Dismiss Notice
Guest, I have a big favor to ask you. We've been working very hard to establish ourselves on social media. If you like/follow our pages it would be a HUGE help to us. SoSH on Facebook and Inside the Pylon Thanks! Nip

Trip Reports

Discussion in 'Breakfast with Gazza (with Sachmoneious Bullcrap)' started by jkempa, Aug 16, 2017.

  1. jkempa

    jkempa Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    7,662
    A few people had written trip reports in one of the other threads (I Want To Go To A Match In Europe), but I figured we may as well have a thread dedicated to people's trips to new stadiums. If one of the mods wants to move the old content from that thread into here, I think it could be a good resource, and a more logical place for them.
     
  2. jkempa

    jkempa Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    7,662
    This is a massively delayed (by over two months) trip report, and so this may be a bit misremembered. I did take notes, so hopefully it’s not too far off.

    After spending a week and a half doing all of the normal tourist stuff in Peru, and having an entire Sunday to kill in Lima before our late night flight (a lot is closed on Sunday), I decided it would be a good idea to go see some futbol.

    We had a hard time finding a game. I asked our hotel concierge, who seemed to think we wanted to see the national team. I knew that wasn’t happening, so continued to dig through information on my phone – there’s not a lot about Peruvian soccer in English. Eventually I found out that Alianza Lima was to play Real Garcilaso at Estadio Alejandro Villanueva at 4:30 pm. Real Garcilaso is from Cusco where we had just come from– and where at over 12,000 feet altitude, they must have a killer home field advantage.

    Once I explained to the concierge the game we wanted to go to, her demeanor changed a little bit and she tried to dissuade my wife and I from going. This was mainly because the stadium, though not in the worst neighborhood in Lima (La Victoria), was not the sort of place that got many white tourists. She insisted that we have a car waiting for us after the game, especially since it would end after dark. We had her arrange that and just took an Uber from the hotel to the stadium.

    The area around the stadium was a typical example of stadium chaos, streets clogged with supporters, vendors food, etc. – and lots of police in full gear. We made our way towards the stadium, looking for somewhere to buy tickets. Two separate women who presumably were trying to sell us their tickets immediately approached us. I speak only very rudimentary Spanish, and wasn’t exactly sure what they were doing. One woman’s method was just to speak louder and hope we got it (I know lots of people that think that works in English. It doesn’t in either language.) I asked a police officer, “donde esta la boteleria?” and he replied with something that I understood to mean that they had to be purchased by phone or Internet.

    Not wanting to miss out, we went back to the two women to buy tickets. We ended up working with the quieter of the two, and I eventually determined that they were “social” tickets. They had a face value of 5 soles (a little less than 2 dollars). We agreed on a price of 40 soles each for two tickets (I wasn’t going to haggle with these women over a couple bucks), but I somehow conveyed that she got paid after my wife was able to get in the door. She did, I paid her, and took my ticket and went on in.

    Our tickets were on the sideline, but upper level. There were bench seats, not assigned. We found a place to sit and waited for the game to begin. Vendors worked the aisles selling popcorn, candy and soda (no beer). I ordered a Pepsi, and the vendor poured it warm from a 2-liter bottle into, I kid you not, a Popeye’s Chicken paper cup.

    As the game began, I estimated the stadium was about 1/5 of the 35,000 capacity (though the official attendance was 4,791). Before the game started, all the people sitting behind the goal (where the ultras sit) all left their seats en masse. And then, just at kickoff, they all ran in to the stadium all at once. They weren’t gone very long; it was kind of weird. They did a lot of jumping during the game as well.

    I didn’t notice a clock at the stadium, but the P.A. announcer spoke frequently during the game. It was a very physical game, with very few fouls called. In the 28th minute, an Alianza Lima midfielder hit a very hard shot from outside the box. It hit the crossbar and rocketed down for a goal. All of the ultras ran towards the field to celebrate, even though they were prevented from getting there by a fence, and a moat.

    I walked around a bit at halftime and used the trough toilet, with no waiting. There was a little merchandise for sale, some paintings of what I assume were former players, and an odd little restaurant that was recessed into the stadium. They were grilling meat outside of the restaurant though. I didn’t try any, as we had eaten before going to the stadium.

    The game resumed, along with the physical play. At around the 65th minute, there was a crushing tackle, and the referee finally issued a yellow card. The lights were on at this point, and I noticed that the light standards spelled AL (for Alianza Lima) on some of them.

