From classic river races to historic relays, discover these storied and festive Philadelphia sporting events.
The sports fan experience in Philadelphia is unlike any other. In addition to ten professional sports teams, there are nearly 100 collegiate institutions and many more sports organizations that bring exciting events to the city throughout the year. In 2023 alone, Philadelphia will host championship events and can’t miss historic matches.
Northeast Qualifier (NEQ), Volleyball
Location: Pennsylvania Convention Center
Dates: Annually in the spring
The Northeast Qualifier (NEQ) is an annual three-day girls’ junior volleyball qualifying event in Philadelphia. The Pennsylvania Convention Center transforms meeting halls into 75+ volleyball courts over four 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.
Location: Franklin Field at the University of Pennsylvania
Dates: Annual in April
In its 126th year, the Penn Relays provide competition for more collegiate athletes than any other track meet worldwide. During the past ten years, more than 150,000 people worldwide 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 races. As the oldest and largest track and field competition in the United States, the Penn Relays is a can’t miss Philadelphia tradition.
Independence Blue Cross Broad Street Run
Location: Along Broad Street
Dates: Annually in April/May
Broad Street, 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.
Philadelphia International Cricket Festival
Location: Philadelphia Cricket Club
Dates: May 4-7, 2023
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 more prominent rowing events. Rowing traditions run deep as spectators gather on weekends along the banks and, Kelly Drive comes alive. The river is home is rowing events such as the Stotesbury Cup Regatta, the largest high school sprint race in the country and the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta featuring 1,000 boats racing.
Philadelphia City Championships: May 6-7
Stotesbury Cup Regatta: May 19-20
Independence Dragon Boat Regatta: June 3
Independence Day Regatta: June 30-July 2
Philadelphia Youth Regatta: July 22
Bayada Regatta: August 19
Head of the Schuylkill Regatta: Annually in October
NCAA Women’s Division I, II, III Rowing Championships
Location: Cooper River
Dates: May 26-28
Philadelphia’s storied rowing history extends far beyond its borders. Across the Delaware River, Camden County hosts the Rowing Championships for the NCAA Women’s Division I, II, and III over Memorial Day Weekend. Hosted by Temple University, twenty-two rowing teams from all across the country will compete for national titles. The beautiful Cooper River is an ideal setting for rowers and has been home to many prestigious rowing events.
2023 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship
Location: Lincoln Financial Field
Dates: May 27-29
Drexel University will serve as the host for the 2023 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.
2023 US Youth Soccer Eastern Presidents Cup
Location: The Proving Grounds and Plymouth Whitemarsh High School
Dates: June 16-20
The future stars in soccer will kick off in Philadelphia as 12U-19U Boys and Girls will compete for a regional title at the 2023 US Youth Soccer Eastern Presidents Cup. Games are played at both the Plymouth Whitemarsh High School in Plymouth Meeting and The Proving Grounds in Conshohocken. In addition, the 13U through 19U Boys and Girls teams will also compete for a spot at the 2023 US Youth Soccer National Presidents Cup in Wichita, Kansas later this summer.
Stonewall Sports 9th Annual Tournament & Summit
Location: Various venues in Philadelphia and King of Prussia
Dates: July 14-16
Each year, Stonewall Sports — an LGBTQ+ & Ally community-based sports non-profit organization — hosts a multi-sport tournament to raise funds for local non-profit organizations. Philadelphia was chosen as the 2023 host city in part because of the city’s accessibility and vibrant and active LGBTQ+ social community. Over the long weekend, over 2,000 athletes will come to Philadelphia to compete in eight sports and connect with the local community. Competitors will take over Fairmount Park and other venues in games of kickball, dodgeball, tennis, volleyball, and more.
2023 Premier League Summer Series
Location: Lincoln Financial Field
Dates: July 22 and 23
The excitement for the FIFA World Cup 2026™ builds in the summer of 2023, as Philadelphia will host matches in the English Premier League’s Summer Series. The inaugural preseason tournament will take place in the United States for the first time, with six soccer clubs participating in matches and events across five major East Coast cities. Philadelphia is the only city to host three matches, all at Lincoln Financial Field. Chelsea FC takes on Brighton & Hove Albion FC on Saturday, July 22, thn a double-header on Sunday, July 23, with Fulham FC versus Brentford FC, followed by Newcastle United FC and Aston Villa FC at 7:00 p.m.
Philadelphia International Unity Cup
Location: All 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 Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, the Unity Cup became an annual tradition after its successful inaugural year in 2016.
Philadelphia Distance Run
Location: Center City
Dates: Annually in September
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.
U.S. Open Squash Championships
Location: Arlen Specter US Squash Center
Dates: October 8 – 15
Top squash players will come to Philadelphia and face off over eight days for the coveted U.S. Open title. 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 facility in the world.
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. With more than 8,500 participants, the marathon is a great way to see America’s “most historic mile” while your own history.