For the most part we don’t think of attending sporting events as a luxury occasion. You can dress up anywhere you like of course, and it’s usually possible to spend a bit more for better seats, or one sort of perk or another before or after a game. Generally though, going to a sporting event is a more casual, and sometimes even hot and sweaty occasion. With that said however, the U.S. is full of more high-end options, from specific annual events to certain stadiums where luxury is more a part of the fabric of the event. So, if you happen to like sports you also like to glam up a bit, this is our look at five of the more luxurious places and occasions in American sport. Mind you, some of them are quite expensive and exclusive!
1. Front Row At Staples Center
A front row seat at a Los Angeles Lakers game at the Staples Center can cost literally thousands of dollars – which explains why these spots are usually reserved for A-list celebrities, anonymous high-rollers, and anyone lucky enough to go with them. That’s ultimately what makes this such a special option though. You’re not just sitting on the court to watch the best basketball players in the world – you might be doing so right across from Leonardo DiCaprio or Jack Nicholson, and the camera’s probably going to find you. This makes it a great opportunity to make a real occasion of it and strut your stuff a little bit. To give you a better idea of just what a legendary celebrity haunt this seating area is, there’s an article from way back in 2005 discussing the HBO show Entourage filming at a real Lakers game. The entire point of that show was to make lead character Vincent Chase seem like a real superstar actor, and to convey that sort of rising status, the show chose to film in these seats.
2. Super Bowl Boxes
There isn’t too much of an explanation needed for this one. The Super Bowl is almost certainly the most famous American sporting event, and the “biggest” in multiple senses. Tickets are famously difficult to come by, and though they range in prices in what’s generally a massive stadium hosting the event, the boxes are another story altogether. You’ll likely need some kind of corporate sponsorship or a connection to get into a Super Bowl box, but if you do you’re in for an experience that by all accounts is essentially a full-on pampering while the biggest game of the year unfolds below you. We’re talking gourmet buffets, famous figures to bump elbows with, everyone looking their best, etc.
3. Evening Sessions At Arthur Ashe Stadium
The 2018 U.S. Open of tennis happens to have just wrapped up, but it’s still one to mark for the future. A guide to the tournament this year rightly labeled it as the most exciting Grand Slam on the tennis calendar, with the New York crowds famous for bringing a unique brand of festivity to the sport. Truth be told, it’s a two-week tournament that feels somewhat prestigious no matter when you go, and it’s not hard to have a high-roller sort of experience if you want to spend the money for it. But the real luxury play is to attend evening session matches in Arthur Ashe Stadium. This is when you’ll often see the best players, and it’s also when people often dress up a bit, sip champagne and the event’s special signature cocktail, and do some celebrity-spotting. In some respects it feels as much like a show as a tennis match.
4. The Kentucky Derby
The Kentucky Derby is an occasion that can be whatever you want it to be. If you want to assemble old college buddies, dress casually, and knock back a few drinks before the races, you won’t be out of place at all (though the Belmont Stakes has more of a reputation for that kind of fun). However, plenty of people also take the opportunity of the United States’ biggest horse race to dress up and splurge. Yes, there’s something goofy about horse racing fashion, and that’s true the world over. At the same time however those wild colorful hats can cost a pretty penny, and the dresses and suits that go with them are often quite nice. Throw in numerous fine restaurants and cocktail bars on site at Churchill Downs and you can absolutely make a luxury experience out of the Derby.
5. Yankee Stadium
The “new” Yankee Stadium that opened in the Bronx in 2009 has received its share of criticism for lacking the home team atmosphere of its predecessor. However, if you like a comfortable, beautiful sporting experience, it’s definitely a place to keep on your list. The Stadium recently opened a wine bar and generated some headlines, but actually had a certain “wine and cheese” reputation long before this. The first few rows of seating are famously very expensive and cater to spectators with wine vendors. And that’s to say nothing of the luxury boxes, if you can find your way into one of those. In other words, it’s a little less raucous than it once was, but it’s definitely the best baseball stadium in the world for anyone who wants to dress up, eat fine food, and sip some wine.