July 2011 Sports Calendar
by Jonathan Zeller, 06/22/2011
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In July, NYC's athletes take it to the streets. Though the NBA season is over (congratulations, Dallas Mavericks!), West 4th Street Courts, Holcombe Rucker Park, Monsignor Kett Playground at Dyckman Park and Orchard Beach host up-tempo, rough-and-tumble contests all month long on the blacktop. The Stickball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, meanwhile, honors those who excelled at a street game that defined summer for generations of New Yorkers. Down at Coney Island on the Fourth of July, competitors will scarf down disturbing quantities of hot dogs, a quintessential NYC street food, while all month long various rivalry games—including tilts between the Mets and Yankees, the Cyclones and Baby Bombers, and the Major League Soccer All-Stars and Manchester United—may reach the intensity of old-fashioned street brawls. To learn more about these and the rest of the month's big sports events, read on.
Mets vs. Yankees and More Major League Baseball
Mets vs. Yankees: July 1–3; Citi Field
More Major League Baseball: various dates and times; Citi Field and Yankee Stadium
Again, the Mets face the Yankees in the biannual "Subway Series," this time at Citi Field in Flushing, Queens. Earlier this season, the Bronx Bombers took two out of three at Yankee Stadium, so their National League counterparts will be looking to return the favor. The atmosphere in the stands is always charged for these games, and we highly recommend grabbing a couple of tickets and enjoying a fun-filled evening or day of baseball. If you can't make it for these rivalry games, take heart: the Mets and Yankees play a full schedule of games all month long.
Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest
July 4, noon; Nathan's Famous, Coney Island
What does it say about America that among our most cherished Fourth of July traditions is a contest to see who can consume the greatest number of hot dogs in 10 minutes? What does it mean that adults have dedicated themselves to devising new strategies, stretching their stomachs and training—really training—to the point where they can eat more than 60? Cynical folks might say it proves we're gluttonous or frivolous, but we prefer to think it shows we have perfected the art of fun and don't take ourselves too seriously. If you're with us, we'll see you at Coney Island! For more information, visit nathansfamous.com.
Red Bulls Soccer
July 6, 8pm; July 9, 7:30pm; July 23, 6pm; Red Bull Arena
With the acquisition of midfielder Dwayne De Rosario—a two-time Major League Soccer (MLS) Cup MVP and one of the league's flashiest goal scorers—the Red Bulls have added another star to a formidable lineup that already included Thierry Henry. The team hopes to build some momentum heading into July's MLS All-Star Game (which pits Manchester United against the league's best players), a major showcase for their gorgeous stadium. For a full accounting of games taking place all season long, check the Red Bulls' full schedule.
Stickball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
July 8, 6pm; Museum of the City of New York
Back in the day, kids who grew up in New York City loved baseball but often lacked access to vast expanses of grass and dirt, not to mention expensive equipment. No problem: broomsticks, 15-cent rubber Spaldings and street manhole covers were used as bats, balls and bases, respectively. While stickball still survives today, for decades it was what dominated young New Yorkers' summers. The legends of the game didn't play on TV or make the front page of the newspaper, but thanks to the Stickball Hall of Fame, they at least receive some much-deserved recognition. The ceremony will feature appearances by stickball greats and footage of them playing the game. For more information, visit mcny.org.
Battle at the Beacon
July 8, 7:30pm; Beacon Theatre
Word association: when you hear "Beacon Theatre," what pops into your mind? The golden era of NYC movie palaces? The Tony Awards? The Allman Brothers? The 10th-anniversary show for Late Night with Conan O'Brien? We're betting you didn't say "kickboxing," but that's the draw on July 8. Organizers call it "the biggest Muay Thai kickboxing event in NYC history," and they may be right—the card is headlined by three title fights. For more information, visit beacontheatre.com.
July 9, 17, 23 and 24; Flushing Meadows–Corona Park
Named for the famed New York Cosmos soccer franchise—which is working on a comeback, by the way, and sells some sweet-looking kits (that's uniforms, to you Americans)—Cosmos Copa is the kind of event that could only take place in a city as diverse as New York. It's a sort of mini World Cup featuring an "international" cast of teams with players from the five boroughs' many ethnic communities (e.g., NYC Ecuador, NYC Haiti, NYC England and NYC USA). The tournament takes place over three July weekends in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park. For more info and a full schedule, visit cosmoscopa.com.
Gotham Girls Roller Derby
July 9 and 23, 8:30pm; Hunter College Sportsplex
The competitors of Gotham Girls Roller Derby skate fast and hit hard. You may not know what a jammer, a blocker and a pivot are when you enter the gym, but as longtime fans can tell you, it won't take long before the Manhattan Mayhem, Bronx Gridlock, Queens of Pain and Brooklyn Bombshells have won you over to the sport for good. As if the action in the rink weren't enough, the event also features spirit-boosting "jeerleaders." For details, visit gothamgirlsrollerderby.com.
