17 Philly Sporting Events Not To Miss This Year
Union and Phillies games, plus the Philadelphia Marathon, Head of the Schuylkill Regatta and more...
Philly sports fans are — *checks notes* — extremely passionate, and throughout the rest of 2021, they’ll have a chance to once again return to the stands, stadiums, fields and parks to root, root, root for the home teams.
In Chester, the Philadelphia Union — who had the best regular-season record in Major League Soccer in 2020 — are back at it, competing in both the regular MLS season and in the CONCACAF semifinals, both at Subaru Park in South Philly. And the city’s World Cup-style Unity Cup returns beginning in August, featuring teams that represent more than 50 countries around the world. Soccer fans should note, too, that a visit to the Philadelphia Soccer 2026 Pitch interactive exhibit at the Independence Visitor Center could help bring one of the biggest sporting events in the world — the FIFA World Cup — to Philadelphia in 2026.
At Citizens Bank Park, fans munching on Crab Fries and Dollar Dogs can attempt to will the Phillies to an above-.500 record, while the city’s professional ultimate frisbee team, the Philadelphia Phoenix , celebrate their 10th anniversary season with home games played just around the corner in South Philly.
Later in the fall, residents and visitors can look forward to the return of the Eagles , 76ers and Flyers ; iconic events like the Philadelphia Marathon and the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta ; and more, including racing in Coatesville ( Coatesville International Vintage Grand Prix ), horsing around in Chester County ( Devon Fall Classic ) and top-tier college basketball on the Main Line ( Villanova Wildcats men’s basketball ).
Of course, checking out sporting events in Philadelphia looks a little different in 2021, with teams making changes to bag policies, mobile ticketing and more. Your best bet: Plan ahead and check online with each individual team and/or venue beforehand to know what to expect.
Read on for a guide to the biggest sporting events in Greater Philadelphia for the rest of 2021.
Through September 18, 2021 (select dates)
The Philadelphia Phoenix — the city’s professional ultimate frisbee team — are celebrating their 10th season in 2021. Catch the team through mid-September at Phoenix Stadium, located around the corner from Citizens Bank Park in South Philly.
Through October 3, 2021 (select dates)
In-person attendance is back at full capacity at South Philly’s Citizens Bank Park, welcoming fans to cheer on the Fightin’ Phils while the team tries to hang on in the race for the NL East title (or the race for the even-more competitive Wild Card).
Through November 7, 2021 (select dates)
Major League Soccer (MLS) is back in Chester as the Philadelphia Union — who had the best regular-season record of any MLS team in 2020 — are in the midst of a busy season at the waterfront Subaru Park. The Union will play 34 regular-season matches before the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs begin on November 19, 2021.
Begins August 27, 2021
The City of Philadelphia celebrates its diverse immigrant communities with this World Cup-style soccer tournament representing more than 50 countries. The tournament — which kicks off on August 27 — allows participants to play for civic pride and to showcase their prowess on the field. Bonus: Each game is free for spectators to attend.
After successfully hosting the Premier Lacrosse League’s championship game in 2019, Philadelphia once again welcomes the PLL back to the city, this time for semifinals matches to be held in a doubleheader on September 5 at Subaru Park, home of the Philadelphia Union.
CONCACAF Semifinal at Subaru Park
The Union hit pause on their regular season to play in the second of two CONCACAF Champions League semifinals matches against Club America, one of the most popular Mexican teams in the U.S., at Subaru Park in Chester this September . The tournament pits the best teams in North America against each other to see who can claim the title of best of the continent.
Get your horse on (that’s a saying, right?) at the Devon Fall Classic , returning in September after the annual Devon Horse Show and Country Fair was canceled this past spring due to the pandemic. In the past, event attendees have enjoyed shopping, music, pony rides and more on the Devon Horse Show equestrian grounds on the Main Line. Stay tuned to the event’s official site for more info.
Now in its fifth year, Coatesville’s grand prix event turns two miles of the town into a race course, where a single vintage car or motorcycle leaves the starting line at a time, and the fastest lap of the day wins it all. The event, which also includes a food-and-drink vendor area and live music, benefits Coatesville’s Parks & Recreation programs and facilities.
September 19, 2021 – January 9, 2022 (select dates)
The Philadelphia Eagles look to wipe the slate clean after a miserable year in South Philly in 2020-2021. New head coach Nick Sirianni — previously an offensive coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts — will lead the team through a host of tough decisions, not least of which is the Iggles’ quarterback woes.
October 2 – November 20, 2021 (select dates)
Historic Franklin Field is a legendary, yet somewhat under-the-radar, stadium that sits right in the shadow of Philadelphia’s downtown. The stadium dates back to 1895 and served as the home of the Philadelphia Eagles from 1958 to 1970. The University of Pennsylvania has five home games at Franklin Field this fall, including their homecoming game against Cornell on November 6, 2021.
The annual 10-mile course running from North Philadelphia to the Philadelphia Navy Yard passes many of the city’s most important landmarks along the way — Temple University, City Hall, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, The Avenue of the Arts and the Philadelphia stadium complex, to name a few — as supporters line both sides of Broad Street with creative signs. Expect record-breaking times, as this course rates as one of the fastest in the country by Runner’s World magazine.
Rowers of all levels — high school, college, elite rowers and world champions — converge on the Schuylkill River for the two-day Head of the Schuylkill Regatta on October 30 and 31. The race winds along Kelly Drive and Boathouse Row, which offer optimal race-viewing points and a festive atmosphere made up of rowers and viewers alike.
One of the country’s premier — and most scenic — running events is known to send 30,000 athletes through historic Center City, past the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Boathouse Row. The weekend includes an 8K race, half-marathon, a Kids Fun Run and the Health & Fitness Expo.
Begins December 2021 (TBA)
The National Lacrosse League’s 2021-2022 season kicks off in early December, with Wings lacrosse players — and loveable mascot Wingston — returning to South Philly’s Wells Fargo Center. Stay tuned for more on the team’s schedule, which will feature 18 games, followed by playoffs and a championship series.
Fall 2021 (TBA)
The Villanova Wildcats basketball team look toward another sure-to-be-big season under head coach Jay Wright, who will be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame come September. Early predictions place the team as one of the best in the NCAA . Stay tuned for more info on the schedule for the 2021-2022 season.
Fall 2021 (TBA)
After a somewhat disappointing 2020-2021 season with a few bright spots (thanks, Claude Giroux!), the Philadelphia Flyers look to better their sixth-place finish in the East Division come fall 2021. Stay tuned for more info about the team’s schedule, including the team’s home opener at the Wells Fargo Center. Until then, there’s always Gritty’s Instagram .
Fall 2021 (TBA)
To put it lightly, the 76ers didn’t quite make it as deep into the playoffs as many would have hoped during their 2020-2021 season, but, as they say, there’s always next year. Stay tuned for info on the team’s 2021-2022 schedule and their home opener at the Wells Fargo Center.