Annual Sports Events in Philadelphia

January 9, 2023

From classic river races to historic relays, discover Philadelphia’s storied and festive year-round sporting events.

In addition to ten professional sports teams, there are nearly 100 collegiate institutions and many more sports organizations that offer exciting events throughout the year.

Annual Sporting Events in Philadelphia:

Philadelphia International Unity Cup

PHL Unity Cup 2019 Championship. Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Parks & Recreation.

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 Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, the Unity Cup became an annual tradition after its successful inaugural year in 2016. Annually beginning in August, with the championship game held in October.

Philadelphia Marathon

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. With more than 8,500 participants, the marathon is a great way to see America’s “most historic mile” while making some history of your own. Annually in November.

Penn Relays

Runner for University of Pennsylvania in blue and red uniform holding a baton races on a track at Franklin Field for the Penn Relays.
Penn Relays photo by S. Spitzer for University of Pennsylvania.

In its 126th year, the Penn Relays provide competition for more collegiate athletes than any other track meet in the world. During the past 10 years, more than 150,000 people from around the world have competed in the three-day track and field competition, held over the last weekend in April at Franklin Field on the University of Pennsylvania’s campus. Annually in April. The 2023 Penn Relays will be held April 27-29, 2023.

Philadelphia International Cricket Festival

Photo courtesy of Philadelphia International Cricket Festival.

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 members of the public are invited to delight in the timeless game. Annually the first weekend in May. The 2023 Philadelphia International Cricket Festival is set for May 4-7, 2023.

Independence Blue Cross Broad Street Run

One of the busiest streets in Philadelphia closes for the 10-mile Independence Blue Cross Broad Street Run, marking Philadelphia’s official start to the running season. More than 40,000 runners participate each year 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 30, 2023.

The Philadelphia Coaches Conference

This collaborative event organized “for coaches by coaches” is an effort to bring together aspiring coaches of all levels and in a variety of sports for the purpose of professional development and growth through a series of educational sessions led by a diverse group of experienced and knowledgeable coaches. Annually in May.

Radnor Hunt Races

The Radnor Hunt Races returned for its 91st year on Saturday, May 21, 2022, benefitting the Brandywine Conservancy. Photo by Bob Plant.

A tradition going back more than nine decades in the Philadelphia region, the Radnor Hunt is more than just a day at the races. The spring tradition of steeple-chasing at the Radnor Hunt features five exciting jump races, a sidesaddle race, an antique carriage ride parade, and more. The event draws the best thoroughbred horses, riders and trainers from across the country. Annually in May.

Devon Horse Show

The largest and oldest outdoor multi-breed competition in the United States, the Devon Horse Show draws competitors and spectators from around the world. This 10-day horse and carriage show with a country fair atmosphere continues a tradition going back more than 110 years. Annually late May-Early June.

Penn Mutual – Collegiate Rugby Championship

This college rugby sevens tournament held at Subaru Park is the highest profile college rugby sevens competition in the United States. Annually every June.

Independence Dragon Boat Regatta

Since 2007, under the direction and management of the Philadelphia Dragon Boat Association, the IDBR introduces, coaches and races teams of 20 novice or experienced paddlers in a three-heat Dragon Boat Regatta (500-Meter Distance). Paddlers from near and far have come to Philadelphia to join in this day-long, family-friendly event. Annually every June.

Cooper Masters Regatta

Hosted by the Cooper River Rowing Club, The Cooper Masters Regatta consists of a 1k along the Cooper River, the site of many of the Mater National races. This race features fierce competition and makes for a great viewing experience for spectators. Annually every June.

Philadelphia Classic Regatta Series

Uniting 22 regattas held on the Schuylkill River, the Philadelphia Classic Regatta Series includes three of the largest regattas in the United States: Stotesbury Cup Regatta with 5,500 competitors, Head of the Schuylkill Regatta with 5,100 participants and the Philadelphia Scholastic Rowing Association Championship with 2,500. Annually March through November.

Philadelphia Distance Run

Dating back to 1978 and operated as the Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon from 2010 until 2020, 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. Annually in September.

Philadelphia Dragon Boat Festival

Twenty paddlers move in unison, combining strength with teamwork in a boat whose elaborate design originates in ancient China. Dragon Boat Racing is a great sport for people of all ages and abilities. Annually in October.

Head of the Schuylkill Regatta

This rowing race takes place on the Schuylkill River and is the largest in Philadelphia and one of the largest in the U.S. Annually in October.

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