Apr 4, 2015 2:18 PM
NH1 Top 5: The best sporting events in NH
New Hampshire is host to a variety of sporting events at levels professional and just before. Many athletic greats go through N.H. while playing in minor leagues, but the Granite State also sees a number of professional athletes every year.
Check out what NH1 calls the top 5 sporting events to catch in N.H.
The Keene Swamp Bats play in the New England Collegiate Baseball League and Alumni Field is about as scenic as it gets in N.H. In the 2014 MLB draft, approximately 100 NECBL players were drafted. Additionally, there have been more than 50 NECBL alumni who have made it to the MLB since the league's inception in 1993. Check it out, you just might see a future All Star or World Series champion.
The Whittemore Center Arena in Durham seats 7,500 and UNH students and Wildcats hockey fans alike pack the stadium to capacity regularly. The Wildcats have a strong history of dominance in the Hockey East, one of the NCAA's premier Division 1 hockey conferences. Current NHL stars that skated for UNH include brothers James and Trevor van Riemsdyk, and Daniel Winnik--not to mention countless others that have suited up in the NHL. It's a great atmosphere to get rowdy and cheer on the Wildcats (and quite possibly some future NHL stars.)
Just like UNH, the Manchester Monarchs play high-level hockey just below the NHL level. Many players in the East Coast Hockey League, the new league the Manchester Monarchs will join in the fall of 2015, continue on to play in higher levels of hockey, including the NHL. The Verizon Wireless arena seats 9,582 for ice hockey and tickets are relatively cheap. Boxes are also available for large groups.
Catching a Fisher Cats game at the Delta Dental Stadium in Manchester is a great way to spend a warm N.H. summer evening. Although the league is only AA, the level of play is high and the stadium is relatively new and well-maintained. A Toronto Blue Jays affiliate, the Fisher Cats play against many other American League East AA affiliate teams like the Portland Sea Dogs (Red Sox), the Trenton Thunder (New York Yankees) and the Bowie Baysox (Baltimore Orioles).
The New Hampshire Motor Speedway is home to one of the official NASCAR Sprint Cup races. If you've never been, it's a huge event. Thousands of NASCAR fans camp out for days and make a weekend out of the race. Although NASCAR is a relatively niche sport, this is home to NH's highest level of professional competition. Fans have the opportunity to see stars like Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson, among others. The NASCAR event is a must-see in N.H.