(A post written in 2019 about a typical groundhopping trip I put together. I can help you do the same.)
I love few things more than planning a trip to England for soccer games. And with my next trip just over two weeks away, I thought I would share my plans — you know, because everybody cares a lot.
(I mean, a couple of you asked … )
I have already been to more than 100 games at more than 60 grounds in the UK, and this one won’t add any new ones, actually. This run is more about using some hospitality packages that I sell but haven’t actually been in, as well as refreshing one or two places where I’ve seen a game but it has been a while. I hope it’s also about getting a tour of the new Tottenham stadium. And seeing my friends.
And seeing Millwall play Leeds! I can’t imagine what The Den is like when they legit hate the opposition!
So here is the plan, with a few comments.
I leave home September 26, arrive in London September 27th, hope for a nice flyover view (see above), and consume the usual bonkers amount of coffee to stay awake. Then on September 28th I meet my friends Angie and Alan, who run Eat Adventures in Portland and who will have just finished leading their food tour of England. We are going to see Charlton host Leeds, the Addicks being back up in The Championship and Leeds always good for a big traveling contingent. Tickets were £35 from the club for excellent seats.
September 29 is a rest day in London, the only game of moderate interest being up at Barnsley, whom I wish well in the Championship, but I’ve already been there. I will try to go hustle up a spot on a Tottenham tour, even though they’re all sold out. Surely somebody will fail to show up? I mean, they’re Spurs fans…
September 30 I head up to Manchester where that evening I see United host Arsenal, making use of a new package I offer this year through a second broker I’m now contracted with. I will be in the Stretford End Lower, behind a goal, with access to the International Suite. Stay tuned here or in my Groundhopper newsletter for a report. The price on those seats is about $300.
For the next two nights I got lucky.
I wanted Liverpool and Man City to be at home against crappy European competition so I could stay in the Northwest and afford to check out some more hospitality options. Thanks to the soccer gods, on October 1 I will see City thrash Dynamo Zagreb from the fabulous Citizens midfield package ($200), and on October 2 I will see Liverpool destroy RB Salzburg from the also fabulous CE4 blocks with a pregame meal ($350).
For October 3 I was hoping Man U would play crappy European competition again, but I had to settle for two-out-of-three; they are away that night, Arsenal are at home, and I don’t need to go there. So I’m taking a day off and touring the Lakes District.
On October 4 it’s back to London to chill out, then on October 5 things get fun. I am going to West Ham v Palace at 5:30 (in the Academy Lounge, midfield seats, $150), but first I just have to see Millwall host Leeds. This is a rivalry that goes back to the hooligan days, and more than one Londoner has suggested I be very careful about going to this one — which of course is exactly why I have to see it! With a 3 pm kickoff at Millwall it will be a tight taxi trip to West Ham for a 5:30 kickoff there, but I’ll make it work.
On October 6 I get up early (more coffee!) for a three-hour train ride to Newcastle, where I will be in another new package I offer, the Barracks Lounge on the side for their game against Manchester United ($275). I haven’t been to Newcastle since they were in the Championship, so I can’t wait for this one.
October 7 I go back to London, and on October 8 I fly back home — I hope for a deep Portland Timbers run in the MLS Cup Playoffs.
All I have to do now is keep working so I can pay for all of this!