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Cleveland: Mix sports and wildlife at the Annual Conference
While a casual observer might assume that LeBron James’ departure for Hollywood this summer marked the end of an era in Cleveland, and indeed it did, there are still many reasons why the Cleveland sports scene continues to shine. While the first place Cleveland Indians push into the post-season this October, a revamped Cavaliers line-up takes to the court at the Quicken Loans Arena, and the newly added Brown’s combo that includes quarterback Tyrod Taylor and wide receiver Jarvis Landry hope to lead their team to playoff contention in the AFC North. This fall throughout “Believeland”, a nickname sports fans bestowed on Cleveland in 2007 and that culminated in the 2016 NBA Championship, some of the most passionate fans in professional sports will be once again cheering on their home teams. While visiting the North Shore this October for the Annual Conference, consider also snagging some tickets to a post-season game at the “Jake”, taking in a pre-season game at the “Q”, or even heading over to FirstEnergy Stadium when the Ravens come to town to take on the Browns.
Fans of the Cleveland Indians have a long history of success in the American League Central on which to rely year to year. This season, the one-two punch of Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez has the team again leading the pack and hoping to make a strong showing in the American League Division Series in early October. Barring a complete collapse, Cleveland will almost certainly be hosting playoff games at downtown hotspot Jacobs Field while the Annual Conference is in town. If you’ve never been to the “Jake”, or have never had the opportunity to attend a playoff baseball game, consider snagging tickets for what’s sure to be a thrill-ride (https://www.mlb.com/indians). And even if you can’t make a game, head over to Hoopple’s Restaurant and Bar on Columbus Road – you’ll be close enough to hear the fireworks when the Tribe hits a homerun!
Although it’s been quite some time since all-time great Jim Brown led the 1964 Browns to the NFL Championship, this season Browns’ fans are once again hoping for a return of the “Kardiac Kids” and Tyrod Taylor is aiming to be the team leader Cleveland needs. Despite a relatively disappointing 2017 season, hope springs anew every year for Browns’ fans, and the new crop of talented players added to the roster this off-season has Cleveland fans ready to pack the stands for another season of cheering on their team (https://www.clevelandbrowns.com/). On the first Sunday of the Annual Conference, the division rival Baltimore Ravens come to town to take on the Browns for an early game. If this won’t work for you, think about staying on a few days to enjoy the city and grabbing tickets to the game the following Sunday, when the San Diego Chargers come to town. Either way, a visit to FirstEnergy Stadium is sure to not disappoint!
If baseball and football don’t float your boat, then you have one final option for professional sports during the Annual Conference. Although Cavaliers fans were disappointed when the “King” left for Los Angeles this summer, confidence remains that all-star Kevin Love can take the reins of the beloved Cavaliers and make a play-off push in the East. Although the NBA season won’t be in full-swing during early October, you can still catch a preseason game at the “Q” when the division rival Indiana Pacers come to town to take on the Cavs on Monday, October 8th. If you’ve never been to an NBA game before, a preseason game may be your best bet for a memorable basketball experience (https://www.nba.com/cavaliers/).
Finally, if attending a professional sporting event is a bit too much insanity to squeeze in during your time in Cleveland, consider a more relaxing but just as memorable trip to the Professional Football Hall of Fame, just down the road from Cleveland in Canton, Ohio (http://www.profootballhof.com/). The National Football League originated in Canton nearly 100 years ago, and the Pro Football Hall of Fame just completed a major renovation of the world-class facility which included a brand new playing field. With over 118,000 square feet of football history and memorabilia, and new additions to the Hall of Fame Village next door, a trip to Canton is a must for any true football fan. Whatever route you choose for a slice of the Cleveland sports scene this October, your experience is sure to be memorable!