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Top Sports Tourism Events in California


In terms of tourism, California is a place like no other. It’s a home to LA, San Francisco, and San Diego. So, if you’ve ever wanted to see the Golden Gate Bridge, visit the Hollywood Walk of Fame, or go to the Disneyland Resort, California is likely ranked high on your must-visit list.

While entertainment is the first thing people think of when talking about California, sports play just as big of a role in the state’s tourist appeal. So, with all of this in mind, here are some of the top sports events that tourists may want to see in California.

NBA games

Did you know California has the most NBA teams out of any state? As seen on, it’s home to:



  • Los Angeles Lakers
  • Golden State Warriors
  • Sacramento Kings
  • Angeles Clippers

This means that catching a live home game is not a problem for anyone living in California or visiting the state, with many basketball fans traveling to see one of these iconic teams play. The fifth annual California Classic Summer League is set to take place in July, hosted by the Sacramento Kings, and is sure to draw in NBA fans from all over California and further afield.

Don’t worry if you can’t make it to California to see one of these teams play live; you can catch a game on TV and enjoy betting on the outcome, regardless of where you are. In 2023, there are so many online options for streaming and betting on live sports that this is not a problem. Still, watching a game in person is something else entirely—we’d definitely recommend that everyone tries to make it to a game at least once in their lifetime!



NFL games

Just like NBA teams, California is home to plenty of top-level NFL teams:

  • Los Angeles Rams
  • Los Angeles Chargers
  • San Francisco 49ers

With these three teams in the state, California is alone at the top of the list (just ahead of Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas, with two teams each). As a side note, it’s also worth mentioning that the Super Bowl took place in California 13 times in the past (more than in any other state, well… other than Florida with 17).

The last time California hosted the Super Bowl was as recently as 2022; just short of 104,000 fans traveled from all over the country to catch the game, and the iconic half-time show. While the state of stadiums in California makes it a logical choice for future Super Bowls, there’s no guarantee that the event will occur there. But when it does, you can guarantee it’ll be popular among sports tourists.

AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

This sports tournament is held annually at Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, and the best thing about it is the combination of professional golfers and celebrity amateurs. As we’ve already mentioned, California is the world's entertainment capital, and this influence sometimes carries over into sports, as well.

This event may be so inspiring that you might pick up your old golf clubs for the first time in years and join the game yourself! The best thing about golfing in California is that it takes place all year round. For instance, if you plan your visit for January or February, you can watch the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego.

MLB events

As with any other major sport in the US, California is at the top of the list regarding the number of teams it’s home to. For basketball fans, these are:

  • Los Angeles Angels
  • Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Oakland Athletics
  • San Diego Padres
  • San Francisco Giants

There’s a reason why baseball is commonly referred to as “America’s favorite pastime.” Each team has a dedicated fanbase, making it easy for visitors to soak in the atmosphere at any of these events. While there are no plans for the All Star Game to be held in California in the next couple of years, it took place at the Dodger Stadium in 2022. The event was the most-attended series of ballpark events ever, with 152,182 fans traveling cross-country to witness the three days of excitement.

Watching fights

The era where you could only watch a great fight at Madison Square Garden is long gone. Today, both MMA and boxing are loved internationally, so many major venues host huge fights. That being said, New York, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles are still the three most likely locations to host a major fight.

Now, if there’s a massive fight in LA, you can watch it at The Staples Center. Over history, this venue was home to fights like:

  • Oscar De La Hoya vs. Shane Mosley II
  • Lennox Lewis vs. Vitali Klitschko
  • Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen II

Each of these is considered a huge classic in their respective communities (the first two for boxing and the third for MMA). While you can’t go back in time to attend these events in person, what you can do is make sure that you don’t miss the next big one!


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