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.