How To Plan The Perfect Game-Day: A Step By Step Guide For The Modern Football Super fan

With sports events around the world commencing once more after the seemingly never-ending pandemic restrictions, there’s never been a greater buzz around the world of football. There’s considerable catching up to be done for every team and their fanbase, so countless leagues and tournaments are taking place in every different city and country. There’s often nothing better than planning a day out at the match with your fellow superfans, and with so many new dates set for important matches, now is the time to start organising your trip!

Fortunately, figuring out how you can arrange the most amazing match day ever doesn’t have to be as difficult (or expensive) as you might initially imagine, as there are many great tips and tricks that you can make the most of to ensure your trip can be as memorable as possible. So, if you’re ready to start planning the perfect game-day extravaganza, then read on to uncover some of the most important steps that you need to follow today to take your experience to a whole new level.

Find Your Fellow Superfans

First things first, you need to locate your fellow football superfans to see exactly who is interested in joining you on your trip to the next match. The people that you choose to bring along on your game-day travels will have a huge impact on your experience as a whole, as certain people can ignite the day and bring it to life, whereas others may end up causing trouble that you realistically want to avoid.

Carefully consider your options and make note of any past issues you may have had when watching football matches with certain people in the past, as this will give you a good idea of how they’re going to act on your trip. Advise any rowdy friends that they need to behave themselves during your match day trip for the sake of the rest of the group, as you don’t want to be held responsible for the actions of other people.

Going on your own probably isn’t the best decision to make if you want to experience the full atmosphere, especially if it’s an away game in unfamiliar territory, but it’s totally fine to head out on a 1-man trip to your support favourite team at their home ground if your usual fans aren’t able to come with you – you’ll likely find other supporters who will take you under their wing if you actively seek out people to mingle with, so don’t worry if you’re a lone fan looking to have a great time.

Additionally, you can log onto social media and join football pages and groups that are filled with fans who will be heading to the exact same game. You can strike up an online friendship and meet them there in person, which is a great way to extend your football family!

Choose The Perfect Match

With so many matches taking place right now, it’s hard to choose the perfect game to watch. Fortunately there are a few different things that you can consider to help make the right decision, allowing you to enjoy your trip to the max rather than regret ever bothering to attend. First off, the total budget that you have ready to spend on your football match tickets and trip will influence your choice dramatically.

If you only have a small amount of money to spend then you might not be able to attend certain highly publicised and anticipated matches played by big name teams, nor will you be able to travel further than your local area to away day matches even if your local team is playing. Don’t worry if you don’t have that much to spend as you can still have a great day, but you just won’t be able to have the choice of as many different matches compared with a big budget trip.

If money isn’t an issue for your game day then you can go all out and choose a match based on personal preference – think about features such as the stadium size, atmosphere, location and the ability to actually find good seats. The speed at which tickets sell out can also influence your decision, as the most popular options like Manchester United tickets can sell out in a matter of hours making them difficult to secure.

Resellers might offer spare tickets so you’ll probably still be able to attend, but you can expect to pay as much as double or even triple the original price tag for the privilege. Once you’ve chosen the perfect match, you can start planning the key details that will make the day as memorable as ever.

Arrange Transport

When you know which match you’re visiting and which fans will be tagging along for the ride, it’s time to start arranging your transport to make sure you can all get to and from the stadium with ease. There’s nothing worse than having to faff around waiting in line to park your car when the match is about to start, and it’s even less enjoyable trying to rush to leave the stand before the match has even finished so that you can avoid the post-game queues, so don’t make the mistake of driving there yourself.

Fortunately there are many other options that you can explore to reach your destination in good time, so you needn’t worry about being late or missing anything important. The easiest option is to book a taxi to the match, especially if you have several friends that you can split the bill with. A taxi will pick you up straight from your front door, dropping you right outside your chosen stadium without having to struggle through the hassle of parking.

It can be expensive to hire a taxi if you’re heading more than 10-20 miles from your home, but there are many other pathways you can follow. Checking public transport options might prove beneficial, as there could be a bus, tram or train that takes you close to the stadium for a much more affordable price tag. In big cities like London public transport can be so convenient and accessible, so be sure to check your options to see whether this could be something you can explore.

