friday
  • Diamondbacks at Mets
Saturday
  • Diamondbacks at Mets
Sunday
  • Diamondbacks at Mets
April 29-May 1 Friday
  • Raptors at Yankees
  • NFL Draft (Day 2)
Saturday
  • Raptors at Yankees
  • Sporting KC at Red Bulls
  • NFL Draft (Day 3)
Sunday
  • Raptors at Yankees