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An American does the Premier League/White Hart Lane Edition

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An American does the Premier League/White Hart Lane Edition

We are fans of all things "football," both the American and Rest of the World versions and have been lucky enough to have attended several EPL games, most recently the Spurs/Chelsea game a few weeks ago. Many of our friends are fascinated by our description of the event, because it is quite different from a US sporting event. I'd love to encourage people to give a football game a try when they are in London - it is a great experience. Some observations/comments:

We support the Spurs (started following them back when Robbie Keane was on the team) and particularly enjoy going to White Hart Lane, which is an old school style stadium, which we prefer to the newer glam venues. We were able to secure official tickets through Stub Hub. I know that many Spurs fans dislike this association, but it is great for visitors. In the past, we have had to get tickets almost under cover of darkness secrecy, so this is a super change for us.

Here are some thoughts, particularly for people new to EPL games:

-Seating matters. Make sure you understand where you will sitting. There are home, away and neutral places, each with a distinctive feel. If you are sitting in the home section, do not cheer for the opponent under any circumstance. If you must, be sure you in the cordoned off section of seats reserved for away fans. As well, there are sections at White Hart Lane (WHL) where the enthusiastic fans stand for the entire game. You may love or hate that. WHL also has two poles that obstruct views in the East stands, so be aware of that.

-Do not wear an abundance of gear, particularly en route to the games. There just isn't that

dressed from head to toe in team colors going on here. Some yes, but not to US standards.

-The fans are intense. And fun. There are always an abundance of clever cheers. Who starts some of these? Bravo to the instigators.

-You must stay in your section at WHL, even during half time. No walking all over the place - you are limited to the food, drink and restrooms in your area.

-No alcohol can be consumed in your seat. That makes the game experience itself infinitely more pleasant.

-People WATCH the games. Do not be that person popping up and down to use the loo, etc.

It is dreamy to be able to sit down and stay there, not having people constantly walking by.

-Study up before the game as there will be very little information for you at the game. Again, these are fans and they are extremely knowledgable. That is assumed in the construction of the program, too. For example, we purchased a rather thick program and it contained quite a bit of information about Chelsea, the visiting team. The home team Spurs? Not so much. In fact, the roster had only names and numbers, NOT positions. In addition, the roster did not name home countries of the players. Instead, they listed the flags. I sure could have used a primer on African and Icelandic flags so that I would know where the players had come from. Why wasn't it there when it would be so easy to include it? Perhaps because most of the people at the game know it already!

I'm happy to answer questions. In the meantime, I hope this was helpful to anyone going to an EPL game for the first time.

Bournemouth, United...
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1. Re: An American does the Premier League/White Hart Lane Edition

For an even more gritty oldschool experience,try lower league football,I would suggest Charlton,Brentford or Leyton Orient in the London area....

Alexandria, Virginia
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2. Re: An American does the Premier League/White Hart Lane Edition

Thank you so much for this post! I'm heading to London next month and will be attending a match at WHL - I cannot wait! A few questions for you:

- Are you permitted to walk around the stadium prior to the match starting? We're not able to do the tour while we're there so we were just planning on arriving early and walking around for a bit before the match begins.

- Probably silly, but can you eat in your seats during the match?

- Do the concession stands take cards? Or should we plan on having plenty of cash?

- Have you been to Stamford Bridge? Are these guidelines generally the same there? My boyfriend is a Chelsea fan and we're catching a match there the day before the Spurs match (...makes for an interesting household the say the lease).

Thanks in advance! COYS!

East Coast
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3. Re: An American does the Premier League/White Hart Lane Edition

Hi Rachel,

I am afraid you might have to count on other TA members for most of your answers, but I will give it a go:

-I would doubt that you will be able to walk around inside the stadium. There were very specific entrances/sections and enough security around to lead me to believe that moving around would not be allowed.

-I have never seen anyone eat in the seats here, but I don't know if it is banned. I have seen people drinking water and soft drinks. The food concessions are just "eh" so I might recommend eating before or after the match in the area. As long as your BF is not wearing Chelsea gear. The seats are tight, anyway, so eating would not be that easy. Don't know about cards, but I'd assume no to be on the safe side.

Enjoy...it is a great experience and such fun to be in an environment with real, game watching fans.

Bristol, United...
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4. Re: An American does the Premier League/White Hart Lane Edition

That's a great go MickiD , agree with all of your first post!

Rachel R - you won't be able to walk around the stadium before hand, it's open a few hours before but only for you to sit in your sear or hang around the restroom/refreshment area. There is strict segregation as Mick mentioned.

You can eat and drink anything purchased in the stadium in your seat apart from beer! They might even remove the bottle top off of your soft drink so it can't be thrown..! (not that you would!!)

I'd say guildlines are the same at Stamford Bridge and as Mick says DO NOT wear opposition/rival team shirt, scarf or anything like that at WHL or SB, whilst most fans are sensible you might encounter some who will not take kindly to it!

An English game is a great exerience and the crowd is VERY passionate about their team, go with an open mind and if you're offended by bad language - be prepared!

I'm attending WHL for the Hull City game - Come on you spurs!

London, United...
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5. Re: An American does the Premier League/White Hart Lane Edition

You can eat at your seat but the food is generally overpriced and poor quality.

You may or may not be able to pay by card, take cash to be sure.

These useful guidelines apply at all football stadia.

Also expect to be sitting just in front of some non stop talking know-all. This guy may sound like he knows what he is talking about, almost certainly he will be spouting rubbish.

Bristol, United...
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6. Re: An American does the Premier League/White Hart Lane Edition

...Oh and the refreshment areas will be packed with people just before kick off and at half time so CASH is definitely the quickest way.

Yes the food is overpriced, I'd still recommend a balti pie though - very nice!

Watford
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7. Re: An American does the Premier League/White Hart Lane Edition

"This guy may sound like he knows what he is talking about, almost certainly he will be spouting rubbish."

Didn't know you sat behind me at Vicarage Road Chris :-)

London
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8. Re: An American does the Premier League/White Hart Lane Edition

All sound advice, and yes same rules apply at Stamford Bridge.

Rachel, if I have guessed your dates correctly, you will be at SB for the game against West Bromwich Albion. Good fixture, not much 'needle' between opposing fans, and their manager is one of our old players, always gets a good reception. Should be a good atmosphere. Generally, games against London rivals are more cagey affairs, and fans are less likely to wear their team colours.

One thing that visitors may find shocking is the liberal use of colourful language, you might learn a few new phrases! (Not be repeated in polite company). Do make sure you have plenty of time for a beer or two in one of the local pubs before the game, for a truly authentic football experience.

Alexandria, Virginia
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9. Re: An American does the Premier League/White Hart Lane Edition

You guys are great! Thanks so much!

We're attending the Chelsea/West Brom + Tottenham/Newcastle matches - so back to back matches. Should be the best weekend ever, huh? We both know well enough to keep it neutral in each other's stadiums. The boyfriend has even joked about wear "Tottenham blue" instead of "Chelsea blue" to WHL. Smart man!

Thanks again! This has been such a great help!

East Coast
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10. Re: An American does the Premier League/White Hart Lane Edition

Adamhornet: I have had a soft spot in my heart for Watford since seeing the play Elton John's Glasses

many years ago

EalingBlue: there is plenty of colorful language at US games but it isn't anywhere near as creative as what we hear at EPL matches