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Top 10 sporting venues in the world

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Whether you love world-class tennis or want to fit a holiday around a major football tournament, use this guide to the top 10 sporting venues in the world before booking your hotel.

Tennis at Wimbledon, London

The world’s top players battle it out every June on the grass courts for tennis’s most prestigious trophy. The Centre Court roof, first used in 2009, means that the English weather need never interfere with play. You can visit the Wimbledon Museum and take a tour throughout the year.

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Cricket at Eden Gardens, Kolkata

In cricket-crazed India, its largest ground Eden Gardens holds up to 100,000 fans, usually at fever-pitch level. Buy a ticket for a test match against Pakistan, or an excitable floodlit night game.

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Baseball at Fenway Park, Boston

Home of the Boston Red Sox, and of famous pitcher Babe Ruth, little has changed since opening its gates in 1912. Right-handed hitters still aim for the 11m-high Green Monster painted on the left-field wall, close to the manual scoreboard, one of the remaining few in Major League.

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Football at Estádio do Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro

Join 90,000 locals to watch one of Rio’s four teams in this mammoth stadium. Hours before kick-off, samba drums beat and huge banderão (flags) unfurled. For the match, think attack and plenty of noise – it’s no wonder that for most sports fans, Brazil is football.

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American football at Lambeau Field, Green Bay

Wrap up to cheer on the Green Bay Packers. The ground isn’t nicknamed the Frozen Tundra for nothing: on sub-zero match nights from September to January, steam rises from the heads of hard-core ice-cold fans, warmed only by adrenalin and hot coffee.

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Swimming at the National Aquatics Centre, Beijing

Nicknamed the Water Cube, this architectural landmark with a white bubble-pattern façade made a real splash at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Visitors can taste sporting glory by swimming in the pool used by the record-breaking medallists. Take a walk around the outside, especially when it’s lit up at night.

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Motor racing at the Formula One Grand Prix, Monaco

For the motor-racing calendar’s glamour fixture, visitors should book a Monaco hotel several months ahead. Fans can watch the high-octane action through the city’s narrow streets from the grandstand or restaurant terraces, with the beautiful people watching from private yachts in the harbour.

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Football at International Stadium, Cairo

In Africa’s largest stadium, host of top football events including the 2006 African Cup of Nations, the real buzz is a local derby between Cairo rivals Al Ahly and Zamalek. Ask at your hotel how to get a ticket for this prime sporting clash and join 80,000 Cairenes. 

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The Masters Golf at Augusta

Azalea blossoms dot this famous course with a long history. At this home to the prestigious Masters tournament, golf fans rarely get to play a round but can satisfy their thirst watch their golfing heroes tackle challenging water hazards for the coveted Green Jacket. 

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Boxing at Madison Square Garden, New York

This huge arena hosts basketball and circuses, but it’s best known for its boxing ring, making it one of the top 10 sporting venues of the world. Boxing greats from Muhammad Ali to Joe Calzaghe have seen glory here. Book a New York hotel and witness sporting history. 

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