Sporting chances

Singapore Grand Prix

When? September

Attractions This year’s event is the last race of the season, with double points earned for the winner ensuring that it makes for a nail-biting finish, just like last year’s showdown between Mercedes-Benz teammates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
One of only two races to be held at night – Dubai is the other – the Singapore Grand Prix offers the novelty and glamour of a floodlit race track and is Asia’s only street race on the F1 calendar. The Marina Bay Street Circuit delivers stellar views of the city skyline, taking in landmarks including Raffles City, St Andrew’s Cathedral and the harbour. Pharrell Williams, Maroon 5 and Spandau Ballet are the headlining acts this year.

For groups Arrange some time in the Formula 1 Paddock Club, where guests can witness all the action from the pit lane exits just below. There are
90 private suites with wall-to-wall windows fitted
with plasma screens for live race feeds, while the lifestyle area has restaurants, roving entertainment and even spa services.

Hong Kong Sevens

When? March/April

Why go? The seven-a-side rugby union tournament is the biggest event on the city’s sporting calendar, with a 40,000-strong crowd gathering at Hong Kong Stadium to watch the 28 teams compete. The party is in full swing at the legendary South Stand, where revellers don fancy dress, but there is a long waiting list for the more sober corporate suites. The event is complemented by Rugby Week, a run-up which includes Beach 5s, Kowloon Rugbyfest and the Hong Kong Tens.

For groups Access to corporate boxes, executive-level suites and glass-fronted private rooms is usually by invitation only from the box owners. Space at the 900 sqm Sportsman’s Bar features a dining area and upper level with a separate lounge.

Longines Hong Kong Grand Masters

When? Every February

Why go? The Asian leg of the Masters Grand Slam series, it’s the only five-star accredited indoor showjumping event in Asia on the equestrian calendar. Now in its third year, the three-day tournament features six competitions where 30 of the world’s top elite riders and their horses compete for a purse of US$1million. It is the only equestrian event that allows spectators to walk the course and see up close the fences set out by the course designer.

For groups Book a table at the VIP Masters Club, which features cuisine from two-star Michelin chef Yves Mattagne, with views over the main competition ring. Other attractions include luxury shopping at the Prestige Village around the paddock, where DJs spin the decks nightly. This year, the event extended its entertainment with a show from equestrian artist Santi Serra Camps, who is renowned for his unique dressage performances. Art partner Opera Gallery lends a creative vibe to the event with its exhibitions.

Australian Open 

When? Every January

Why go? One of four Grand Slams on the ATP World Tour, the Melbourne-based Australian Open is renowned for its fast courts. It’s also big on entertainment, with the Heineken Live Stage and various interactive areas from the sponsors, such as this year’s Kia Cube, where guests could participate in the Kia rally slot car experience. Then there’s People’s Court, where budding tennis players can recreate their own Grand Slam with an umpire, line judges, ball kids, statisticians and a camera crew standing by.

For groups Options include all inclusive seating and dining packages either at the event’s fine dining restaurant or at your own private space. Reward high performing staff by booking a Garden Villa, a 75 sqm private entertaining area with balcony where they can overlook the action – from roving entertainers and celebrity appearances – at Garden Square. Premium Gold seats, meanwhile, will put you in a shady spot behind the baseline, with access to the K&L Gates Champions Bar & Terrace.

Ultimate Football Experience, England

When? Year-round

Attraction Football-loving groups can kick a ball around at the inspiring setting of St George’s Park where the England national squad trains. The Football Assoication’s (FA) national football centre is in Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire, and has a Hilton hotel on site.

For groups The Ultimate England Experience Experience shares the thrill of “playing for England” under a licensed FA coach who will train the group prior to a 45-minute match on a full-size 3G pitch. Participants will receive an England strip with their name on the back, as well as a group photo and a tour. Alternatively, book the Ultimate Football Experience for nearly two hours of coaching and activities led by an FA coach,  incorporating tactical, psychological and physical challenges of the beautiful game. Optional extras include a hydrotherapy and recovery session.

Adelaide Oval

When? Year-round

Attraction South Australia’s famous stadium has sporting events and other activities all year round, including the hosting of cricket test matches and Aussie Rules games.

For groups The Audi Stadium Club, overlooking the pitch, is a well-appointed corporate entertaining venue from which to view what’s going on below. Membership of the club brings access to cricket and football games, as well as preferential booking for concerts and other events.

Melbourne Cup

When? First Tuesday of November every year

Attraction First held in 1861, this is the horse race that famously brings Australia to a stop every year. Even those who normally don’t bet might be tempted to have a bit of a flutter on the day.

For groups The Melbourne Cup Carnival is based around four race meetings at the famous Flemington Racecourse, home to the Victoria Racing Club. It takes place over the period of a week, with associated fashion, cultural, entertainment and food and wine events. A range of corporate packages and events is on offer for the carnival, and for the big day itself.

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