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Premier Sporting Events in Philadelphia

Date March 20, 2024

Premier Sporting Events in Philadelphia

From classic river races to historic relays, check out these year-round Philadelphia sporting events. The fan experience in Philadelphia is unlike any other.

In addition to ten professional sports teams, there are nearly 100 collegiate institutions and many more organizations that bring exciting sporting events to the city throughout the year. In 2024 alone, Philadelphia will host championship events, historic matches, and become “the grandest stage of them all” as the city welcomes WrestleMania 40.

WrestleMania 40®

Location: Lincoln Financial Field and other venues
Dates: April 6-7

Philadelphia will host WrestleMania 40, a week-long celebration of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) culminating in the main event at Lincoln Financial Field. The city will host six major events across three venues, including Friday Night SmackDown® and the 2024 WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony® at Wells Fargo Center.

A stadium is shown lit up in blue lights. Massive screens are showing a Superstar holding up two belts. Fans cheer from their seats, some have their hands and arms in the air.

Photo courtesy of WWE.

Northeast Qualifier (NEQ), Volleyball

Location: Pennsylvania Convention Center
Dates: Annually in the spring

The Northeast Qualifier (NEQ) is an annual girls’ junior volleyball qualifying event in Philadelphia. The Pennsylvania Convention Center transforms exhibit halls into 75+ volleyball courts over multiple weekends each year. Teams from over 25 states and Puerto Rico come to Philadelphia to compete for Open, USA, Liberty, and American bids to USA Volleyball’s Girls Junior National Championships.

Inside of the Pennsylvania Convention Center, red and blue volleyball courts are set up throughout the space. Athletes compete on the court as coaches and spectators watch from the sidelines. Bright lights shine down from overhead.

NEQ 2023 Weekend 3. Photo by J. Ryan for the PHLCVB.

Penn Relays

Location: Franklin Field at the University of Pennsylvania
Dates: Annually the last weekend in April

As the oldest and largest track and field competition in the United States, the Penn Relays is a can’t-miss Philadelphia tradition. In its 127th year, the Penn Relays provide competition for more athletes than any other track meet worldwide. During the past ten years, more than 150,000 people have competed in the three-day track and field competition. Franklin Field — the oldest college football stadium in the country — is the longtime home of the event.

Runners are rounding a track as they run with batons in their hands. A crowd cheers from the bleachers to the left. Officials and coaches stand to the right. The campus is shown in the background.

April 2022 – Penn Relays. Photo courtesy of Penn Relays.

Independence Blue Cross Broad Street Run

Location: Along Broad Street
Dates: Annually the first weekend in May

Each year, Philadelphia closes its center throughway, Broad Street for the 10-mile Independence Blue Cross Broad Street Run. This marks the official start to Philadelphia’s running season. More than 35,000 runners participate in the competition, named one of the fastest 10-mile courses in the country by Runner’s World. The Independence Blue Cross Broad Street Run will take place on April 28, 2024.

Runners are shown running down a street with Philadelphia's City Hall behind them during the annual Broad Street Run.

Broad Street Run. Photo by D. Gehosky.

Philadelphia International Cricket Festival

Location: Philadelphia Cricket Club
Dates: Annually the first weekend in May

18 Cricket Teams comprising more than 200 players representing 16 nationals arrive in Philadelphia for four days of cricketing. The final takes place at the Philadelphia Cricket Club, and is open to members of to delight in the timeless game.

Rowing on the Schuylkill River

Location: Schuylkill River

For over 200 years, the Schuylkill River has hosted some of the nation’s most prominent rowing events. Among many events, The river is home to the Stotesbury Cup Regatta, the largest high school sprint race in the country, and the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta, featuring more than 2,000 boats and 8,000 competitors.

Philadelphia City Championships: May 4-5
Stotesbury Cup Regatta: May 17-18
Independence Dragon Boat Regatta: June 1
Independence Day Regatta: June 28-30
Philadelphia Youth Regatta: July 20
Bayada Regatta:  Annually in August
Head of the Schuylkill Regatta:  October 26-27

Three boats of four rowers are shown in the river during the Dad Vail Regatta. The four women in the boat closest to the camera are wearing visors, the first and third women are wearing red visors, the second and fourth women are wearing pink visors. Water splashes up from their oars in the river.

