19 Sporting Events to Watch in 2019

19 Sporting Events to Watch in 2019

By Matt Swenson, January 14, 2019

It’s game on, 2019—and we have 19 sporting events to prove it. Mark your calendar for these exciting and eclectic events.

First to the Finish New England Winterfest Volleyball Tournament

Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, Connecticut, will host 5,000 youth volleyball players across 456 teams over two weekends in January. Formerly the Mizuno New England Winterfest Volleyball Tournament, the 2019 First to the Finish New England Winterfest Volleyball Tournament is a goldmine for the region, as more than 18,000 visitors are expected. The Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend action alone is scheduled to attract 232 teams of 16- to 18-year-old players.

Super Bowl LIII

Mercedes-Benz Stadium was built to the host the Super Bowl. In its second year, the world-class facility will be in the spotlight on Feb. 3, just as it was when hosting the College Football Playoff Championship in 2018. Next year brings the Final Four. The team at the Atlanta CVB is busy working toward turning these marquee events into future business.

Maine Pond Hockey Classic

What began in 2013 with 14 teams on China Lake and has quickly grown into one of Maine’s biggest winter events. Now in its 6th year, the Feb. 8-10 event in Sidney is expected to include more than 80 teams and is a veritable winter festival. Eight rinks will be used and there will be a beer garden, fire pits, music and a Polar Bear dip for the brave at heart.

NAIA Wrestling National Championships

Few states are as known for wrestling as Iowa, making Des Moines a natural fit for NAIA’s championships March 1-2. This is a homecoming, as the city previously hosted the event in 2012 and 2013. The state of Iowa has previously welcomed the NAIA Wrestling National Championships nine times in association history. Prior to the previously mentioned stops in Des Moines, the event found a home in Cedar Rapids in 2011 and Sioux City from 2005 to 2008. Sioux City also hosted the championships in 1973 and 1975. 

U.S. Alpine Speed Championships

From March 16-21, the best alpine skiers in the nation will ski down Narrow Gauge in downhill, super-G and alpine combined events in Sugarloaf, Maine. Narrow Gauge trail, which was also the site of a 1971 FIS World Cup event, is no stranger to alpine championships following successful events in 1996, 1997, 2006, 2008, 2015 and 2017. But this will be the first official “U.S. Alpine Speed Championships” with downhill, super-G and alpine combined events.

WrestleMania 35

WWE’s largest extravaganza has outgrown its original host, Madison Square Garden, but maintains its connections to the New York area on April 7. WrestleMania will take place at MetLife Stadium in the Meadowlands, though several ancillary events will occur at Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn. The event has generated more than $100 million for host cities over the past several years. Expect to see Connect Sports keynote, John Cena, make an appearance.

Emily Jaenson, the only woman general manager in Triple-A Baseball, discusses how she has continued to succeed in a tradtionally male-dominated role.

Loudoun Sports Tourism recently launched as a sports-specific brand targeting events to bring to the Northern Virginia county.

Patrick Coogan, president and CEO of SportsBR, shares stories of his baseball career and his vision for sports in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Carey Harverycutter and John Shaner share the secret formula that has worked so well for Salem, Virginia, in sports tourism.