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Photo: John Gervasi

Affordable Athletics: Summer Sports Worth Watching

Summer is finally in full swing, giving DC residents the chance to attend some of the city’s best sporting events. But some sports lovers are probably wondering how they can enjoy seeing a good game without burning a hole in their wallet. Look no further: the District and surrounding areas have a multitude of talented athletes on local teams who can give fans an experience rivaling the NFL or NBA without the hefty price tag. Here’s our short list of affordable local sports with summer offerings, so you can get more bang for your buck while rooting for the home team.

DC BREEZE

DC’s Ultimate frisbee team represents the East Division of the American Ultimate Disc League with a 3-3 record and a current playoff berth of 49-36-1.

“Ultimate is an exciting, spectator-friendly team sport that combines elements of football, basketball and soccer but with a flying disc instead of a ball, and you can watch it at the professional level right here in DC,” says Don Grage, DC Breeze Managing Partner. “It’s fan-friendly entertainment with reasonable ticket prices, $5 meal deals, $6 pints of draft DC Brau beer and live DJ entertainment to go along with the spectacular action.”

The DC Breeze joined the league in 2013 and since then, has made the playoffs in three of the last four seasons including the East Division finals in the past two seasons. Head out to see if the team can extend this successful streak. Tickets are $15. Carlini Field at Catholic University: 4900 Bates Rd. NE, DC; www.thedcbreeze.com

DC POLO SOCIETY

The DC Polo Society made their inaugural debut as a team this spring. Matches take place on Sunday afternoons throughout the summer. Attendees can expect food vendors, tailgating, yard games and drinks in addition to the excitement the game provides. The events also give fans a chance to arrive in style: think sundresses, chinos, bowties and big hats.

“The polo experience at Congressional [Polo Club] is welcoming and authentic,” director of operations Seema Sharma says. “Highly skilled polo professionals from many different countries compete in exciting, fast-paced chukkers on three well-manicured polo fields. Visitors, surrounded by lush greenery and big sky above, find an atmosphere that is both incredibly scenic and pleasantly serene.”

All matches take place in Poolsville, Maryland. The venue is a great spot for those who want to venture off to the Maryland countryside for an exciting day of sports, food, drink and traditional fashion. Tickets $15-$85. Congressional Polo Club: 14660 Hughes Rd. Poolesville, MD;
www.dcpolo.com

OLD GLORY

Old Glory is the first professional rugby team in the nation’s capital, and the local athletes put a heavy emphasis on hometown pride. Former rugby players Paul Sheehy and Chris Dunlavey founded the team after years playing rugby clubs in the DC area. Their opening exhibition game brought in 3,000 attendees to Catholic University’s Cardinal Stadium and garnered attention from onlookers on social media. Old Glory joined the Major League Rugby organization last November and is scheduled to play a full season in 2020. In the meantime, the team is set to play its last exhibition game of the season on June 9 versus the Ontario Blues. Tickets are $20. Cardinal Stadium at Catholic University:600 Taylor St. NE, DC; www.oldglorydc.com

WASHINGTON KASTLES

DC’s co-ed tennis team has been in full swing since July 2008. Since its inception, the Kastles have racked up numerous awards including six World TeamTennis titles. Within the past 11 years, team members have won more than 100 championship titles including Grand Slam singles, doubles and mixed doubles titles. Tennis stars like Venus Williams, Martina Hingis and Leander Paes have even graced the courts for memorable moments in Kastles championship games.

This year, matches will be held on the roof of Union Market. The new venue will provide a more intimate setting, allowing for only 700 people compared to their previous home at the Smith Center with more than 2,000 seats. Although the Union Market location is smaller, it allows for a more vibrant experience as attendees can partake in the food hall’s diverse array food and drink before or after catching a match. The first match of the season is July 15. Ticket prices TBD; check website for updates. Union Market: 309 5th St. NE, DC; www.washingtonkastles.com

WASHINGTON VALOR

The Washington Valor is the DC area’s professional indoor football team, making its debut in the District in 2017 as part of the Arena Football League. The team has seen recent success, including quarterback Arvell Nelson taking the team to victory in last year’s ArenaBowl championship with a 69-55 win against the Baltimore Brigade. Football fanatics can come out and support the team during the NFL’s offseason; though the Valor kicked off in April, the team plays until July 20 when they’ll close the regular season at home versus the Columbus Destroyers. Tickets start at $15. Capital One Arena: 601 F St. NW, DC; www.washingtonvalor.com