Show your team spirit in these pigskin towns



You don’t have to be present on match day to enjoy the enthusiastic atmosphere of a big football city. Here are five places that might appeal to the sports fans in your family:

1. Ann Arbor, Michigan

It’s all about corn and blue in a community where University of Michigan wolverines grab the city’s attention every fall. Those lucky enough to purchase tickets to the “Big House”, as the 100,000-seat stadium is called, will revel in the sweet scent of the barbecue as fans light their grills before the match. While in town, visit the local farmers market, have breakfast at Zingerman’s, a local fan favorite, and visit the Botanical Garden. Stay at the intelligently renovated, centrally located Graduate Hotel, where you’ll enjoy classic academic inspiration and a nod to local history and tradition.


2. Los Angeles, California

It’s fun to watch a lively college football game in a stadium that’s also packed with Olympic history. The Coliseum, home to the University of Southern California Trojans, has twice hosted the world event and, in remembrance, has incorporated the lighting of the torch ritual into every home game. Before the start of the fourth quarter, the Trojan rider and USC mascot, a majestic white horse named Traveler, ascend the field, accompanied by the group’s interpretation of William Tell’s overture. By order of the rider, the torch is lit and the game resumes. From Harry Potter entertainment at Universal Studios to the Getty Center, to the Walt Disney Concert Hall and Starline tours, beaches and hikes in the hills, there is no shortage of family entertainment in the LA area.


3. Boise, Idaho

Idaho’s capital, named by French-Canadian fur trappers, is a vibrant destination known for a plethora of outdoor activities, a thriving food scene and an enthusiastic fan base who come in force to support the Boise. State Broncos. You’ll want to cycle or stroll along the wooded River Boise, where a scenic greenbelt provides recreational access to visitors and locals. On match day, the “Smurf turf” – the artificial blue playing field at Albertsons Stadium – is at the center of the sporting action. The unique blue surface was introduced in the 1980s and continues to set the place apart.


4. Columbus, Ohio

Each year, Buckeye fever turns red as fans prepare for the annual rivalry with the Michigan Wolverines. For every home game, expect pre-game parties around the Horseshoe, as the stadium is known, and enthusiastic support for The Ohio State Marching Band Skull Session, a pre-game music festival. . Later, the group sets out Ohio on the ground and on rare occasions reserves the opportunity to “point the i” with an honored Columbus resident or alumnus. While in town, visit the famous Columbus Zoo, COSI (the center of science and industry) and explore the historic German village. Here you will find a thriving arts, food and fashion scene.


5. Your sport city, United States

Do you or a member of your family have a sporting tradition to share? Take the kids to your own high school or college comeback game and take a stroll through the past. Wear the school colors and sing the old fight song. Revisit your favorite haunts, remember the treats, music or other details that made the USB stick. Get on campus and review your class time and share what you’ve learned along the way.

Lynn O’Rourke Hayes ( is an author, family travel expert and enthusiastic explorer. Gather more travel information on lohayes Twitter, Facebook or through

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency


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