Fall in Southern California is in full swing. The temperature has been known to drop into the low 70s and malls are crowded with temporary Halloween stores filled with costumes and candy.
Major League Baseball playoffs and the World Series loom over the season (schedule TBD), and Southern California is represented by both the Los Angeles Angels and the Los Angeles Dodgers. If the playoffs go well, we could finally be looking at the long-anticipated “Freeway Series” between the Dodgers and the Angels. We could also be looking at the first time that both league MVPs come from Southern California teams. Mike Trout of the Angels and Clayton Kershaw (a virtual lock for the Cy Young award) of the Dodgers.
And for those who prefer a little bounce in their balls, professional basketball gets underway this month. The Los Angeles Lakers have a full slate of preseason games and they are playing them in a variety of locations, including San Diego, Ontario, Anaheim and their home court in Los Angeles, The Staples Center. The games start counting at the end of the month, and the Lakers will be hosting the Houston Rockets and the Los Angeles Clippers, who have championship aspirations this season. And while the Lakers are likely in a “rebuilding” year, any team with Kobe Bryant can be considered dangerous.
Fall also brings football, and both our college and professional teams are in full swing. Southern California’s only professional team (until Los Angeles finally brings back a team to replace the long-lost Raiders and Rams), the San Diego Chargers, are hosting the New York Jets on Oct. 5 and the Kansas City Chiefs on Oct. 19.
College football finds both USC and UCLA ranked in the Top 20. USC is hosting Arizona State on Oct. 4 and Colorado on the Oct. 18. UCLA brings Utah to town on Oct. 4 and then Oregon on Oct. 11. The battle between UCLA and Oregon, who is undefeated and very highly ranked, has national title implications for both teams. Further south, San Diego State will be hosting the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors.
Speaking of UCLA, On Oct. 11 and 12, they are hosting the Southern California Water Polo Tournament at Spieker Aquatics Center. Sixteen top teams from across the country will be competing.
If you prefer your water frozen, hockey is now in full swing. The Los Angeles Kings will be hosting the Sharks, Jets, Oilers, Blues, Wild, Sabres and Blue Jackets. A little further south, the Anaheim Ducks have invited the Wild, Blues, Sabres, Blue Jackets and the Sharks to join them at the Honda Center.
If you’d rather cling to the warmth of a soccer field over the ice rink, The StubHub Center in Carson is the place to be. The Los Angeles Galaxy hosts Toronto and the Seattle Sounders. Chivas USA hosts Real Salt Lake, Colorado and San Jose.
The StubHub Center is also the site for a middleweight world title fight on Oct. 18 between current champion Gennady Golovkin and the challenger, Marco Antonio Rubio.
If horses are your thing, Santa Anita Park has a very full slate of horse races for October. And on Oct. 11, Will Rogers State Historic Park will be the site of the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic. If you plan on going, purchase tickets in advance, as there will be no sales at the gate.
If you think all horses are under the hood, rather than on the hoof, look no further than Fontana’s Auto Club Speedway. From Exotics to NHRA, there is something happening every weekend in October.
With regards to the events listed above, more detailed information is available at the team or event websites, so please check for dates, times and ticket availability. Of course, this short column only touches the surface of the various sporting events available for your attending and viewing pleasure. I’ve tried to cover the “bigger events” and a couple of those that might be less well known. While you’re visiting, should you find an upcoming event that you think would be of interest, or one I missed this month but should note it for next year, just drop me a line. Enjoy!