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The running of the bulls at the San Fermin festival in Pamplona, Spain, July 13, 2009. (VINCENT WEST/REUTERS)
The running of the bulls at the San Fermin festival in Pamplona, Spain, July 13, 2009. (VINCENT WEST/REUTERS)

Work-Life Balance

A sporty executive's ultimate to-do list Add to ...

Our time away from work – the other half of that elusive work-life balance – is often frittered away, as we veg out in front of the television and find ourselves returning to work unfulfilled. If you are a sports fan – or perhaps even if you aren’t – Robert Tuchman has 100 ways for you to invigorate your off time, so you’ll be more refreshed (and have some stories to tell) when you return to the office.

A sports fan himself, Mr. Tuchman operates a New York-based company, Skylight Entertainment, which creates packages for fans to attend fabled sporting events. In some cases, companies buy tickets to thank clients, reward staff, or offer as a tantalizing prize in a sales contest. But often it’s regular folk buying tickets so they can attend a dream event.

It starts with The Masters golf tournament, continues with soccer’s World Cup, includes the Indy 500 and Professional Bull Riders World Cup, and concludes with an Ultimate Fighting Championship title fight. You may relax with some of those already, slumped on the couch on weekends, but he believes you can get more joy in your life by attending them in person.

“Is the life of a sports fan lived in front of the television a life lived to the fullest? What about the experience of actually being there and seeing it all without the need for commentary or commercials? The sights. The sounds. The smells,” he writes.

At the 2006 World Cup in Germany, sharing the experience with thousands of others from around the world, he decided to put together a book, 100 Sporting Events You Must See Live – the cream of the sporting crop, with background on each event, and tips on getting tickets, travel packages and accommodations.

It’s an eclectic list, developed after lively debates with sports fans. At the top is The Masters, even though he isn’t a golf fan.

“It’s an incredible experience, going to Augusta in early spring. It’s like a trip to sports Mecca for people,” he says in an interview.

With his previous company, TSE Sports & Entertainment, he oversaw charters of Canadians down for a day during the tournament, 200 to 300 people leaving in the early morning at a cost of $1,000 to $1,500.

“It’s our largest event for the Canadian market – even more so than the Stanley Cup and other major events. They tear it up,” he says with a laugh. “They have fun. They enjoy themselves.”

You may not have attended The Masters, but you may have attended the event in 30th place on his list: A Montreal Canadiens vs. Toronto Maple Leafs game in Toronto. Other Canadian events on the list are The Stanley Cup (well, sometimes Canadian) in 11th spot, Calgary Stampede at 43, and the World Junior Hockey Championship (often in Canada) at 92.

Mr. Tuchman has attended 45 of the events himself, but is behind Lesley Visser, recently selected as the top female sports broadcaster of all time, and her husband, Fox broadcaster Dick Stockton, who are nearing 60 events.

His favourite “Canadian” event was the seventh game of the 1994 Stanley Cup finals between the Vancouver Canucks and New York Rangers. The Rangers are his team, and they won at home, 2–1 in double overtime: “That’s the most exciting event I ever went to. People don’t realize how great a live event hockey is. The Stanley Cup is incredible to watch.”

Many people, of course, use these events to mix business and pleasure. But others use it as a chance to take a child on a memorable trip, forge a closer bond with a fellow sports fan, or enjoy locales like London (Wimbledon), Paris (Tour de France) or Indianapolis (Indy 500).

As for the running of the bulls, Mr. Tuchman doesn’t recommend the frantic scramble itself unless you are fleet of foot and in good shape. But it is still a vivid experience, as you hang over the fences, remember Hemmingway’s description, and watch the unusual race between humans and animals.

“Most of the people we send just watch. They’re a bit older – probably more sane. They have families. It was always something I wanted to do until I had kids.”


You may have to surrender your digital devices at some important business meetings, but what about when you check into a hotel? If you are at the hotel to relax, why not? It makes sense, and so surrendering laptops, cell phones and PDAs is part of the Zen and Art of Detox package, continuing until Sept. 25, at Mariott’s Renaissance Pittsburgh Hotel, as reported by Springwise.com.

Fact Box

100 Sporting Events You Must See Live


2.World Cup

3.Super Bowl

4.Summer Olympics

5.Army vs. Navy Football Game

6.New York City Marathon

7.World Series

8.Winter Olympics

9.Red Sox vs. Yankees at Yankee Stadium

10.UNC vs. Duke Basketball Game at Cameron Indoor Stadium


12.Stanley Cup

13.Tour De France

14.Cubs Game at Wrigley Field

15.BCS National Championship Game in New Orleans

16.Liverpool vs. Manchester United at Old Trafford

17.Michigan vs. Ohio State at The Big House

18.NFL Conference Championships

19.Daytona 500

20.Final Four- NCAA Men’s Basketball

21.Ryder Cup

22.Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Weekend

23.Harvard vs. Yale at Yale

24.Kentucky Derby

25.UEFA Champions League

26.Rose Bowl

27.British Open

28.Horse Racing at Saratoga

29.Late Season Green Bay Packers Game at Lambeau Field

30.Canadiens vs. Maple Leafs in Toronto

31.Indy 500

32.Professional Bull Riders World Finals

33.Dubai World Cup

34.Hong Kong Sevens

35.Monaco Grand Prix

36.Running of the Bulls

37.Rugby World Cup

38.Red River Shootout

39.Notre Dame Football Game

40.MLB All-Star Game

41.Iron Bowl at Alabama

42.Epsom Derby

43.Calgary Stampede

44.Koshien Baseball Tournament

45.Special Olympics

46.Soccer Game at Maracana Stadium in Rio

47.Texas Football Friday Night Lights in Odessa

48.U.S. Open Tennis Tournament

49.USC vs. UCLA Basketball Game at Pauley Pavilion

50.Le Mans 24

51.Ironman World Championships

52.Iowa vs. Iowa State Wrestling Meet at Iowa

53.Golden Gloves at Madison Square Garden

54.French Open

55.Baseball Game at Fenway Park

56.Belmont Stakes

57.Kangaroos Australian Football Game

58.Heavyweight Title Fight at Madison Square Garden

59.All Blacks Rugby Game

60.ACC Basketball Tournament

61.Caribbean World Series

62.FA Cup

63.Indiana High School Basketball Tournament Finals

64.U.S. Open Golf Tournament

65.Midnight Madness at University of Kentucky

66.Preakness Stakes

67.NFL Draft

68.National Finals Rodeo

69.Basketball Game at Phog Allen Field House

70.Basketball Game at Madison Square Garden

71.Prefontaine Classic

72.MLB Opening Day in Cincinnati

73.Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest


75.Little 500

76.Basketball Game at Rucker Park, Harlem, NY

77.Boston Marathon

78.Cowboys Monday Night Football Game in Dallas

79.Head of the Charles Regatta

80.Florida vs. Georgia Football Game

81.Lady Vols Basketball Game

82.NBA All-Star Game

83.Pipeline Surfing

84.Australian Open Tennis Tournament

85.Baseball Game at Rickwood Field in Alabama

86.Harlem Glodetrotters Performance

87.Spring Training Game at Tigertown

88.Backyard Brawl in Morgantown

89.London Marathon

90.Penn Relays

91.President’s Cup

92.World Junior Hockey Championship

93.Westminster Dog Show

94.NFL Hall of Fame Induction

95.NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship

96.College Baseball World Series

97.Beanpot Hockey Tournament

98.Bayou Classic

99.Little League World Series

100.UFC Title Fight

Source: 100 Sporting Events You Must See Live

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