With the year nearly half way over, some of the biggest sporting events in America have already been completed. The Super Bowl was one of the most exciting championships in recent memory, as were the recently completed NCAA Final Four, the Master’s Tournament, the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby. But many more major sporting events are still ahead, culminating in end of the year events like the NASCAR Championships, the NFL playoffs and the kickoff of the college bowl season. Here is a look at just five of the best sporting events to attend this year.
Stanley Cup Finals
Date: June 2015
The Stanley Cup championships began April 15 and will run through mid-June in a best of seven finale. If last year’s championship is any indication, it could take a come from behind victory in the early rounds from a low seeded team to win it all, like the Los Angeles Kings did when they ousted the favored New York Rangers in five games. Surprisingly, the Kings missed the playoffs this season, becoming just the fifth team in NHL history to win the Stanley Cup then miss the following season’s playoffs. The Rangers are favored heading into the NHL playoffs, with other perennial contenders like the Chicago Blackhawks, Anaheim Ducks and Montreal Canadiens not far behind.
Date: June 4, 2015
Although the teams from the Eastern and Western Conference are still yet to be decided, the first game of the NBA Finals will be held on June 4. Heading into the NBA playoffs, the Golden State Warriors had the best record in the league and secured home court advantage throughout the playoffs. While the Warriors are favored to win the NBA Championship, the team hasn’t won a championship since the 1974-75 season. Nevertheless, the Bay Area-based team is expected to go deep into the playoffs this year, as are the Atlanta Hawks, the team with best win percentage in the Eastern Conference.
N8501 Lakeshore Road
Sheboygan, WI 53083
Date: August 10-16, 2015
First held in 1916, the PGA Championship is one of golf’s most anticipated major championships and the final men’s golf Grand Slam event of the year. The 97th edition of this prestigious tournament will be held at Whistling Straits and is expected to feature a strong field of contenders, including the deepest international lineup of any major golf championship. Located along the shores of Lake Michigan just north of Sheboygan, Whistling Straits is a 7,514-yard Par 72 championship course and is associated with the American Club, a luxury resort located in Kohler. The defending champion of the PGA Championship is Rory McIlroy, who last year managed to hold off a surging Phil Mickelson on the final day at the Vallhalla Golf Club in Louisville.
USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center
Flushing Meadow-Corona Park
Flushing, NY 11368
Date: August 31-September 13, 2015
The U.S. Open is the premier tennis event in America and the final leg of the Grand Slam of Tennis. Held annually in late August and early September, the U.S. Open is the modern day version of one of the world’s oldest tennis tournaments – the U.S. National Championships, founded in 1881. Since 1978, the U.S. Open has been held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows-Corona, in the New York City borough of Queens. All of the most famous tennis players in the history of the sport have competed, including defending women’s champion Serena Williams who is pursuing her seventh U.S. Open championship and Roger Federer, who won five consecutive championships between 2004-2008.
Date: October, 2015
It’s still too early to tell who will meet in the 2015 World Series, but early indications are that a number of different teams could be in contention come October. Fresh off their third World Series championship in five years, the San Francisco Giants lost some key players during the offseason, but it would be a mistake to count out a team led by manager Bruce Bochy and players like Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner. Every other Major League team will be out to unseat the Giants this year including preseason favorites the Washington Nationals and Boston Red Sox. Other teams expected to contend for a World Series title in 2015 include clubs like the Los Angeles Dodgers, St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Angels and Baltimore Orioles.