You don’t have to head to Wembley, Allianz Arena or Stade Roland Garros for world-class sporting events. We’ve found 14 major sporting events happening in Asia-Pacific and the perfect work-related excuses to leave the country.
21 to 23 June
Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Race 2013
Victoria Harbour, Tsim Sha Tsui East Promenade, Hong Kong
Companies usually form dragon boat teams – both amateurs and professionals – to compete in the races. Naturally, it’s a great time to network and subtly make acquaintances with the who’s who in the industry.
Excuse: Experts will be weighing in on the role of investment funds play in facilitating retirement savings for governments and companies at the Global Retirement Savings Conference (26 to 27 June).
British & Irish Lions vs Qantas Wallabies
ANZ Stadium, Sydney, Australia
The third and final match between the Lions and the Wallabies, arguably the biggest event to hit Australian shores since the 2003 Rugby World Cup, will see both sides scrummaging and trying for the Tom Richards Trophy.
Excuse: Professors from Harvard and Oxford will be speaking at the 9th World Congress on Health Economics (7 to 10 July).
Editor’s Tip: Want to watch more rugby? Here are the 10 best sports bars in Singapore to catch all the scrumming and trying action.
Manchester United vs Singha All Star XI
Rajamangala Stadium, Bangkok, Thailand
The Red Devils will open their summer tour to Asia with a friendly against Singha All Star XI in Bangkok, on their fifth visit to Thailand. United’s ex-chief executive David Gill estimates over 19.5 million of their followers are located in Thailand. Other tour cities stops include Sydney, Yokohama, Osaka and Hong Kong.
Excuse: Industryl expertsincluding researchers, to developers and engineers will be sharing their views at the International Conference on Future Trends in Computing and Communication (13 to 14 July).
Arsenal vs Nagoya Grampus
Toyota Stadium, Nagoya, Japan
The Gunner’s’ first team squad will play against Nagoyta Grampus, the team which Arsène Wenger managed for 18 months between 1995 and 1996, as part of their Asia Tour 2013. It will be the first time since their 1968 end-of-season tour that an Arsenal first team has played a match in Japan. A second Japan match against Urawa Reds in Saitama is set for 26 July.
Excuse: The top dogs in the accounting industry are keynote speakers at the Asia Pacific Interdisciplinary Research in Accounting Conference (26 to 28 July).
Chelsea vs Indonesia XI
Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, Jakarta, Indonesia
On the last leg of their Here To Play, Here To Stay Southeast Asia Tour, the Blues will compete against Indonesia XI for the BNI Cup in their first ever visit to Indonesia. According to Chelsea’s website, Indonesia has one of their largest fan bases and is home to two million Chelsea Facebook fans, with over 300,000 living in Jakarta. Other tour cities include Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur.
Excuse: The regional forum at the APEC Study Centre Consortium Conference (26 to 27 July) is vital for understanding the economic development in the Asia-Pacific region.
24 to 27 July
2013 Barclays Asia Trophy
Hong Kong Stadium, Hong Kong
Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Sunderland and Hong Kong’s South China FC will be competeing in a three-day knockout tournament for the Barclays Asia Trophy, which was won by Chelsea in 2011. While City (2005) and Spurs (2009) have competed in the event before, this marks Sunderland’s debut. As the only Premier League-affiliated competition to be held outside of England, you can be sure available tickets won’t be around for long.
Excuse: You’re discussing your papers and exchanging new ideas with experts in the scientific engineering field in at the 2013 International Conference on Mechanical, Automotive and Materials Engineering (26 to 27 July).
Winter Games NZ
Cardrona Alpine Resort, Wanaka, New Zealand
Winter Games NZ runs for 11 days (15 to 25 August) but if you’ve only got time for one, make it the Snowboard Halfpipe World Cup Finals for big air, lots of spinning and impressive tricks by world-class snowboarders. It’s the first chance to see what’s in store for the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Excuse: You are contributing to the development of healthcare in rural communities at the, unusually, un-sponsored Medicine with Altitude cConference (4 to 10 August). And your flight back got grounded by the a major snow storm.
16 to 22 September
Shanghai Grand Stage, China
Expect snooker’s finest including Mark Selby, Ronnie O’Sullivan and last year’s runner-up Judd Trump to jostle with reigning champion John Higgins for the Shanghai Masters trophy and purse of £75,000.
Excuse: It’s the perfect opportunity to network with high-net-worth individuals at the Chinese International Business Aviation Show (10 to 13 September).
The World Soft Darts World Championship 2013 (Stage 6)
Las Vegas, USA
While there are plenty of stages held within Asia such as the grand final in Hong Kong in mid-December, going to Vegas with your mates for an intense dart competition, pints and, errr, something more, is always a good idea.
Excuse: It’s not all play and no work at the Global Gaming Expo, also known at G2E (23 to 26 September).
20 to 22 September
2013 Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix
Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore
A weekend of racers doing the rounds at breakneck speed, the deafening roar of engines, booze and The Killers and Rihanna as headline acts – all right smack in the middle of the city.
Excuse: None needed!
8 to 14 October
2013 Shanghai Rolex Masters
Qizhong Forest Sports City Arena, Shanghai, China
Novak Djokovic topped Andy Murray in a three-set thriller to clinch the 2012 trophy so you can be sure they players will be serving up their killer smashes right from the start. Besides, Shanghai is the only Asian city to host one of match out of the nine matches tournaments in the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 series.
Excuse: You’re schmoozing China’s top luxury connoisseurs and collectors at Top Marques Shanghai 2013 (25 to 27 October).
Melbourne Cup 2013
Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne, Australia
Put on your trilby and join over 100,000 enthusiasts at the Australia’s most hotly anticipated horse-racing event of the year where jockeys will be doing the rounds in the final 3,200m race in a bid to pocket the generous $6.2million purse.
Excuse: You’re networking with a thriving community of business people at the SharePoint Conference for Business Users (18 to 20 November).
26 to 30 December
The Ashes Series 2013/2014 (Australia vs England 4th Test)
End your year with a bang at Australia’s biggest cricket event. The Australian team will be looking to reclaim the title after England famously won the 2011 series 3-1. Regardless of what happens in the upcoming first leg of the Ashes in England, this should be a cracking contest.
Excuse: You’re brushing up your financial skills for the New Year at the International Conference on Finance, Banking and Insurance Melbourne (16 to 17 December).
Tennis In Asia?
There are talks of setting up an International Tennis Premier League (ITPL) to be hosted in Asia in December next year. Top players such as Nadal, Djokovic, Murray and Williams have expressed some interest, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed.