Just bought my first ticket to a Football(Soccer) game

So on Saturday 23rd August I will be watching Bolton vs Blackburn at the Reebok Stadium. I have NEVER been to a football game before. So can any UK dopers let me know what I can expect? How long before kick off should I go to the stadium? Is buying a Bolton Wanderers shirt to wear mandatory? Anything I particularly need to know?

I have already informed my fiancee that she is now a ‘football widow’ :slight_smile:

Lots and lots of noise. Probably the most heavingly tribal and partisan experience of your life. A wild and wonderful ride. Plus, nasty meat pies, crap beer and little snatch - as opposed to a little snatch. Not to be missed - you’ll love every minute, even opppp north.
Btw, I have to say, I’m closer now to buying a Season Ticket (for Tottenham) than I’ve been for a decade or more . . .

Considered the season ticket myself, but didn’t want to lay out that much cash for something i’ve never done before. Consider it again next season.

I’m afraid it might be cheaper for you next season. Hope not, though, I like Sam . . .

Bolton V Blackburn will be pretty lively with both teams having something to play for (survival and europe respectively).

As stated you will be amazed by the noise, and the partisanship. Be prepared to hear more Man Utd invective than you can shake a stick at.

Most fans don’t wear a replica strip or favours (although younger ones do). If you buy a jesters hat you deserve everything you get!

The aforementioned pies (of which I have eaten far too many if not all). Bovril and Wagon Wheels.

The reebok is one of these modern identi-kit stadiums, which can be a bit souless, but the fans are nice (Blackburn’s away support are NOT nice).

There are a few pubs near the ground (which is in an industrial estate). I’d get there about 30 mins before KO

Thanks owl, London

never heard the Middlebrook called an industrial estate before :slight_smile: most people consider it a retail park. I have heard about the Blackburn away fans from other sources. Most pubs near the ground will not open when Bolton are playing Blackburn (or so i’ve been told)

Blackburn fans are evil, absolutely evil.

The fact that they’re from Blackburn accounts for most of it IMO. :slight_smile:

It may be a “retail facility” but its hardly bond street now is it?

(and this from someone who’s team are on the Tottenham High Rd - again hardly Piccadilly)

heh god no, but to me an industrial estate means factories and warehouses, whereas the Middlebrook is shops, fast food places, a pub or two and a warner village cinema complex. Now those are industries I like come to think of it :slight_smile:

Why the Man U invective at a game where they aren’t playing? Or is this something like the “Yankees suck” chants that randomly break out at Fenway whether the Sox are playing the Evil Empire or not? Or when the Patriots (the Boston football team) won the Super Bowl and the fans started chanting “Yankees suck” spontaneously, even though it wasn’t the right sport? Good times.

You guys have this problem with your new stadiums, too? That sucks. FWIW, I understand HOK is designing a new stadium for Arsenal. They did a good job of annihilating the old concrete bowl cookie-cutters with Camden Yards in baseball. But now their designs for every new stadium is modeled on that, so we have neo-cookie cutter baseball fields. They’re really beautiful though:

Camden Yardsin Baltimore.
Pacific Bell Park in San Francisco.
PNC Park in Pittsburgh.

They also have done a great job re-doing American football fields and getting them into a more aesthetically pleasing modern design, but again, it’s sort of resulted in neo-cookie cutters there, too…they’re just a lot better looking.

I’m curious as to how HOK is going to do the soccer stadiums and what people will think of them.

Bolton is near to Manchester (and packed with two bob plastic Mancs) - hence the rivalry and Blackburn are also a Lancashire team who were equal in standing with Man Utd in recent years (not so now).

So one thing they have in common is a dislike of Man Utd.

Arsenal’s stadium will never be built, they have run out of dosh. They will end up at Wembley.

THis is what they had planned:


That’s a pretty nice looking stadium. Unfortunately, I just looked up what the current stadium looks like and I think they should keep Highbury. Very beautiful classic look and it feels like it has history. The problem with the new stadiums is they are often very impersonal and far from the field, if you know what I mean.

Are they trying to get a bigger stadium because they need the higher capacity to fund an increase in payroll? That seems to be the problem with most older stadiums here in the US.

