graaf_oer (graaf_oer) wrote in chiefs,

spread the word :)

It should have been a big historic event, the first regular season game played outside of the USA. Instead of being a great moment this game will probably go into the books as the worst event ever.

They said the game was sold out nine times over, in fact there were plenty of empty seats and I've been offered about 50 tickets the days leading to the game. They reported 81.176 attendance but it was closer to 70.000. Tickets weren't scanned at the entrance but thorn by hand so there is no exact attendance count.

It started with the dodgy ticket sales, pore pre-game events, worse game day and an anti-climax.

Ticket sales. They (NFL UK) were going to do everything to stop black market sales and give real American Football fans a chance to get tickets. The system timed out forcing you to queue again for 45 minutes. In the end you couldn't enter a foreign address and there was no option to pick the tickets up at the stadium, so an other timeout occurred and we had to start again. Meanwhile we kept our eye on eBay and to our astonishment the first black market tickets appeared online after 15 minutes saying they had a wedding and they really wanted to go to the game but couldn't and now wanted to sell their tickets for 5 times the regular price. Like they didn't know about the wedding 15 minutes earlier. I say, revoke the order and sell ticket to real fan.
Pre-game days. What was there to do? Nothing! We were expecting pre-game parties on the major squares throughout London but in fact the only party there was was the NFL Europa Fan meeting at the Metropolitan Bar on Baker Street which was the highlight of the whole trip.
Pre-game party/tailgate. No pre-game activities whatsoever, the official indoor (???) "tailgate party" was for 7500 fans only who didn't get game tickets. What a bunch of BS, people paid up to 250 pound for a ticket and no pre-game. There was an other tailgate organized by the Colchester Gladiators which was a great success. The local pubs were fun also but we expected loads more from the organizers.
Merchandise. Why buy online and receive it after the game when you can pick it up at the stadium. That is what loads thought but they though wrong. There was hardly any merchandise available. The smallest local Soccer Scene offered more then the official merchandise stands inside and outside of the stadium. Just some t-shirts, caps, replica jerseys and scarfs. Oh and a ball here and there. What went wrong, all the good stuff was stuck at in Amsterdam. Weird, they have only know about this game for 9 months and still they can't ship on time.
In the stadium. OK, not a word about the game on the field, the organization has no control over that. Entering the stadium took forever. They had to many female search lines so all women were in the stadium waiting for they husbands/boyfriends/etc. who still stood in line in the rain. Should have used the empty female search lines for the men. OK.
Food and drinks were overpriced but still, I need liquids and food. So we get in line and after 25 minutes of waiting we get to the counter where we get the news: "WE HAVE NO MORE FOOD, ONLY SNICKERS." Mmm... I thought Wembley hosted the largest concerts. Don't they eat there?
So we forget about the cheeseburgers and chips and go for the liquids. One beer please, "NO MORE BEER, ONLY SMIRNOFF ICE." OK, don't they know what to order for a big event like this. This was really really really bad.
The stadium was quiet, no music for the cheerleaders during dead plays or timeouts, and when the did get music the technicians started the music to late so they only had 30 seconds and the routine wasn't finished. Then there was no atmosphere in the stadium, it felt more like Wimbledon accept the crowd at Wembley was so quiet the ref didn't have to say "quiet please", the crowd already was.
Transportation. Going to the stadium no problem, but then after the game everybody leaves at once. I was wondering how Wembley would handle that, and like I expected, they didn't. The train/tube stations around the stadium were all closed off and we ended up walking into town and catching a packed tube over there about 2 hours after the game.

All in all a good trip with an anti climax, game-day. We flew back from Gatwick at the same time the Dolphins left so we had a chance to talk to some of the players which was nice.
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