    Very late in the game, with the visitors sending attackers forward to try and equalize, the home side pulled off an excellent counterattack to take a 2-0 lead, which is where it would end.

    We took off and tried to find our taxi. We thought we knew where to go, but it was a little bit of a walk. It wasn’t hard getting out of the stadium, but we weren’t sure where we were going. I called the hotel, and they called the driver. He left us already! There were some cars of people who had gone to the game, but no taxis (and hailing a cab off the street in Lima is dangerous). The concierge was starting to freak out a little bit and was trying to get us another car. It was taking a while though. I kept trying Uber, and had like three different drivers cancel on us. By this point, all of the fans were gone and it was just my wife and I in a dark area of a reputedly rough neighborhood and no transportation. We decided to wait at a gas station, which was pretty well lit, but no one was around. We finally got an Uber, in between about 15 panicked calls from the concierge. We had certainly dealt with worse, but I’m sure that she was trying to figure out what she was going to tell her boss when two guests got mugged in a place she sent them. But the car showed up and we went back to the hotel and all was fine.

    The quality of the play was far from the best that I’ve seen, but it wasn’t too bad either. It was an enjoyable way to spend the afternoon, and it’s always cool to see how different places do the game. A few pictures from the day are below.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    gif hosting
     
    #2 jkempa, Aug 16, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2017
  3. DrewDawg

    DrewDawg Dorito Dink SoSH Member

    Messages:
    30,327
    Thanks for that.
     
  4. Schnerres

    Schnerres Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    1,513
    Your wife must be crazy going into such places with you :)
     
  5. jkempa

    jkempa Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    7,662
    My pleasure!

    She's pretty adventurous, though she is ditching me for the Union/Kaiserslautern game next month. (That decision came about 30 seconds after some jackass Spurs fan threw beer in the air at a preseason game in New Jersey last month.)
     
  6. robssecondjob

    robssecondjob Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    601
    While not nearly as exciting a locale a jkempa's latest excursion the family and (wife and 12 and 14 year boys) went and saw an Irish Premier match at Cork City a couple of weeks ago. Featuring top of the table Cork City (undefeated at the time of the match) and possible relegation victims Galway.

    We had purchased tickets online prior to us arriving in Ireland. We always make a point of catching a match or minor league baseball in our travels. It was purely dumb luck we were staying in the area on match day.

    Their stadium, Turners Cross, is a venerable old ~7,000 seater in a residential area. We had no real easy way to get from our guest house to the stadium using the train so we took the rental car and street parked. We parked right next to the Cork manager and walked to the stadium with him. He harassed my younger son that goal scorers are a dime a dozen (he had a league golden boot award shirt on) and real men play defense. This made son #1, the center back, very excited. Open seating with ultra's at one one end, visiting fans on the other end. Season ticket holder were up a few rows behind the benches with a family section (no swearing allowed!) near that. We were pitch side on the opposite touchline. Seats were right on top of the AR. All of us are used to watching the game from the ground level, as players or officials (in my case) so we thought the seating was great. All of the old timers that came in kept pointing out we could move up a couple of row to see better. They filled the stand from high to low. Food was pretty well chips and fried stuff from a modified shipping container. No alcohol in the stadium, no roving food. Attendance was ~3700.

    Spirited, physical game with a very confused roster from the Cork side as they just sold a couple of players to a Championship side and were trying to find their way. There was a new mid-fielder that was being chirped at continually by the right back which provided huge entertainment value for those of us close to the pitch. Galway scored early on a weak shot that the keeper never saw. Galway continued to carry the play with one goal disallowed for a handling offense. Should have gone red, ref went yellow.

    Second half brought a new lineup with the new mid-fielder on the bench. Cork scored two, including a beauty of a header to take the match 2-1. The locals were not amused at the level of play. The locals really knew the players and the game. I got a great kick out of them all standing and yelling at the ref on every foul only to sit down and and say "that was a dumb foul". It was like they were contractually obligated to ride the officials.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  7. OilCanShotTupac

    OilCanShotTupac Sunny von Bulow Gold Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    15,926
    I love all of this unconditionally.
     
  8. The Needler

    The Needler lurker

    Messages:
    1,237
    Awesome report; that sounds like an amazing experience. I had to look up the Cork manager - John Caulfield is Cork City's all-time leading goal scorer, and twice led the division in goals scored, ha.
     
  9. Titans Bastard

    Titans Bastard has sunil gulati in his sights Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    8,988
    Caulfield also has American citizenship, having been born in NYC to two Irish parents. He grew up in Ireland, though. ASN did a feature on him several years ago.

