I couldn’t be more excited to join Southern California Life Magazine as the sports editor. I’ve lived in this area my entire life and have always followed a variety of sports, and it is a thrill to be able to write about my favorites. However, I’m even more excited that I’ll be learning about new sports—or at least ones that are new to me—and that readers will be discovering them with me.
There is never a shortage of sporting events in southern California and I can’t possible cover, much less highlight, all of them in this column. However, I will hit as many of the main events as I can, focusing on the “major” sports, but throwing in a few lesser-known games and competitions, as well.
On that note, I will get started with professional baseball, which certainly won’t be in short supply this August. The Los Angeles Angels, with Mike Trout—arguably baseball’s best player—are home against the Red Sox, Phillies, Marlins and A’s. The Los Angeles Dodgers, with Clayton Kershaw—unarguably baseball’s best pitcher—are home against the Cubs, Brewers, Mets and Padres. Both the Dodgers and the Angels are fighting for division championships and—in what Los Angeles fans hope is a preview of the World Series—the Dodgers host the Angels Aug. 4 and 5, and the Angels reciprocate Aug. 6 and 7. The San Diego Padres have been struggling on the field, but it doesn’t make their stadium any less beautiful, or the weather any less perfect. And August has the Padres welcoming the Braves, Rockies, Brewers and Dodgers into town.
For those who enjoy their baseball a little less crowded and a lot more quaint, there are a number of minor league baseball teams for you to enjoy, including Bakersfield Blaze, High Desert Mavericks (Adelanto), Inland Empire 66ers (San Bernardino), Lake Elsinore Storm, Lancaster jets and the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes.
Now on to football. The NFL regular season starts Sept. 4, but, for those who can’t wait, the San Diego Chargers host the Dallas Cowboys Aug. 7 and the Arizona Cardinals Aug. 28 in a couple preseason games. The Chargers’ training camp runs through Aug. 12 and five dates are open to the public. And, speaking of the Dallas Cowboys, their training camp—which runs through Aug. 15—actually takes place in Oxnard (Ventura County). Much of their camp is open to the public, as well
Whether you are a lifelong soccer fan, or have been swept up in World Cup fever, the games didn’t end in Brazil. Major League Soccer (MLS) has two teams in the greater Los Angeles area: Chivas USA (Carson) and the Los Angeles Galaxy. Both have a variety of home matches to look forward to this month.
If you’re missing basketball, the Los Angeles Sparks and the WNBA have five games lined up at the Staples Center. In addition, the Nike Basketball 3ON3 Tournament will be held on the streets of downtown Los Angeles Aug. 8-10. Music, dance, food and activities—plus some great hoops at various skill levels—make this a fun place to spend some time and get your summer basketball fix.
For those who love the ponies, Del Mar is the place to be this August. First post is 4 p.m. Aug. 1 and every Wednesday-Sunday throughout the month. I have never been to a horse race, but this may very well be the year that changes
If you’re a fan of the beach, the International Surf Festival might be perfect for you. It starts July 30 and runs through Aug. 3. The festival features a variety of competitive events: volleyball, paddleboard, swim, run, dory races and the Los Angeles County Lifeguard Championships! These events are spread out over Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach (my hometown) and Hermosa Beach. And, if you want a little AVP volleyball with your sun and sand, then you’ve come to the right place. The Manhattan Beach Open (Aug. 15-17) is the nation’s longest, continuously running tournament.
More detailed information regarding the events above is available on the team or event websites, so please check for dates, times and ticket availability. I wish we had more room, because the southern half of California has an almost unlimited choice of summer sporting events for nearly every taste or interest. If you find an upcoming event you think would be of interest—or know of one I missed this month, but should note for next year—just drop me a line. Enjoy!