2018 was a bumper year for Boston in terms of sports, and 2019 is already shaping up to give it a run for its money. With two defending champions determined to hang onto their titles and some serious contenders elsewhere, sports fans here in the City of Champions have much to look forward to as the various sporting seasons unroll.

The Patriots

Following their Super Bowl win and the ensuing Duck Boat Parade, the New England Patriots take a well-deserved break as they look forward to what the 2019 schedule has to offer. They’ll begin training in July before the regular season kicks off in September, and we already know that they’ll be facing the Buffalo Bills, the Miami Dolphins and the New York Jets both at home and away. The Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants will also be coming to the Gillette Stadium, while the Patriots will travel to Washington and Philadelphia to face the Redskins and the Eagles respectively. Rematches with the Baltimore Ravens, the Cincinnati Bengals, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cleveland Browns are also on the schedule.

The Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox open their season on March 28, traveling to Seattle to go up against the Mariners. Their first home game will be on April 9 against the Toronto Blue Jays. Other matches to look forward to include the 2018 World Series rematch against the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 12-14 and their London Series match against the New York Yankees at the London Stadium on June 29-30, the first venue in Europe to play host to Major League Baseball.

As spring training gets underway, the Red Sox are naturally hoping to be the first team to win the World Series twice running since the Yankees in 2000. Rumors are already flying about any changes to the line-up. Tom Werner (chair) and John Henry (owner) have admitted that they’re keen to hang onto starting pitcher Chris Sale and shortstop Xander Bogaerts, both of whom are set to become free agents at the end of 2019. It’s also been reported that they intend using Steven Wright as a full-time relief pitcher following his recovery from injury.

Dustin Pedroia is also back from surgery, and his fixed left knee seems to be standing up just fine. Hopefully, J. D. Martinez will have a good enough season to want to stay in Boston at the end of it, but Craig Kimbrel looks unlikely to re-sign.

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The Bruins

The Bruins kicked off 2019 in fine style, taking two points from the Chicago Blackhawks in the Winter Classic. Their next priority is rounding out an already great team in the draft. There’s much speculation over who exactly they might sign, but it’s almost certain that they’ll return to the playoffs come spring. A rematch with the Maple Leafs is also on the cards, and it’s a game that the Bruins are predicted to win with ease.

The Celtics

Over on the basketball courts, the Celtics have had a mixed season so far: great by most teams’ standards but disappointing according to their own. That said, many still think that they’re in with a chance at the finals – not least Jayson Tatum, who publically claimed that the Celtics were going to win the championship this year. It’s a bold prediction, but it’s not without foundation. Last year, they missed the finals by just one win when two All-Stars down. This season, they’re currently fourth-placed to win, and have some tough games coming up. Whatever the outcome, it’s sure to make exciting viewing for the fans.

That promise of excitement stands for Boston sports fans whatever field you follow. In addition to the big team sports, there’s also this year’s Boston Marathon come April 15 and the Head of the Charles Regatta later in the year. Going into 2019 with two defending major league champions playing in the city, it’s easy to think that sport is all about title wins, but that isn’t the case. It’s about taking part and feeling part of a real community. From football to baseball, basketball to hockey, soccer to sailing, sporting communities are something that Boston has in spades.