    I looked up the game and one of Cork's starters caught my eye: Steven Beattie, who scored a ton of goals playing D2 soccer for Northern Kentucky and was drafted and cut by Toronto in 2011. Played in Iceland and Ireland since.
     
  10. robssecondjob

    robssecondjob Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    601
    Beattie was lined up as a right back and was good. A very good defensive effort and often in the attack. A fan favorite as well. My son commented he would help the Revs.

    Sent from my XT1585 using SoSH mobile app
     
  11. jkempa

    jkempa Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    7,662
    Great report and looks like a beautiful little stadium. Love that you guys parked with the manager.
     
  12. Investor 11

    Investor 11 Plobbably the greatest videographer ever Gold Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    2,651
  13. robssecondjob

    robssecondjob Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    601
    Turners Cross has taken some heavy damage in Ophelia.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Warning Track Speed

    Warning Track Speed Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    968
    Hello. I also do not have a story as exotic as jkempa's, but I finally made my Premier League debut so I thought I'd share. I'm approaching 50 and I've never left the continent before, so this was a big deal for me.

    Our long-planned trip to London was centered around the Harry Potter play, but I was delighted to learn Brighton would be home vs. Stoke the Monday night we were over there. So that day the kiddos and mom trucked off to Harry Potter studios, and dad hopped on a train down to Brighton. I'd describe myself as a casual but long-time fan--the first English soccer game I ever watched was the '83 FA Cup final, back in the early days of ESPN. Plus I wore out the grooves on Quadrophenia as a teenager, so getting to go to the coast was a real treat for me.

    The train from Victoria was practically empty and I got down there early afternoon. First pub I walked into, the first handle I saw was... Lagunitas IPA. Grrrrr. I had something a little more local, and made my way down to the beach and the pier for an hour or two. It was, shockingly, a gray and drizzly day, which was perfect for summoning all that teen angst. I Am the Sea, indeed.

    Back toward the train station for the train to the game, I had to show my ticket to get into the pub ("Home Fans Only"). I got to the stadium early. The AmEx is kind of out in the suburbs and there isn't a lot going on around it, a few beer stands and food stands but that was about it. I took a lap around and went inside.

    I had some (dumb American) issues with buying my club membership and then my ticket, and in the course of working through that with the club I told them my story. A couple weeks before the match I got an email from the club's publications department, asking for a photo and saying they'd like to welcome me to the match in the gameday program(me). Nice.

    Then I go up the concourse to my section, and I see there's something sitting on what appears to be my seat:
    20171120_115709.jpg


    So I open it up, and it's a framed certificate from the club thanking me for traveling to be at the game:
    20171120_114211.jpg

    I thought that was pretty cool. Smaller club to be sure, but still, the Premier League, and I've been to plenty of sporting events on this side of the pond and never been personally welcomed like this.

    Anyway, I was in the west stand, and I guess I was surprised at the... middle-aged? nature of the crowd. You can't take beers to your seats, so the concourse was full of people hanging out fairly calmly until shortly before kickoff. The beer was weaker than I'm used to but also cheaper than most big-league stadiums.



    The match was lively and entertaining. Stoke took the lead and bunkered down; Brighton should have had a penalty; Brighton evened right before the break; but just a minute or two later Stoke scored off a corner to lead 2-1. Brighton got the equalizer midway through the second half, and that's how it ended.

    ------

    Later in the week I realized there was a Friday night match in London, Leicester at West Ham. The rest of the family wasn't interested so I scored a decent seat on the Hammers' Web site that morning and set off on the tube.

    London Stadium was lacking in character, I'm sure Upton Park would have been a more authentic experience. But the place was pretty full and vocal. Leicester scored within 8 minutes or so, which prompted a chorus of "We're winning away, how shit must you be" from the visiting section. The Irons' fans were clearly agitated for the rest of the first half, but the hosts scored right before the break, and the crowd was more vocal and supportive for the second half. This one ended 1-1.



    My appetite is whet for more European soccer. No idea when I'll get back over there, but I enjoyed both of these immensely.
     
  15. Cellar-Door

    Cellar-Door Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    13,335
    Very cool. Question, how loud does London Stadium get? Fans seem to say that the environment is weird, but I know visiting players say it gets crazy loud.
     
  16. jkempa

    jkempa Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    7,662
    @Warning Track Speed -- even as a Palace fan, I have to say your Brighton story is really, really cool. What a nice gesture by the team.
     
