The Tokyo Summer Olympics and the UEFA European Football Championship in 12 European countries are leading sporting events of 2020. There will also be plenty of exciting moments in other disciplines. Maybe it's worth going to at least one of them? Check the sports events guide for the coming weeks and months.
Before half a thousand athletes from all over the world will start competing for Olympic laurels in Japan, winter sports fans will have their time first.
Winter belongs to the skiers
Ski jumping is very popular and one of the highlights of each season is the prestigious Four Hills Tournament. The 68th edition of this tournament starts already on 28-29 December 2019 (qualification and competition) on a ski jumping hill in Oberstdorf. On December 31st and January 1st, the jumpers will compete in Garmisch-Partenkirchen and then move from Germany to Austria. On 3-4 January crowds of enthusiasts will probably gather at the Olympic hill in Innsbruck, and the final round in Bischofshofen is planned for 5-6 January.
TV stations broadcast the FHT widely every year, but whoever has experienced it at least once knows that ski jumping is best to watch live. The problem lies in the fact that the tickets, which cost a lot — in conversion into PLN from about 120 to 400 PLN — are usually sold out very quickly. At the beginning of December, after the start of official sales, the majority of the tickets were already unavailable.
Fortunately, there is an alternative for the fans that like to travel — the Norwegian version of the ski jumping tournament series — the Raw Air. From March 6th to 15 at the facilities in Oslo, Lillehammer, Trondheim, and Vikersund, the participants will compete in a real highlight of this sport. The organizers advertise their tournament as the most intense and extreme ski jumping event in the world. They do not do it without good reason. The 10-day Raw Air program is filled with qualifications as well as individual and team competitions, from which the participants will not get even one day of rest. Yet, they will also have to move several hundred kilometres between some locations.
Polish fans mostly choose only one of the four locations. For airline tickets from Warsaw to Oslo and back, it will cost about 360 PLN, if we book a flight several months in advance. Postponing the purchase up to the last minute is a risk. There may be a "last-minute" offer for a few dozens of PLN, but you must also take into account the minimum price of 600-700 PLN.
Travel to Norway generally results in increased expenses. Prices significantly exceed the Polish reality. A meal in a restaurant usually costs more than 250 NOK, i.e., according to the Conotoxia's rates of December 9th, 2019, about 105 PLN, and a litre of petrol over 17 NOK, i.e., about 7.5 PLN.
Snow or antipodes? You decide
At the turn of January and February, all winter sports lovers may enjoy the exciting events in Europe. However, among the fans and their loved ones, there will be those who miss summer in the middle of winter and sports without skis or ice skates. What then? Maybe, e.g., a trip to Australia, or more precisely to Melbourne, where every year the best tennis players show off with their performance, and quite often, their efforts are accompanied by hot weather.
The first of four editions of what is most crucial in the world of tennis, the Australian Open 2020, begins on January 20th and lasts until February 2nd. Noteworthy is the tournament arena itself, Melbourne Park. Consisting of nearly 30 competitive courts, the facility is barely a part of Melbourne Sports Entertainment Precinct. This is already the most significant athletic district of Australia, where there are plenty of areas for almost all indoor and outdoor sports, including Australian football, cricket, and rugby. The main and side courts of Melbourne Park, when not used by professional sportsmen, can be rented out every day for a social game. However, they are not only for tennis players. They have been adapted for basketball pitches. Interestingly, there was even a swimming pool instead of a tennis court.
How much is the ticket to the Australian Open 2020? There are tickets available for sale, e.g., for 72 AUD, which according to the Conotoxia'a exchange rate of December 9th, 2019, it is about 191 PLN. Of course, flight tickets from Warsaw to Melbourne are much more expensive. A return trip costs 4-5 thousand PLN and often involves connecting flights. More favourable flights are sometimes those from Berlin.
It may happen, of course, that the budget or timing of competition in Australia is an impossible obstacle, but the desire for great tennis does not fade away. Then all you have to do is wait until May and choose a new direction: Paris. Obviously, one of the most famous and most visited European capital deserves a closer exploration, not only because of the sports event. Therefore, you can divide the time between the tournament excitement, the unique monuments, and peculiarities of the city on the Seine river as well. It would be best if you remembered that the Roland Garros 2020 starts on May 18th, and will last until June 2nd. A return flight can be booked for about 500 PLN, tickets for duels of tennis players are somewhat cheaper.
