July 1, 2010
Check out the Churchill Downs track on race day where they sell an unlimited number of $40 general-admission tickets. Or buy them in advance on their website. The passes give you standing-room-only access to the track's two hotspots: the grassy, 40-acre infield and the paved paddock area, where socialites in over-the-top hats sip mint juleps. Go to www.kentuckyderby.com
June 21–July 4, 2010
Tickets for England's premier tennis tournament can be found for $13 to $32, slashed after 5 p.m. to $8 to $23. However, if you are looking for better seats, bring a tent and join one of the world's best-organized overnight lines. You'll be in a good position to nab one of the 1,500 or so tickets that organizers set aside each day for Centre Court and Courts 1 and 2 (from $55 to $137, cash only).check out www.wimbledon.org.
June 11–July 11, 2010
Apparently tickets to the first-ever World Cup in Africa aren't easy to come by. However, 64 matches are being televised on giant screens in fan parks spread across South Africa, from coastal Cape Town to Polokwane in the wildlife-rich north. Those festivities will be accompanied by live music, street soccer, and even foosball matches. Go to www.fifa.com/worldcup.
Tour de France
July 3–25, 2010
This year, the 2,200-mile course sweeps through the Netherlands, Belgium, and France, including Reims (July 7) and Bordeaux (July 23). You can wait for the final push along the Champs-Élysées in Paris (July 25). Since it takes longer to pedal up steep stretches than on the flatter surfaces where racers zoom by at over 30 mph, you will have more face time with the cyclists if you grab a spot in the French Alps. There are no tickets or bleachers for spectators, so fanatics pitch tents over-night for the best asphalt with a view. Check out www.letour.fr.