New Year’s fireworks at the BlueCross River Rink. Photo by K. Huff for PHLCVB.

2024 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship

Location: Lincoln Financial Field
Dates: May 25-27

Drexel University will serve as the host for the 2024 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship. The top national men’s programs will face off in Philadelphia to determine whom among them is the best collegiate lacrosse team in Division I, II, and III.

9th U.S. Amateur Four-Ball

Location: Philadelphia Cricket Club
Dates: May 25-29

The United States Golf Association USGA, with over 125 years of history, annually hosts 15 national championships. This includes the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball, which features 128 sides and 256 players from 41 states and six countries. This year marks the ninth edition of the championship, held at the Philadelphia Cricket Club. It’s the third USGA championship venue for the club and the 91st hosted in Pennsylvania, the most in the country. Spectators are welcome to attend for free.

The 2024 Military Basketball Championships

Location: The Liacouras Center
Date: May 26

Philadelphia will host the 2024 Military Basketball Championships for both men’s and women’s teams. Established in 2017, the Military Basketball Association aims to promote the Military Athlete by organizing annual events that raise awareness about behavioral health concerns among veterans.

Philadelphia International Unity Cup

Location: Across Philadelphia
Dates: Annually August through October

A World Cup-style tournament held over several months, the Philadelphia International Unity Cup unites the city’s neighborhoods and celebrates its diverse immigrant communities through soccer. Created by former Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, the Unity Cup became an annual tradition after its successful inaugural year in 2016.

The Basketball Tournament (TBT) Championship

Location: Daskalakis Athletic Center at Drexel University
Dates: August 2-4

Philadelphia hosts The Basketball Tournament (TBT) Championship Weekend, where 64 basketball teams from 8 regions compete for a $1 million prize. Led by alumni from top college programs, the tournament culminates in the semifinals and finals at Drexel University’s Daskalakis Athletic Center.

Philadelphia Distance Run

Location: Center City
Dates: September 15

Dating back to 1978, runners have been taking to the streets of Philadelphia to run this fast, flat course that is known as one of the country’s premier half-marathons.

An athlete approaches the finish line after running the Philadelphia Distance Run. The sky is a light blue overhead. Spectators watch from behind the barriers set up along the course.

Philadelphia Distance Run. Photo by M. Stanley.

Philadelphia Polo Classic

Location: Fairmount Park
Dates: September 21

The Philadelphia Polo Classic returns to Fairmount Park on September 21, 2024, benefitting Work to Ride. This year’s event includes the Feature Match where local polo champion Kareem Rosser will face off against world-famous polo player Nic Roldan and other acclaimed players. The event supports the “Race to the Finish” campaign, aiming to raise $2.7 million by June 22, 2024, for an indoor riding arena.

U.S. Open Squash Championships

Location: Arlen Specter US Squash Center
Dates: October 7-14

The U.S. Open is known as one of the most prestigious squash tournaments in the United States and brings in competitors from all over the globe. The championships have been hosted in partnership with Drexel University since 2011 and are held at the Arlen Specter US Squash Center. This state-of-the-art squash facility is in the heart of Drexel University’s campus and is considered by many to be the finest squash center in the world.

Philadelphia Marathon

Location: Center City
Dates: Annually the third weekend in November.

Named the best qualifier to get you to the Boston Marathon by Running USA, the Philadelphia Marathon is one of the fastest courses in the country. More than 30,000 participants take part in the 8K, Half Marathon, and Marathon. Participating in the run is a great way to see America’s “most historic mile” while making your own history.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is in the center. Runners are shown running away from the Philadelphia Museum of Art down the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Colorful flags representing different countries wave in the wind, lining the parkway. The sky appears gray. The trees lining the road are green and orange, seasonal for fall.

Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Marathon.

If you’re in Philadelphia for one of these events, or can’t get tickets but still want to experience the action, visit one of the city’s top sports bars to grab a drink and immerse yourself in Philadelphia’s vibrant sports culture.