  17. PedroSpecialK

    PedroSpecialK Comes at you like a tornado of hair and the NHL sa Silver Supporter SoSH Member

    Messages:
    23,223
    That's an awesome story, pretty sweet keepsake to boot.

    Re: London Stadium, when I was there for the Liverpool match, it was moderately loud at the beginning of the match (this was the weekend preceding Remembrance Day, so it was expectedly more somber). However, despite the noise the WHU supporters were making around kickoff, the huge area between the seats and the pitch made the overall din sound a bit hollow. Wish I'd been able to catch a match at Upton Park.
     
  18. Warning Track Speed

    Warning Track Speed Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    968
    Definitely my favorite souvenir from the trip, and probably not something I would have gotten at the Emirates or Wembley.

    London Stadium is certainly cavernous but it did get louder than I expected, at times anyway. The home team was crap in the first half but after the break the fans were in pretty full voice. I imagine it could get intimidating under better circumstances.
     
  19. The Needler

    The Needler lurker

    Messages:
    1,237
    Not just a certificate, but a framed one at that. That is a really cool thing for the club to do.
     
  20. jkempa

    jkempa Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    7,662
    A bit late, but I managed to get to a game during the international break in Bangkok. There's an annual tournament there called the King's Cup. This year included, Thailand (of course), Gabon, Slovakia and UAE.

    Due to traffic, I missed all of the first game between Slovakia and UAE, but had plenty of time to make it for the Thailand - Gabon game.

    As I approached the stadium, I noticed that there were many other sports that used the grounds besides soccer. For example, there was an archery center outside the stadium. The stadium was also home to the Thailand Snooker Association.

    The line for tickets was huge, so I found a woman selling "complimentary" tickets for 300 Baht (about $10) and decided to give that a go. At first it didn't work at the turnstile, and I thought I'd been scammed, but then the ticket taker ran it again, it worked, and he let me in.

    The seating was somewhat general admission by section. I was in a good section around midfield and found a spot for the game, after buying some mystery meat, prawn crackers and a coke for 80 Baht. There is no beer available at the stadium.

    The game wasn't particularly well-attended, especially on the visitor side. No professional cameras were to be allowed at the game. It was hot as hell inside the stadium, even though sundown approached.

    Like some other stadiums I've attended recently, there was a large "moat" around the field to keep spectators away. The Thais unfurled a large Thai flag that passed over my head before the game. There was also a moment of silence for Pierre-Emerick Aubaumeyang's grandmother, who had passed away. Her death kept PEA away from this game.

    Thailand had the much better chances in the first half, hitting the crossbar and a 1:1 with the GK from the 6-yard box, but no goals.

    The crowd was extremely polite, despite what the moat suggested. How could it not be, it was in Asia -- and no one was drunk. Of course it was a nice crowd!

    Many of the cheers were in English, surprisingly. For example, "we support Thailand!" was one.

    I believe that the attendance was about 25k out of 50k in the stadium.

    There was some action at the end of the 2nd half, where Thailand tried to chip the keeper in the 79th minute, and Gabon's keeper made an amazing save at the 80th.

    The quality of play was about what you'd expect with the #49 vs #110 teams in a 0:0 draw.

    But we did get to see the game go direct to penalties. Thailand did a stutter-step and scored first, then Thailand's keeper made a very nice save against Gabon. Thailand went up 2-0 after Gabon's shot went straight to the Thai keeper. Eventually ended 4:2 in pens.

    I went and had a beer across the street while I waited 20 minutes for an Uber back to the city.

    A few pictures from the game.
     

    Attached Files:

    #20 jkempa, Apr 9, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2018
  21. Zomp

    Zomp Turkey Virgin Dope

    Messages:
    10,947
    That mystery meat looks awesome.
     
  22. jkempa

    jkempa Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    7,662
    I still have no idea what it was.
     
  23. Titans Bastard

    Titans Bastard has sunil gulati in his sights Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    8,988
    Nice work, @jkempa. I'm a big fan of reports from lower divisions and off-beat places.
     
  24. jkempa

    jkempa Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    7,662
    Thank you very much. I do appreciate it. I’ve been trying to write a bit more now that I’ve quit my job.

    Next season I should hopefully have some reports from the 2. Bundesliga (please, not the third) and maybe a game or two from the first. I’ve got a standing invite from a friend to go to a game at Dortmund, which I’m really excited to do.
     

Share This Page