The Euro is not only the name of the common European currency. For football fans, whose number is said to be the highest in the world, the name is associated with the Old Continent Championship tournaments held every four years. This year's event will take place in a unique formula. Usually, one country or, for example, two neighbouring countries were the host of the championship. Meanwhile, the UEFA Euro 2020 will be divided into 12 cities in different, often extremely distant European towns. Football supporters will get a choice between Baku, Copenhagen, London, Munich, Budapest, Dublin, Rome, Amsterdam, Bucharest, St. Petersburg, Glasgow, and Bilbao. Despite the considerable distance, Polish team fans will be most interested in travelling to Bilbao and Dublin, because of the ticket prices and places that Poland will play its group matches on 15, 20 and 24 June. As far as flights are concerned, the Spanish direction will be slightly cheaper — from about 500-600 PLN for a plane ticket in both directions. To the capital of Ireland, where in addition to matches certainly worth seeing the famous parks, pubs, galleries, and museums Guinness brewery and Irish Whiskey, most often we find airline connections from Warsaw for about 600-700 PLN.
The championship will not end with a group stage, and the Polish are keeping their fingers crossed for their team to qualify for the knock-out stage. If the players succeed, depending on the place in the table, they can move on to the next match to Copenhagen, Glasgow, Budapest or stay in Bilbao. The three most important games of the football cup, the two semi-finals and the final will take place on 7-8 and July 12th in London.
The open sale of tickets for matches began a few days ago and will last until December 18th. Prices range from 30 to 185 EUR, but the desire to pay this amount is not enough. There will be more people interested than tickets available. That is why the applicants will need luck in the selection process. Only then the buyers informed about the lucky fate should pay the amount due. The euro exchange rate according to Conotoxia from December 9th, 2019, is about 4.29 PLN
Good associations with Tokyo
The summer culmination of major sporting events will take place in the capital of Japan, where the XXXII Summer Olympic Games officially begin on July 24th. Half a thousand athletes, 37 disciplines, and nearly 8 million tickets for fans from all over the world — these figures tell us a lot about the scale of the event, which ends on August 9th. To fly from Warsaw to Tokyo and back during this period, we will pay about 3.3-3.7 thousand PLN. Anyone who decides to go there should not miss the chance to familiarize themselves with Asian culture, architecture, cuisine, and charming people. Although at the turn of July and August in the country of the cherry blossom, you will not see any flowering cherries, but instead you may admire beautiful temples and a great seafood market. Moreover, a high-tech district of Akihabara will certainly draw the attention of thousands of tourists.
Prices in Japan may seem extremely high at first impression. It is because one yen is about 0.04 PLN, according to Conotoxia's rate from December 9th, 2019. Therefore, for a kilo of meat or cheese, you have to pay over 1000 yen. Fun fact: sushi is usually cheaper than in Poland. Is it tastier? It's worth finding out on your own.
What about the above mentioned good associations with Tokyo? Here again, we come back to the theme of sport. The Japanese capital has already hosted the Summer Olympics once before.
Other selected events, dates and locations
Tour de Ski — consisting of seven stages, the prestigious cycle of cross-country skiing races for women and men starts on December 28th and ends on January 6th, 2020. Athletes will rival on the slopes of Toblach (Italy), Val Mustai (Switzerland), Obersdorf (Germany) and Val di Fiemme (Italy).
European Men's Handball Championships — 9-26 January in Austria (Vienna and Graz), Norway (Trondheim) and Sweden (Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmo).
The Biathlon World Championships, February 13-23, Anterselva (Italy)
World Figure Skating Championships — 16-24 March in Montreal
FIS Ski Flying World Championships, March 20-22 in Planica
Snooker World Championships from April 18th to May 4th in Sheffield (England).
Euroleague Basketball — Final Four on May 20-24 in Cologne.
Mountain Bike World Championships — June 25-28 in Albstadt, Germany.
2020 Wimbledon Championships, June 29th, the final on July 12.
Tour de France — the most famous multi-stage cycling race for professionals, starting on June 27th in Nice, finishing on July 19th in Paris.
US Open Tennis Championships, from August 31st to September 13th in New York City.
World championships in road cycling — 20-27 September in Swiss towns of Aigle and Martigny.
New York Marathon — on November 1st, the world's largest mass marathon event, nearly 55,000 people took part in it a year ago.
The European Women's Handball Championships — December 4-20 in Denmark (Herning) and Norway (Trondheim, Oslo, Stavanger).