Highbury: Only the East Stand is listed (its probably the bit you saw on the net - it’s the best known feature). It was to be preserved with housing behind it. As I say this is unlikely to happen now as Arsenal (spit!) have run out of cash and cannot raise the scratch.

And yes; clubs such as AFC and indeed the lovely THFC are victorian stadiums sited where they are as a relic when a teams support was truly local and most people were only a bus ride away.

White Hart Lane (which is almost the same size as Highbury) has a record gate of 72,000. Modern safety measures (all seat etc) restrict present capacity to 36,500, meaning lots of potential paying customers are being locked out.

THis is why arsenal (and spurs and others) want to move to bigger stadia.

A new deal with Nike has apparently infused some extra cash back into the club, though the Ashburton Grove still looks too expensive. Arsenal’s move there has been postponed until the 2006/2007 season at the earliest. It hasn’t been called off altogether, yet. No real alternatives are being discussed, though there are rumors of Wembley (though back when we were first talking about a move there, our experiences at the old Wembley weren’t very positive–at least not for Champions League matches) or even (gasp!) a ground-share of the new stadium with Tottenham (who are talking about leaving White Hart Lane).

Arsenal will need a bigger stadium to compete financially with Manchester United–Old Trafford is almost twice the size of Highbury in terms of seats, so each week Man U is making that much more money in ticket sales than Arsenal is. They can therefore put more cash into new signings than Arsenal can.

It will be a shame when Arsenal leaves Highbury, even though it’s true that only the East and West stands are “original.” I do hope they figure out a way to stay in North London (that’s why Ashburton Grove would be a nice solution). I also hope Tottenham will be able to stay in the area, too–it wouldn’t be the same without the rivalry. I don’t know if a ground-share would be feasible, although it seems to work OK in Italy (Milan and Inter share San Siro; Roma and Lazio share the Olimpico stadium in Rome).

Instead of a transatlantic flight away. :smiley: (though as I’ve said before, I’d gladly live in London if I could find work in my field).


They should sod off back to woolwich where they belong. Bloody SE London nomads.

Don’t listen to this bollox, Carl. If you want, get yourself a jersey and wear it with pride. don’t listen to the Stone Island wearing hoolie over there. You know he sleeps in his Rebrov signed Spurs jersey.

Be prepared for noise, and enjoy yourself.

Owl mate, we’ve been in North London since 1913 or so.

Let it go :stuck_out_tongue:

Heh. Somehow, I knew that Owl would respond to my comment about Arsenal staying in north London by calling us “Woolwich Nomads.” He’s still sore about the 1914/15 season (when Arsenal got promoted to the First Division–even though we only finished 5th–while Tottenham got relegated).

42 years without a league title can make you bitter like that. :wink:

And Carl, wearing a replica shirt isn’t mandatory, but it’s very common. A scarf is another good way to show your support. I would second Owl’s comment about the jester’s style hats–avoid them by all means.

And the atmosphere is truly amazing. You’ll want to learn a few of the club songs to sing, or try making one up and see if anyone sings along.

You’ll have fun.

Cheers for the advice :slight_smile: It being Blackburn, I’m thinking i might need a Bolton top, then if i’m getting beaten up maybe i’ll get some help!! But on the other hand maybe I should just aim for being as invisinble as possible.

I would have you know that I am a complete stranger to stone Island (over priced Italian crap worn by mooks). It was all pringle in my day. We looked like dangerous golfers.

It is true that MOST fans don’t wear a top, but plenty do (and scarfs are rarer still, and face painting -WTF?). One reason that a lot of people don’t (and I wouldn’t) is that if you want to go directly out afterwards lots of pubs won’t let you in.

However’ although he has no idea what he is talking about, TOF raises an important point.

If you are a complete footballing (attending) ingenue there are some clothing styles that are worth avoiding, otherwise you will make yourself a target (and Blackburn are VERY active).

Basically avoid: The aforementioned sleeve badged Stone Island (the T shirts are fine if you think a £30 T shirt is OK), Burberry, Aquascutum(sp?) and hackett. Even if it doesn’t get you into trouble, it will get you refused admission to pubs and attract attention from the police.

In fact a replica top is about the safest thing to wear.

Enjoy yourself. Football is as safe as it has ever been for the non-involved spectator.

Here are some BWFC songs. Avoid the “run run” one though.