If it’s an important match that you want to make a full event out of, then you could also choose to visit the surroundings a day before the game itself so that you can stay in a hotel. This way, you can even walk up to the stadium in a matter of minutes for ultimate convenience, and you’ll be able to rest and celebrate (or commiserate) straight after without having to go through the long journey home.

Wear The Right Clothing

Getting dressed up to the nines in your best gear might make you feel confident before the match, but you’ll soon be terribly disappointed when your favourite white shirt gets drenched in beer or your expensive shoes get trampled on and stained. It’s absolutely vital that you make an effort to wear the right clothing to a football match, as you need to dress for both the occasion and the weather in equal measures.

Obviously you don’t need to go as far as wearing old and scruffy clothing, but wearing your Sunday best means that you’re asking for trouble – even making the mistake of dropping your match day food down your front will ruin your clothing, yet it’s all too common for such an occurrence to take place in the hustle and bustle of a big crowd! Choose t-shirts over dress shirts and opt for jeans rather than smart trousers, as this way you’ll be dressed casually with enough room to maneuver.

Check the weather beforehand to see what the temperature is going to be while the match is taking place, as you’ll need to wrap up warm if it’s any less than 10 degrees. Layer up with a jumper and a coat if it’s going to be cold, as you can always remove a layer but you’ll be unable to add another if you don’t bring one. Always stick with comfortable shoes whenever you’re heading out on your game-day adventures, as you’ll be standing up for long periods of time and this can cause severe aches and pains.

Trainers or walking boots are the best decision, as they have more ankle support and help to keep blood flowing. Don’t forget to bring your sunglasses if it’s going to be a hot day, as it will be a horrible experience trying to stare through the blistering sun to watch your team play if you don’t have anything to protect your eyes.

Pack A Picnic

And finally, potentially the most important step of all, pack yourself a picnic filled with your favourite finger foods and quenching drinks to make sure you and your fellow superfans don’t get hungry or thirsty throughout your adventures. Fighting your way through the crowd to reach your seat only to feel your tummy rumble isn’t going to be a fun experience, and neither is the food that’s often available at matches (unless you like cold, lifeless chips or watery hot chocolate).

Bringing your own selection of nibbles, snacks and drinks will remove this issue completely, as you’ll be able to tuck in whenever you feel the urge and have all of the energy that you need to support your team to the best of your ability. There are so many easy options that you can make the most of to pack the perfect picnic, starting off with no-mess sandwiches that you can eat in a couple of bites.

Don’t make boring sandwiches like cheese and pickle – spice things up and make some hot sausage baps that you can wrap in tinfoil to keep warm, or even make a New York style bagel thats designed for easy eating. Don’t stop there, add in other suitable snacks like hot soup that you can store in a flask, bags of crisps that you can eat on the go and some sweet treats to keep your blood sugar levels up.

A flask can be the ideal accompaniment to a cold match day, as you can fill them with a variety of tasty liquids from the previously mentioned soup or broth to hot coffee and tea for a caffeine kick. One big feature of a football match that it’s hard to skip over is alcohol, as no game is complete without a beer or two to get the celebration started. Some stadiums won’t allow you to bring your own alcohol inside with you, so make sure that you check this before packing any into your picnic bag as you don’t want to be denied entry after such a large amount of planning.

If you can’t bring your own alcohol but would still like to enjoy a tipple then don’t fret, as most stadiums have their own bar or food truck that will sell alcohol inside the stadium. Always bring a healthy sum of money with you if you want to eat and drink things from inside the stadium, as more often than not they can cost megabucks compared with other locations. 

Capture The Moment

Capturing the moment will allow you to look back on your memories for years to come, so it’s a great idea to take your smartphone or camera along with you to snap some photos and record a few videos. Taking a picture or two of you and your fellow superfans can also be a great memento that you can print off and frame, especially if you’re at your favourite team’s home ground that you want to remember forever.

Don’t make the mistake of letting your phone or camera take over the match though, as you don’t want to spend your time looking through the lens rather than enjoying the game to its full potential.

With the help of the tried and tested ideas detailed in this brilliant guide, planning the perfect game-day trip has never been such a simple task! 

Written by Balachandran B

Co-founder & Head of Operations @ SoccerSouls Sports Network. Nick Name: Jin. Favorite Sports team: Arsenal
Follow me @Jin

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