Is a hot dog a sandwich?
We’ll let you debate that for yourselves, but there should be no argument whether the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest is a sport or not. It is! And it’s one of many sporting events in New York this summer that you can experience in person.
You can even attend the world-famous eating competition at the original Nathan’s in Coney Island at noon on July 4 for free. Upwards of 50,000 people have attended the event in past years, so frank fans are advised to get to the corner of Surf and Stillwell Aves. early.
Gawking at speed eaters isn’t your thing? Not to worry, there are plenty of other sporting events to fill you up this summer. From the Mets and Yankees to electric race cars in Brooklyn, New York will host its share of sports spectacles this summer.
Here’s a closer look at everything you need to do and see:
METS and YANKEES
When the baseball season started, one New York team was projected to contend for the World Series and the other was expected to endure a building year. There was even some buzz that New York was becoming a Mets town after years of Yankees dominance.
Turns out, the script was flipped early in the season and as they approach the dog days of summer, the young and surprising Yankees are atop the city (and the AL East), while the once-hopeful Mets are halfway through one of the zaniest seasons in recent memory.
Between the two local teams, New Yorkers can attend a live MLB game virtually every night during the summer months. Get a glimpse of Aaron Judge from the “Judge’s Chambers” seats at Yankee Stadium ( yankees.com ), or head out to Queens for the chance to root for a Mets turnaround ( mets.com ).
Starting in late July, the local NFL teams open training camp. A limited number of practices are typically open to the public and it’s free to get in. The rebuilding Jets ( newyorkjets.com ) practice at their facility in Florham Park, while the Giants ( giants.com ) hold camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center facility, across the parking lot from MetLife Stadium.
The most controversial event of the summer will be held July 13-16 when the U.S. Women’s Open tees off at Trump National in Bedminster, N.J. There had been calls to move the tournament because of how President Trump has treated women in the past, but the event will go on as planned.
Some of the PGA’s best will be in town Aug. 22-27 for the Northern Trust at Glen Oaks in Old Westbury. The Long Island facility was named the 2015 Club of the Year by the Metropolitan Golf Writers Association.
U.S. OPEN TENNIS
Of all the summertime sports in New York, the city’s signature event each year is the U.S. Open tennis tournament at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Aug. 28-Sept. 10. There are several ticket options available for groups and individuals at usopen.org.
Hey, it’s New York — there’s always basketball.
The NBA draft is June 22 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Tickets were on sale for as low as $41 to get a chance to see some of the top basketball prospects in the world, and LaVar Ball, too, at the league’s signature summer event.
While the Knicks will be picking No. 8 that night because they haven’t played with much pep recently, the WNBA’s New York Liberty have been the hardest-working basketball team in town for a while. The Liberty ( liberty.wnba.com ) have 10 home games during the summer at Madison Square Garden.
If you’re looking for something different on the court, you might want to also check out the Big3 (big3.com), a traveling three-on-three tournament featuring former NBA players like Allen Iverson and coach Charles Oakley. The half-court league, which will have a four-point shot, comes to Brooklyn June 25 for one night.
And if you want to actually own a piece of a pro basketball team, the Gotham Ballers ( gothamballers.com ), a publicly financed club that plays in the Champions Basketball League, will play summer home games at Nassau Coliseum.
NYCFC, RED BULLS and COSMOS
New York is typically seen as a baseball city, but this summer it sure seems like a soccer city. With three pro teams and a pair of CONCACAF Gold Cup games, opportunities to take in world-class soccer will be plentiful over the next few months.
Battling through the heart of the MLS season, New York City Football Club ( nycfc.com ) plays seven games through Sept. 9 at Yankee Stadium.
Red Bull New York ( newyorkredbulls.com ) also has six home dates at Red Bull Arena in nearby Harrison, N.J., through the end of summer.
The New York Cosmos ( nycosmos.com ) of the North American Soccer League boast a rich history that goes back to the team’s glory days in the 1970s. They also play steps from the beach at MCU Park in Coney Island, making for a perfect summer day trip.
Soccer fans also won’t want to miss the CONCACAF Gold Cup doubleheader at Red Bull Arena on July 7. French Guiana faces Canada in the first match and Honduras takes on Costa Rica in the second as part of the international tournament that will be played in stadiums across the United States this summer.
Finally, we know New York summer traffic can be a drag. But there won’t be any jams in Brooklyn when Formula E Racing ( info.fiaformulae.com ) roars into town July 15-16. Races will take place in Red Hook around a 1.21-mile track, looping through the Cruise Ship Terminal parking lot and the Pier 11 complex. Tickets are on sale, starting at $34, for the chance to witness this unique event under the backdrop of sweeping views of the Statue of Liberty, Governor’s Island and the downtown skyline.
Evan Grossman – nydailynews.com