If you’re a longtime fan of a Tennessee team or a visitor who can’t go too long without a sports fix, you’ve come to the right place. Tennessee offers fans of every stripe the opportunity to watch a wide range of sporting events, from the professional level to some can’t-miss local matchups. Here are seven only-in-Tennessee sports experiences guaranteed to get your blood pumping.
The Nashville Predators have been a part of the Nashville sports scene for 20 years, but 2017 was the National Hockey League team’s most exciting season yet. The Preds made a historic run to the Stanley Cup, ultimately falling to the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 6 of the finals. The momentum and hype live on, though, as shown by the infectious enthusiasm of the Preds’ hometown crowd. Even if you’re not a big hockey fan (yet), a Preds game is a fun and unforgettable experience that’s guaranteed to turn you into one.
Cheer on Memphis’ Home Team
Carrying the NBA banner for the state of Tennessee, the Memphis Grizzlies have been doing a bang-up job since the dawn of the Grit and Grind Era in 2010. As seen by their thrilling run to the NBA playoffs in 2015, the Grizzlies (and their fiercely loyal fan base) know how to put on a show at FedExForum and beyond.
Feel the Need for Speed
Bristol Motor Speedway, heralded as the world's fastest half-mile, serves up steep banks, deafening noise, fan popularity and sheer spectacle. About 50 miles southwest in Bull's Gap lies another racing hotspot: Volunteer Speedway, claimed as the world’s fastest dirt track.
Watch a Clash of the Titans
Tennessee Titans' fans don their red, white and blue as they cheer on their favorite team during home games at Nissan Stadium every fall. College football is another statewide pigskin pastime, with the University of Tennessee Volunteers consistently dazzling crowds at Neyland Stadium, the sixth largest in the world. And in late December/early January, the annual Liberty Bowl in Memphis (celebrating 60 years in 2018!) adds extra excitement to the season.
Join the Soccer Craze
While Nashville prepares for the arrival of its new Major League Soccer team, soccer fans across the state can get their kicks in Knoxville, Memphis or Chattanooga, where just-below-professional level teams in the National Premier Soccer League battle it out in fun, high-energy matches.
Enjoy America’s Favorite Pastime
Tennessee is home to nine Triple-A affiliate baseball teams like the Chattanooga Lookouts, Elizabethton Twins, Johnson City Cardinals, Kingsport Mets, Greeneville Astros, Tennessee Smokies and Jackson Generals. The Memphis Redbirds, the Triple-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals, have been smashing victory records to the delight of adoring fans in Memphis. Meanwhile, in Music City, fans are also flocking to First Tennessee Park, where the Nashville Sounds have been hitting it out of the park. Catching a minor league game is the perfect way to spend a warm summer evening in Tennessee.
Show Your Love of Basketball
Every March, the NCAA basketball tournament transforms ordinary people into bracket-making maniacs, and luckily for Middle Tennessee, Nashville often hosts some or part of the SEC tournament action. This year, the men’s tournament comes to town. Cheer on your favorite college team March 16, 18 at Bridgestone Arena.