Tour de Queens
July 10; check-in at 8am, ride at 9am; Flushing Meadows–Corona Park
The Tour de Queens is not from the people who brought you the Tour de France, but it is from Transportation Alternatives, the organization behind the Tour de Bronx and Tour de Brooklyn. As with the other tours de boroughs, this is quite emphatically not a race but a "rolling parade," not to mention an outstanding opportunity to celebrate cycling and see 20 miles' worth of Queens on wheels. So don't ruin anyone's vibe by getting overly competitive; just relax and enjoy the scenery. Visit tourdequeens.org for more details and to register.
Juventus Football Club vs. Club América
July 26, 7:30pm; Citi Field
The Mets have chosen the right teams for Citi Field's first soccer matches. On the heels of a Greece vs. Ecuador matchup that packed nearly 40,000 fans into the ballpark, they've lined up Juventus FC—Italy's most popular professional soccer side—and Mexico City's Club América. It's safe to say that the squads' NYC-area supporters, of whom there are many, will turn out in force for this one. For more information and tickets, visit 507tixx.com.
Major League Soccer All-Star Game
July 27, 8:30pm; Red Bull Arena
The Major League Soccer (MLS) All-Stars take on Manchester United in the biggest NYC soccer event since Pelé played for the Cosmos. Last year's MLS roster included Landon Donovan, Brian Ching and Juan Pablo Angel, and Manchester United is one of the most famed franchises in all of sports—so it's fair to say that snagging one of the approximately 25,000 seats in Red Bull Arena will be tougher than sneaking a strike past Manchester goaltender Edwin van der Sar. Still, just as we hope the MLS All-Stars can score enough to secure the win, we hope you manage to find a way into the building. If you can't make it in person, you can still watch on ESPN2 or Galavision, or, in Canada, on TSN. For more information, visit mlssoccer.com.
Adrenalina Skateboard Marathon
July 30, 7am; Governors Island
Like most marathons, this race is 26.2 miles long. Unlike the traditional version, though, the competitors here roll through the course on longboards. The proceedings are festive—in addition to the skate itself, the day’s events include live music, demonstrations of other action sports and an expo with cutting-edge skate gear. Spectators are welcome, and free ferries will begin running from the Governors Island Ferry Terminal at 5am. For more information, visit adrenalinaskateboardmarathon.com.
Brooklyn Bridge Swim
July 30, 9:15am; starting at Brooklyn Bridge Park
Swimming the East River: it's not just for Seinfeld's Kramer anymore. Thanks to NYC Swim, ordinary (albeit fit) men and women can take the plunge and paddle across the storied channel from Brooklyn to Manhattan. The Brooklyn Bridge provides an appropriately majestic backdrop for these bold competitors as they splash their way through a kilometer of the waterway's choppy currents. For more information, visit nycswim.org.
Minor League Baseball: Brooklyn Cyclones and Staten Island Yankees
Various dates and times; MCU Park and Richmond County Bank Ballpark
New York City's beloved minor league baseball teams hit the thick of their seasons this month, and both teams' stadiums boast prime waterfront locations, intimate dimensions and family-friendly atmospheres. The Cyclones and Yankees face each other July 2–5. For other game dates, see the Cyclones' and Baby Bombers' full schedules.
New York Liberty Games
Various dates and times; Prudential Center
NYC's WNBA team will spend the next three summers in Newark, NJ, as Madison Square Garden undergoes renovations. We say you should cross the Hudson River and check them out—the Prudential Center's just a short PATH train ride away from Midtown or Lower Manhattan, and the Libs look poised to make a deep postseason run after finishing last season with a strong 22–12 record. The Liberty will play a full slate of games against their WNBA rivals throughout the month at the Prudential Center. Check out their full schedule here.
New York Sportimes Tennis
Various dates and times; Sportimes Stadium
Led by greats John McEnroe and Martina Hingis, this squad brings action-packed professional tennis to Randalls Island. If you can't wait for the US Open and its marquee matchups, a trip out to Sportimes Stadium might be just the thing to tide you over. Especially noteworthy: the July 14 match will pit John McEnroe against none other than Bjorn Borg. You can find the team's full schedule here. Please note that star players don't all appear at every match—learn who is scheduled to play when at nysportimes.com.
Street Hoops at West 4th Street Courts, Holcombe Rucker Park, Monsignor Kett Playground at Dyckman Park and Orchard Beach
Various dates and times; details here
All summer long, incredible athletes—including pros, future pros and NCAA standouts—hit the asphalt throughout the City for the fast-paced, hard-nosed, inimitable variation of hoops known as "streetball." These courts have seen the likes of Anthony Mason, Julius Erving and Kemba Walker—NYC streetball legend Ed "Booger" Smith even once appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated, though he sadly never did reach the NBA. And if your budget can't sustain the cost of courtside seats at Madison Square Garden or the Prudential Center during basketball season, you're in luck—the four leagues listed in our roundup all cost nothing to watch.