Among upcoming sporting events: the Formula 1 season recommences in Spain, Fulham and Atletico Madrid meet in Germany for the first ever UEFA Europa League final, and the freestyle motocross stunt riders of the X-Fighters World Tour touch down (and take off again) in Egypt.
Formula One: Spanish Grand Prix
A week after MotoGP burns rubber near the southwestern Spanish city of Jerez, Formula One's dignitaries and heroes return upon the Circuit de Catalunya in the country's capital, Barcelona, the site of the last pre-season testing before the championship begun with the Bahrain GP in March. Schumacher has won the GP six times, three more than the next closest multiple winners, and none of whom are still racing. Three-day grandstand passes run from €411 to €629.
http://www.circuitcat.com or http://www.formula1.com/tickets_and_travel
Football: UEFA Europa League Final
The first Europa League Final, replacing the UEFA Cup, will take place in the home stadium of semi-finalists Hamburger SV. Following spirited displays during the semi finals on Thursday, April 29, Fulham from London, England, face Atletico Madrid of Spain. Among TV channels broadcasting the clash, ITV & Five have coverage in the UK, Gol TV in the USA, ESPN Star Sports in Asia, and Italia 1, SAT.1, and Sky Sports in Europe.
Sports Industry Awards
Hosted by the Sports Industry Group, the 14 awards are called 'the Oscars of the sports world' by British newspapers
The Observer and
The Times. Though the Gold and Diamond packages have now sold out, the standard £3,995 (€4,565) deal includes a three-course dinner, champagne reception, complimentary drinks, and a table at the ceremony for ten persons. Individual seats at mixed tables are also available.
Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour
The historic Egyptian pyramids welcome the freestyle motocross tricksters of the X-Fighters World Tour for the second of six global events. Six miles to the north of Cairo, the five FMX riders will showcase their skills in front of the Great Sphinx for the assembled crowds. Tickets are 75 EGP (€10) for those standing, or 150 EGP (€20) for a seated view.
Endurance: Tel Aviv Marathon
Tel Aviv, Israel
With shorter 5km and 10km runs available, and a winner's prize fund of $4,500 for both male and female participants, the Tel Aviv marathon traces a route along the Israeli coastline before cutting through the city beside the Yarkon River and back out again. Originally scheduled for the Jewish Passover festival, the marathon's final dates allow the event to both start and finish in the city's Charles Clore Park.
Athletics: 24th IAAF World Race Walking Cup
Expect average temperatures of 21°C at an altitude of 1,440m for the Men's and Women's 20km, and the Men's 50km World Race Walking Cup. There are also races for Juniors (must be aged 16-19 on December 31, 2010). Top athletes will be covering the distances in less than 2 hours, or under 5 hours for the longer course. Prizes of up to $30,000 await the world's best race walkers.
Ball sports: Bossaball European Indoor Championship 2010
Imagine a cross between volleyball, trampolining, and gymnastics. In the middle of an inflatable court, one player stands on a trampoline while teammates set up spiking opportunities for the high flier as they endeavor to beat the opposing team. The European Championships bring together teams from around the continent, following a pre-selection tournament that takes place on May 8.
Formula One: Monaco Grand Prix
Monte Carlo, Monaco
Arguably the most prestigious race in the motoring calendar, the Monaco Grand Prix pits Formula One drivers against the narrow roads and tight turns of Monte Carlo, as well as against each other. A win for Michael Schumacher will bring him level with the late Ayrton Senna, who holds the record for the most wins on the circuit.
IFPA7 World Pinball Championship
Cokato, Minnesota, USA
A prize fund of $13,000 tempts pinball wizards to Minnesota's Pinball Hall of Fame to ply their trade on a collection of 48 machines, ranging from pre-1978 electro-mechanical tables through the solid state electronic technologies of the 1980s, right up to the modern dot-matrix era.
Watersports: Loews Coronado Bay Resort Dog Surfing Competition
Imperial Beach, California, USA
Dog surfing returns to Loews in this battle of both style and substance, as canines mount up on water-bound boards to raise money for charitable causes - this year, for their fellow fidos in the San Diego Police Department - and each waverider has 10 minutes to strut their stuff. Entry costs are $50-$55.
Football: UEFA Champions League Final
Bayern Munich play Internazionale at the Bernabeu, Real Madrid's home ground. Bayern thumped Lyon 4-0 over two legs to get to the final, also scoring four against Manchester United in the quarter finals over a challenging pair of matches that was decided on away goals. Bayern last won the tournament in 2001 while their coach Louis van Gaal clinched it in 1995 with Ajax. Inter, meanwhile, have the enigmatic Jose Mourinho at the helm who claimed the trophy in 2004 with giant-killers Porto and masterminded the Italian side's domination of 2009 winners Barcelona.
Rugby Union: Sevens World Series
The penultimate stage of the IRB Sevens arrives in England in what the organizers hope will be a world record crowd, aiming for over 100,000 spectators crammed into the stadium at Twickenham to watch the 12 core teams (Samoa, New Zealand, Fiji, Australia, England, South Africa, Kenya, Argentina, USA, Wales, Canada, and France) play each other and four guests (Portugal, Italy, Russia, and Scotland) over a bevy of short matches. Tickets are between £10 (€11.5) and £25 (€29) for adults with discounts for juniors and groups.
MotoGP: French Grand Prix
Le Mans, France
The Bugatti circuit, part of Le Mans' 13.6km / 8.5mi Circuit de la Sarthe, is used in the 24hr races, situated not far from Paris in a region filled with historic chateaux and gardens. Tickets are €69 for a three-day weekend pass, €117-160 in the grandstands, and from €295 for various levels of VIP service.
http://www.motogp.com or http://www.gpfrancemoto.com
Tennis: French Open
May 23 - June 6
The second Grand Slam event of the 2010 ATP World Tour has tennis great Roger Federer as its men's defending champion - when he won in 2009 he became only the sixth professional to win all four Grand Slam singles. Svetlana Kuznetsova will need to recover the form that saw her jump 5 WTA rankings to 3rd in 2009 in order to retain the women's trophy. Tickets come at a range of prices, depending on the tier of both match and seats.
Multi-disciplinary: Paralympic World Cup
The Paralympic World Cup organizes tournaments in 7-a-side football, swimming, athletics, and wheelchair basketball. Competing athletes and teams are entered across five different categories in order to ensure a level playing field, and nationalities are grouped into teams representing Great Britain, the USA, Europe, and Rest of the World. There are also activities for spectators: 3-on-3 football, wheelchair basketball taster sessions, and other workouts. Tickets are £2.50 to £6 (€2.90 - €6.90).
World Series of Poker
May 28 - July 17
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Despite a panoply of WSOP-authorized tournaments throughout the year, this is the real deal, with a huge variety of poker rule sets in force for the world's best, luckiest, and most stubborn players to test their mettle against each other for a slice of the pie. The tournament culminates in the 12-day No-Limit Hold'em Championship starting on July 5, before a three-month break when the top 9 players will reconvene in November for the Final Table.
Water sports: Rowing World Cup (Stage 1 of 3)
The first of three Rowing World Cup series events, with June's second stage in Munich, Germany before the last RWC meet to be held in Lucerne, Switzerland. The lakeside town of Bled is also the venue for the 2011 World Rowing Championships, and the website has details on plenty of local hotels, villas, and hostels.