In re: How not to attend a football match

Half the reason I planned a trip to London was to go watch Arsenal play, the north London football club (soccer) that I follow. Playing away at Fulham meant a less then competitive game (Fulham is facing relegation with their bottom 3 of the table spot) and while Fulham plays at Craven Cottage, one of the smallest stadiums in the EPL, I figured demand would mean that coming up with a ticket would be possible.

One thing I didn’t know, nor did my friend who purchased the tickets via Craigslist was that fans could claim a lost ticket and get an exact reprint. Well that’s all and dandy, except when it basically gives you a real ticket, hologram and all to sell and then to show up at the match w/ your new ticket to show up and watch the match. Thats exactly what happened, the group of us who went got scammed, we got in the stadium alright (squeezing through the famously narrow gates, having our tickets scanned into the system alright – you wouldn’t think they would work after being reissued would you?)

At this point my day and weekend couldn’t have been looking any better, just having walked along the Thames to Craven Cottage the picturesque old style English stadium, about to see a great 3pm game with perfect weather. Twenty minutes into the match things were looking good, until a group showed up wanting to sit in our seats and that’s when, slowly we learned about the duplicate tickets, the fact that the folks sitting down instead were probably in on the whole act only made it worse and no amount of debate with the stewards would lead to us getting to stay. Thankfully it wasn’t the match of the century, Arsenal scored their first of three goals while we were standing around arguing with the steward.

While it didn’t ruin my trip, it sure left a sour taste in my mouth for the rest of the day. So be careful of the ticket touts in the UK and next time I am gonna make sure to get my tickets through my supporters club or not bother at all (I tried to snag tickets through the Arsenal America club, but had missed the deadline).

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