World’s Top Sporting Cities

Home to some of the globe’s most renowned sporting teams, Boston is preeminent sporting city, with an almost unrivalled spirit.

Manchester | United Kingdom

Sport and Manchester are synonymous. The city has hosted celebrated sporting events like the Commonwealth Games and FIFA World Cup; is currently home to two of the world’s most famous football teams, Manchester United and Manchester City; and is gearing up to hold the 2013 Ashes (part thereof), 2013 Rugby League World Cup and 2015 Rugby World Cup. Accommodating for the region’s sporting fervor, the city’s east boasts a one-of-a-kind dedicated sports district, SportCity, where more than 400 events are held annually. 

  • Flights to Manchester: Together with partner airline Etihad Airways, Virgin Australia operates flights to Manchester, via Abu Dhabi, from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. 

Melbourne | Australia

As the host of both the Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games, and annual prestigious events like the Australian Open, Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix and the Melbourne Cup, Melbourne constantly ranks among the world’s best sporting cities. The Victorian state capital holds a special place in the heart Australian sport aficionados as the birthplace of Australian Rules Football (AFL) and the hometown of the famous Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), and the nearest major city to legendary surfing break, Bells Beach. 

  • Flights to Melbourne: Virgin Australia operates flights to Melbourne direct from all Australian capital cities and most major regional ports, and from international destination such as Auckland, Los Angeles and Abu Dhabi.

Boston | United States

Home to some of the globe’s most renowned sporting teams, Boston is preeminent sporting city, with an almost unrivalled spirit. The Massachusetts state capital boasts Major League Baseball founding member, the Red Sox; 2011 Stanley Cup Champions, the Bruins; 17-time NBA champions, the Celtics; and prolific NFL team, the New England Patriots. From Cambridge to Charlestown, the city’s sporting heritage is proudly supported by passionate locals. T-shirts herald familiar logos and sports bar (particularly in the city’s North End) brim with hooting sport fans. 

  • Flights to Boston: Together with partner airlines Delta Air Lines, Virgin Australia operates flights to Boston via LA from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

Abu Dhabi | United Arab Emirates

Abu Dhabi is steadily growing a reputation as a new frontier of sporting excellence. The UAE capital won the rights to host Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in 2009, and has held the event every year since at Yas Marina Circuitthe site of Ferrari World and the world's fastest roller coaster, Formula Rossa.  The desert city is also home prestigious international cross country rally, Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, and hosts the world’s biggest names in tennis every year for the Mubadala World Tennis Championship.

  • Flights to Abu Dhabi: Virgin Australia operates flights to Abu Dhabi, direct from Sydney and Melbourne. 
Words by Alice Nash - Published 6 May 2013
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