News report | | 30/04/2021 | ±3 minutes reading time

Sport in the USA is an important part of the national culture. Many different sports are practised at a professional level. In addition to tickets, sports fans who want to experience a match in the United States need an ESTA or visa.

American Football

The National Football League attracts by far the most visitors worldwide per game, averaging 60,000. American football is played in this league, a sport invented in America. The goal of the sport is to get the ball into the so-called end zone of the opponents as often as possible. Both teams are given four 15-minute periods to do this.

American Football should not be confused with rugby. Although the sport developed as a variant of the English rugby, there are many key differences. The biggest difference is that in rugby the larger, rounder ball can only be played backwards, whereas in American Football the ball can be thrown forward. In addition, a rugby team plays with fifteen players in a match, while in American Football there are eleven players from both teams on the field.


Despite the fact that the sport is still relatively unknown in Europe compared to the USA and Asia, baseball is one of the worldʼs most widely practised sports.

Each team that competes in Major League Baseball plays no less than 160 games a year. So there is a good chance that an interesting game is planned during your holiday in the USA. Combine a holiday with a visit to a match of, for example, the New York Yankees. Try to get your tickets well in advance. Many tourists would love to attend a baseball game in the USA. Since the ESTA is valid for two years, this travel authorisation for America can be applied for well in advance of your departure.


When it comes to the third most popular sport in the USA, basketball, the country occupies first place worldwide. Players from all over the world come to the USA to join the National Basketball Association. The most famous clubs are the Los Angeles Lakers and the New York Knicks. The dream team, the national basketball team, won gold at the Olympic Games no less than 15 times out of 18.

The stands in the USA can accommodate an average of 15,000 to 18,000 spectators. Attending a sports match in the USA is generally very expensive, and this includes basketball matches. Of course, the prices depend on your seet in the stands and the time of the game in the league. As a rule, it costs between £25 tot £85 per person.

Ice hockey

While ice hockey is also known as ball sports, technically the puck is not a ball but rather a disc. Ice hockey originated in Canada, which has won 26 world championships since the sportʼs introduction at the 1920 World Championships.

Tennis and Football

Although the above four sports dominate the American sports culture, the United States is also well placed compared to other countries when it comes to sports like tennis and football. Multiple grandslam winner Serena Williams comes from the USA and football is in fact the largest growing sports in the USA.

Applying for an ESTA

If you want to attend a sporting event in the USA, you not only need tickets but also a travel authorisation. Whether you would like to attend a Super Bowl game, watch a New York Yankees game, see LeBron James perform in person or experience the continuous action at one of the ice hockey games, you will need to possess an ESTA or a US visa.

An ESTA - the digital travel authorisation required to travel to the USA- is easier and quicker to apply for than a visa and is also cheaper. An ESTA USA costs £29.95 per person. From the moment of approval, the ESTA can be used for multiple trips, as long as they all fall within the two-year validity period and do not exceed the maximum stay of 90 days. This allows you to visit several sporting events. Start arranging your tickets and applying for the ESTA in time, so that you can be sure of a seat at one of the spectacular sporting events in the United States of America.

Take note: this news article about the ESTA for the USA is more than one year old. It might contain outdated information and advice, and no rights can therefore be derived from this article. Are you going on a trip soon and do you wish to do know what rules currently apply? Read all about the up-to-date information about the ESTA for the USA.