As of this past Sunday evening, my life is complete….and I have now attended a Sevilla FC soccer game! While I have not played soccer competitively since my freshman year of high school, I grew up surrounded by the sport and to this day it remains one of my favorite past times. This past summer I was cheering for Spain in the World Cup from the very beginning and ever since I knew I would be studying in Sevilla I have been following the soccer team here through espn3.com and other websites. When my friends and I got to the stadium we still hadn’t bought tickets and were slightly tempted to buy some front and center seats from a scalper for 50 euro (normally 70 or 80 euro), but decided to go with the “cheap” seats behind the goal that were 30 euro. Not only was this a good economical decision, but we had also unknowingly just bought seats in the “super-fan” section! Everyone around us was up on their feet, singing, waving flags, and cheering the entire time while the rest of the stadium remained seated for the majority of the game.
Although I was completely geeking out the entire time, it was a very different experience from the last sporting event I attended in the U.S. before coming to Spain….the Bulldog-Badger hockey game. Compared to the brand new Ams Oil Arena in Duluth, the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium in Sevilla is extremely run-down and has the bare necessities. The plastic chairs were quite wobbly (probably because everyone stands on their seats during the game) and the ground was covered in peanut and sunflower seed shells. The concrete stadium had no decorations except for graffiti and the concession stands pretty much consisted of a couple vending machines behind a counter. However, the most surprising aspect about the concessions was that the only beer sold in the stadium is non-alcoholic. Considering that in the U.S. beer is available at little league games, I was somewhat shocked to find out that in a much more liberal society (with respect to alcohol) that there wasn’t alcoholic beer at their professional soccer games.
|Inside the stadium....with graffiti, but its a BULLDOG!!!|
|Right after the game....Sevilla won 1-0 over Hercules. Note the security personnel already on the field!|
|Front of the stadium.|