Maryland is the year-round home of popular professional sports and high-energy amateur competition. We make sure it’s always fun to be a fan, so pull up a seat and get ready for incredible action.
Home Team Heroics
Baseball insiders regularly list beautiful Oriole Park at Camden Yards among the best places to catch a game. It helps that the park has been the scene of so many memorable Major League moments brought to fans by stars like hometown hero Cal Ripken, Jr. Today, Ripken also waves the pennant for a minor-league team that plays at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen. Other family-friendly venues host minor-league action in Bowie, Frederick, Hagerstown and Salisbury. If football is more your forte, Head Coach John Harbaugh and the Super Bowl XXXV champion Baltimore Ravens hold summer practices at McDaniel College in Westminster and then bang helmets inside M&T Bank Stadium, while the Washington Redskins play up the road at FedEx Field in Landover. A new seven-on-seven indoor squad, the Chesapeake Tide, spends springtime on the turf at the Prince George’s County Showplace Arena. Fast-paced indoor soccer, brought to you by the 2006-champion Baltimore Blast, explodes on the scene each winter at 1st Mariner Arena.
Join the Gallery
Golf’s biggest names compete during several high-profile events. Tiger Woods put his personal stamp on Maryland golfing in 2007 by hosting the inaugural AT&T National at Bethesda’s Congressional Country Club. The Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship, won by the likes of Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer, takes place at the Baltimore Country Club/Five Farms. The PGA’s Booz Allen Classic at TPC Avenel in Potomac holds fond memories for past champions Sergio Garcia and Ben Curtis. And the McDonald’s LPGA Championship, which featured Suzann Pettersen edging Karrie Webb for the 2007 title, tees off at Bulle Rock in Havre de Grace.
‘And They’re Off!’
Seabiscuit, War Admiral. Secretariat. These and other champion Thoroughbreds have participated in unforgettable races here, mostly in the Preakness Stakes, middle jewel of horse racing’s coveted Triple Crown. Pimlico Race Course, where the Preakness is held each May, opened in 1870 and is the nation’s second oldest horse track. Beyond “Old Hilltop,” look for Thoroughbred racing at Laurel Park and thrilling harness action at Rosecroft Raceway, plus steeplechase races like the more-than-century-old Maryland Hunt Cup. Other equestrian events include rodeos and the state sport of jousting.
Built for Speed
For fans of stock cars, dragsters, motorcycles or monster trucks, races take place from Budds Creek, Cumberland and Easton to Hagerstown, Leonardtown and Rising Sun. Boat races are another popular draw, with one in Annapolis recognized as the East Coast’s largest annual sailing event and another in Cambridge boasting world-class powerboat competition. You can also witness the speed with which top fishing pros can reel in their catches during nationally recognized fishing contests, like the Potomac River-based Bassmaster Elite Series competition and Ocean City’s huge White Marlin Open.
Venture beyond the tracks and fields to visit museums highlighting Maryland sports accomplishments. Alongside Oriole Park at Camden Yards, the Sports Legends museum has exhibits on local baseball, football, lacrosse, women in sports and broadcasting. Just down the road, the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum celebrates Baltimore’s own “Sultan of Swat” and his baseball accomplishments. At Johns Hopkins University, the Lacrosse Museum and National Hall of Fame recalls the origins of America’s oldest sport. Horse racing is given its due at the Bowie-based Belair Stable Museum, former home to two Triple Crown winners.