You probably know of the Titans, Predators and Sounds but Nashville has a wide range of spectator sports that covet your attention. A few listed below might even surprise you.
Yes, it’s currently king of among Nashville spectator sports but which is more fun to watch: the team on the ice and the Fang-natic fans in the stands? It’s a toss-up (or a face-off). You don’t even have to like hockey to have a good time at games. And when it’s play-off season, there is outdoor viewing on huge screens. (Top photo: Flickr, Brent Moore)
Although we haven’t exactly made it to the Superbowl lately, it’s still fun to take in a NFL game in our beautiful stadium, just across the river from downtown. Many of their practices are also open for public viewing.
Dollar for dollar, I don’t think you can find a better sports bargain than a Sounds game where admission prices start at $10. First Tennessee Park is just north of downtown between the state capitol and Germantown. Seems they’ve always got some kind of crazy promotion in play. Music City Mondays often include live entertainment. Throwback Thursdays feature discounted prices on sodas and beer. Fridays feature a fireworks show after the game.
Be patient. We’re new in professional soccer but that doesn’t mean there’s not a built-in rabid fan base. Until a new stadium is constructed (scheduled to open in 2022), most matches are held at Nissan Stadium, home of the Titans.
Now let’s explore some options that aren’t quite so obvious.
Now let’s leave the stadiums behind to look at folks playing on less flashy fields.
Maybe you didn’t even know that the Tennessee Association of Vintage Base Ball exists. Well, it does and you’re welcome to cheer for the local duffers playing by rules long since amended. You’ll have to check the website for upcoming games and locations because these folks move around. Grow a handlebar mustache, gents. Don your corsets, ladies. It’s time to play ball.
No, I’m not talking about the kangaroo walk-about at the Nashville Zoo. We’re home to an Australian football that includes some card-carrying Aussies on its roster. If you’re unfamiliar with the game, it looks a bit like rugby and packs a wallop (or maybe a wallaby). The ‘Roos’ natural habitat is Elmington Park on West End Avenue but they hop about on occasion.
Major League Soccer doesn’ have a home here yet but it’s coming. Until then, you can watch our team play against United Soccer League opponents at First Tennessee Park (aka the Nashville Sounds stadium) on Jefferson Street. The website provides more details.
Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway
Billed as America’s fastest short track, Nashville has a long-standing love affair with fast cars. NASCAR as well as other races at the Tennessee Fairgrounds, south of downtown. Admission is affordable; $5 for children, $10 for adults.
Head on up to Greenbrier, TN for the roar of quarter-mile racing on a high-banked track. The owners are committed to family-friendly entertainment so put headphones on the kids and bring ’em out for a fun night of stock car racing. As a demonstration of its desire to connect with the community, local clergy are invited to participate in the Faster Pastor race.
Trek to Goodlettsville for your NHRA fix on this 1/8-mile drag racing track. A variety of classes of vehicles blaze down the stretch March through November.
OTHER SPECTATOR SPORTS
Go out on the jam with the rockin’est ladies since the Fun Girls from Mt. Pilot. It’s hard-hitting fun as the Nashville All-Stars battle it out with the Nashville Brawl Stars as well as traveling teams at the Nashville Fairgrounds. The fans get so involved it’s hardly a spectator sport. With members with names like Nancy Drew Blood and Ka-Blamazon, you know it’s gonna be a hoot.
Known as the Athens of the South, we’re home to five universities with stand-out sports teams. (Other universities are located here as well; they just don’t do intercollegiate sports.) I’ll let you hunt up your sport of choice:
- Belmont University
- Lipscomb University
- Tennessee State University (home of the legendary Tiger Belles track team)
- Trevecca University
- Vanderbilt University