Game, Set & Match – 2011’s best sporting event destinations

On September 15, 2010 at 04:00 AM’s 2011 sporting events travel calendar for sports buffs

Australians’ passion for all things sport is hardly a secret, so it should not come as a surprise that travelling to all corners of the globe to watch our favourite sport or sporting team in action is a popular way for many Australians to spend their holidays.

To make the most of a well-earned break as well as to get a ‘shot’ of their favourite sport,™, operated by Expedia, Inc., the world’s largest online travel company, has compiled a calendar for Australians listing the best sporting events globally in 2011 along with tips for getting the most out of the destination hosting the events.

Louise Crompton, Marketing Manager for, says: “For sports fans, 2011 is filled with many sporting events, including the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, World Athletics Championships in Daegu, South Korea and Swimming Championships in Shanghai, China. Through Expedia’s easy-to-use, one-stop-shop website, Australians looking to combine their love of sport and a great holiday will find more choice and value for money when booking their trip. Major sporting events are always very popular, so the best way to avoid disappointment and to get a great deal is to book well in advance”’s top 2011 sporting event destinations:

What: The Australian Open (Tennis)

Where: Melbourne, Australia

When: January 17 – 30, 2011

Kick off the sporting year with a bang at the Australian Open, Asia Pacific’s Grand Slam, where the world’s cream-of-the-crop tennis champions battle one another - and the heat of the Australian summer - at Melbourne Park. Tickets and accommodation sell out fast for this must-see event so be sure to get in quick. Between sets, travellers can explore cosmopolitan Melbourne and be tempted by some of the best food and shopping experiences Australia has to offer. A visit to the Eureka Tower for a 360 degree view of the city is also an ace idea or to escape the heat, take a dip at famous St Kilda beach. recommends staying at the 4.5* Punthill Manhattan, which is located approximately 10 minutes walk from Melbourne Park. Rooms start from $165* per room per night.

What: Super Bowl XLV (Gridiron)

Where: Arlington, Texas, USA

When:February 6, 2011

The Super Bowl is arguably the biggest day on the American sporting schedule.The much anticipated halftime show and the infamous, and expensive, TV ads have made the Super Bowl one of the most watched games in the world. A quarter of a million fans are expected to visit the Dallas-Fort Worth area to experience next year’s Super Bowl and, for die-hard NFL fans Down Under, the incredible atmosphere of the 45th Super Bowl will be worth the hefty ticket price. The game will be held at the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, so after the celebrations die down, head to Dallas to sample some classic Texan cuisine and if you fancy, explore the history of JFK’s murder. recommends staying at the 3.5* Sheraton Arlington, which is located close to the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium. Rooms start from $159* per room per night.

What: Cricket World Cup

Where: Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka

When: February 19 – April 22, 2011

The cricket world’s premiere event will be held on the Indian sub-continent next year with matches to be played in Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka, allowing fans to go to some great cricket matches while also the chance to explore these amazing countries. In between innings, spectators can visit: the Elephant Orphanage at Pinnawella, Sri Lanka; Old Dhaka in Bangladesh where they can learn about the country’s history; a day trip from Mumbai, India to visit the UNESCO World Heritage site, Elephanta Island, to explore the ninth century caves and its rock architecture.

In India, recommends staying at the 4.5* Hotel Marine Plaza, located close to Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai, which will host the final. Rooms start from $196* per room per night.

In Bangladesh, recommends the 4* Radisson Water Garden Hotelin Dhaka, located close to Sher-e-Bangla stadium, which hosts a quarter-final match. Rooms start from $160* per room per night.

In Sri Lanka, recommends the 3.5* beachfront Taj Sumadra, which is not far from the R. Premadasa Stadium, which will play host to a semi-final match. Rooms start from $118* per room per night.

What: IRB Sevens (Rugby Union)

Where: Hong Kong

When: March 25 - 27, 2011

The fast-paced action of Sevens rugby union will return to Hong Kong at the end of March, 2011. This will be the 12th season for the Sevens Series with eight tournaments held between December 2010 and May 2011, with Hong Kong being the city to draw the biggest crowds. Due to its close proximity and popularity as a travel destination, Hong Kong has become a popular annual pilgrimage destination for many Australians and of course next year there is also the chance to see some electrifying rugby union.  After the final whistle has blown, the best way to explore the sights and sounds of Hong Kong is to hop on the ‘Ding Ding’ tram which runs from Kennedy Town in the island’s west to Shau Kei Wan in the east. recommends staying at the 4* Cosmopolitan Hotel, which is located close to Hong Kong stadium, home to the games. Rooms start from $138* per room per night.

