Sports fans and New Orleans seem to be made for each other.
The city is not only one of the country’s most historic and exciting, it’s also a great spot for sports lovers. From two major professional sports franchises to beautiful golf courses and more, fans won’t be disappointed with a trip to the Big Easy.
Here are the five best things for sports fans to do in New Orleans:
Go to a Saints game
It would feel like a crime to not catch a Saints game while in New Orleans during football season.
With a rich history highlighted by future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees and plenty of current stars still on the roster, New Orleans is at the top of the NFL’s upper echelon. The team is usually in playoff contention and gives fans plenty to cheer for on the field.
Plus, just seeing the Caesars Superdome (formerly known as the Mercedes-Benz Superdome), one of the NFL’s most tradition-heavy stadiums, is worth the price of tickets. Not only has it housed the Saints since 1975, it also acted as a shelter for thousands of people affected by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, making it a key piece of Louisiana history.
Plus, with in-person sports gambling legal in the state and mobile sports betting in Louisiana coming soon, fans who want to put money on the Saints or any other team can do so while enjoying the game. This is music to the ears of folks in nearby Texas, where sports betting is still not available.
Play a round (or two) of golf
For avid golfers or those who just want a little exercise, New Orleans has tons of golf courses to meet your needs.
Arguably the most notable area course is TPC Louisiana, located in the New Orleans suburb of Avondale; it spans 250 acres of wetlands and was designed by architectural master Pete Dye, according to Golf Now. The 18-hole course hosts the Zurich Classic, a PGA stop.
Other New Orleans courses include Audubon Golf Course on Magazine Street, Bayou Oaks at City Park on Filmore Avenue and Lakewood Golf Club on General De Gaulle Drive.
Watch the Pelicans play
Not every major city has an NBA team, so fans absolutely must take in a New Orleans Pelicans game while in town.
The Pelicans’ roster features stars like Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram and Jonas Valančiūnas. Though Williamson is currently injured, his eventual return will be a major moment for the franchise that drafted the former Duke superstar with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
Whether you’re a diehard NBA fan or want to catch your first game, an evening at the Smoothie King Center is sure to be a good time while in the Big Easy. The Pelicans may even make a lifelong fan out of you while you’re there.
Relax at a sports bar
For those looking for a less strenuous, more low-key activity, look no further than one of New Orleans’ sports bars.
There are plenty of places to grab a bite and drink in the area, but some of the best are Hurricane’s Sports Bar and Grill on Veterans Memorial Boulevard, Cooter Brown’s Tavern & Oyster Bar on South Carrollton Avenue and Bruno’s Tavern on Maple Street, according to Eater.
The site lists Coach’s Corner on Transcontinental Drive as the best place to watch football in New Orleans, though it doesn’t serve food, only drinks.
Whichever spot you prefer, you can’t go wrong in sitting back and relaxing with fellow sports fanatics. After all, don’t you deserve it?
Cheer on the Green Wave
Though the Saints and Pelicans rule the New Orleans sports scene, for a college sports experience, Tulane University hosts plenty of Division I teams.
The Green Wave football team plays at Yulman Stadium, which seats 30,000, in Uptown. The venue opened in 2014, as Tulane previously played its home games at the Saints’ Superdome, and boasts two clubs with 4,500 premium seats.
If hoops are more your thing, or if it’s not football season, Tulane has both a men’s and women’s basketball team. They play at Devlin Field House, which houses 4,100 seats and was built in 1933.
The school has plenty of other athletic teams, too, so you should be able to catch a Tulane sporting event at most times of the year. It is heavily invested in the local sports scene, as it’s helping organize the 2022 Men’s College Basketball Final Four, which will take place in the city this April, as part of the New Orleans Local Organizing Committee, according to Biz New Orleans.