I’m a Chelsea supporter, the London based soccer club for my American audience, and attempt to see as many games as possible on the various sport channels. Over the past few years, I’ve had the opportunity to see them play in London at Stamford Bridge, which is something that can’t be described and has to be experienced.
The first time I visited Stamford Bridge, years ago, I brought my son along for the stadium tour while my daughter and wife went to a ballet show. At the time, I thought that was a fair way of taking the kids to see things, but my daughter totally disagreed with me.
After the show and tour, when the family gathered back at the hotel, I felt the wraith of my then 4 year old daughter. She felt completed wronged and questioned how I could go the see the stadium without her, to which I had no comeback.
… I honestly didn’t know that she was that much into Chelsea.
Throughout the years that passed, after the above incident, I attended several live games in London, much to the annoyance of my daughter – again. Each time I had to face the music for not bringing her along, even if brought back Chelsea souvenirs to bribe her and ease the disappointment.
When we then moved to the US, the opportunities of seeing Chelsea in London diminished and it was not going to bring my daughter to see them play.
But, much to my delight, Chelsea organised their pre-season tour, and even better, they were going to the US. The tour actually came to New York, to Yankee Stadium, and they were going to play against PSG (Paris Saint-Germain).
I had to go!
To surprise my daughter I bought a ticket for her too, and presented it to her. She was delighted, but I still felt as if she wasn’t too impressed. History was working against me.
Yankee Stadium was pretty impressive. The seats were nice, my daughter could see the pitch even if a large dude was in front of her, there was a great selection of refreshments and they offered a variety of food options. Only catch was that everything was fierce-fully expensive, but so are all other events.
The game itself was not hugely impressive. Even my daughter was saying that Chelsea had to play more aggressively if they want to stand a chance of winning the upcoming Premier League. Despite that harsh criticism, she was right, and the result spoke for itself.
When PSG scored, the stadium went quiet. Again, my honest daughter stated that Chelsea were to blame for not paying attention.
After having played for 80 minutes, my daughter decided to sit down. She had barely reached the seat, when 38000 Chelsea roared and screamed. Chelsea equalised from a great play. I looked over and noticed that the roar might have surprised my daughter. Her eyes were as big as tea-cups (slightly exaggerated) and she was just focusing at me … then she smiled.
The game finished 1-1.
Leaving the stadium was pretty smooth, despite being stuck in the car park for 45 minutes.
All in all, it was a great experience. My daughter accepted the bribe and can proudly say she finally saw Chelsea play. The only catch is, now she wants to see them again!
What made this experience special was that we were part of the Chelsea NYC Supporters group, and were able to be in the fanzone picture. Not something you try every day.