What: FA Cup Final (Football)

Where: London, England

When: May 14, 2011

The FA Cup soccer tournament, where teams from all over England get a chance to take on the country’s powerhouses in a knockout competition, is sure to excite any football fan. The tournament takes close to a year to complete, culminating with the Final on May 14, 2011 at London’s Wembley Stadium. Take in the iconic sights of Big Ben and the Tower of London before joining the masses catching the train to Wembley to watch the match. recommends staying at the 4* Radisson Edwardian Berkshire, which is located close to the Bond Street Tube station on the Jubilee line, the easiest way to get to Wembley stadium. Rooms start from $196* per room per night.

What: Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix (Motor racing)

Where: Monaco

When: May 26 - 29, 2011

The Monaco Grand Prix is the most eagerly anticipated event on the Formula 1 racing calendar for both drivers and fans alike. The action never ceases as fans mingle with the rich and famous, gamble at the famous Monte Carlo casino and dine at luxurious restaurants when they are not watching the scintillating spectacle on the track. The racing is held over three days but gives Formula 1 fans plenty of time to explore this opulent city and visit places such as Lavartto Beach or the Exotic Garden. recommends staying at the Expedia Insiders’ Select-rated 4* Eza Vista, the perfect base for the great race. Rooms start from $116* per room per night.

What: The British Open Championship (Golf)

Where: Kent, England

When: July 14 - 17, 2011

The British Open, which has become the most popular of the golfing majors, returns to the Royal St George’s Golf Course in Kent, England from the 14 - 17 July, 2011. For four days, the town of Sandwich will be transformed into a hub for the world’s golfing enthusiasts and media as they eagerly await the next champion to raise the Claret Jug. While visiting Kent, history buffs will be able to visit some of England’s most spectacular castles, gardens and historical houses, which are all nearby. recommends staying at the 4* Chilston Park Hotel, which is not far from the Royal St George’s Golf Course. Rooms start from $136* per room per night.

What: FINA World Championships (Swimming)

Where: Shanghai, China

When: July 16 - 31, 2011

The biennial world swimming championships will be held in Shanghai, China in 2011 and Australia will be trying to regain their position as a swimming powerhouse after a below par performance in 2009. All water sports are on display including swimming, water polo and diving, so the pool deck will be busy. Typically there is a break between the day and evening competitions, which leaves plenty of time to visit the best of Shanghai, including the People’s Square, the Bund and the Yu Yuan Gardens. recommends staying at the 4* Oriental Riverside Hotel, which is not far from the Shanghai Aquatic Centre. Rooms start from $191* per room per night.

What: IAAF Athletic Championships (Athletics)

Where: Daegu, South Korea

When: August 27 – September 4, 2011

Catch a glimpse of some of the fastest athletes in the world as they compete at the 2011 IAAF Athletic Championships in South Korea. Take the opportunity during the day to climb Palgongsan Mountain for a bird’s-eye view of Daegu. At night, head to Daegu stadium to watch the world’s best cross the line in the finals before heading out to try some traditional Korean cuisine at the city’s restaurants. recommends staying at the 4.5* Hotel Inter-Burgo Exco, which is not far from the Daegu Stadium. Rooms start from $113* per room per night.

What: Rugby World Cup (Rugby Union)

Where: New Zealand

When: September 9 – October 23, 2011

Rugby powerhouse New Zealand will host the 2011 Rugby World Cup and will undoubtedly be the team to beat. Tens of thousands of travellers are expected to visit the 12 New Zealand cities hosting games during the World Cup. Wellington, Christchurch and Auckland will play host to the final rounds but many regional cities and towns on both the North and South islands such as Whangarei and Rotorua will also host matches, providing endless opportunities to experience some of New Zealand’s natural wonders. recommends staying at the 5* The Langham Auckland, which is not far from Auckland’s Eden Park, where the world championship will be decided. Rooms start from $163* per room per night.

Notes to editor

* Prices quoted may increase at time of actual event

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