Summer may be over, but beach sports return with the Qatar Airways Chicago Beach Polo Cup this weekend.
The Chicago skyline is the backdrop of this customized polo tournament where six teams will be competing on horseback over three days on North Avenue Beach. Along with the match, thousands of spectators will enjoy a wine tasting tent, a Champagne lounge, restaurants, retail pop-up shops, and more.
The tournament will be held in a custom-built polo arena measuring 300 feet by 130 feet. The smaller arena should allow spectators to feel like they are in the middle of the action. With the reduced size come some changes to the matches. The teams will consist of three people. In addition, instead of changing ends after each goal teams will change ends after each half , and there will only be one umpire, who will be at the center line, giving more space for the teams. Competitors include The Buenos Aires Polo Team, The La Habana Polo Team, The Royal Polo Team, The Chicago Polo Team, The U.S. Midwest Polo Team, and the Sydney Polo Team.
Many consider polo the oldest team sport as it was invented in ancient Persia sometime during the 6th century B.C. to the 1st century A.D. The modern game was born in India, traveled to Britain, and now is mostly popular in Argentina where they play in the fertile, flat lands of The Pampas where the Guachos roam. The game has been growing in Argentina for over 100 years, which has been undefeated in polo since 1924. At the Chicago Beach Polo Cup, spectators will notice the speed, danger, and passion involved with the game.
The Qatar Airways Chicago Beach Polo Cup takes place Sept. 9–11 at North Avenue Beach, 1600 N. Lake Shore Dr. General admission is $65 and VIP tickets are $115. For more information visit chicagobeachpolocup.com.