We saw Chelsea beat Sunderland, 2-1, after quite an ordeal to get into the stadium. The frustration and stress leading up to that makes me appreciate those 90 short minutes. The long story of “How to get Tickets to a Premier League Match” was circling in my head, unblogged, as we flew home watching Argo. None of this seems so stressful anymore, but I have to share the story anyhow.
How we saw a Premier League Match
- Before we bought our flights, we looked at the schedule. Nearly every English team was playing on Saturday, April 6, so we booked flights to leave on April 7.
- We picked out Tottenham vs. Everton and waited for tickets to go on sale. The game was moved to April 7 due to ESPN TV rights.
- Then, we picked out Chelsea vs. Sunderland and set the alarm for 1 am for the day the tickets went on sale. And I was able to buy 4 tickets together.
- I received my confirmation by email and tickets in the mail.
- While flying to Germany, the match was postponed to April 7 due to Chelsea playing a Europa tournament match on April 4, and needing an additional day of rest. We were not informed of this.
- Four days before the match, I received an email about the pre-game events scheduled for April 7. Turns out we wouldn’t be able to go, and there were no other games that day with tickets available. I emailed the tickets office to ask for a refund.
- Two days before the match, I read the ticketing policy which stated that we were not entitled to a refund. Since I had not heard back, we decided to change flights and find a hotel for one more night and go to the game. I emailed Chelsea to tell them to disregard my prior email because we will be going to the match. We booked a cheap Priceline hotel next to the airport.
- The day of the 3 pm match, we checked out of our apartment in central London, traveled by subway to the airport, and waited for the hotel shuttle. It was late, and we were running out of time to check-in and get back to London for the match. I begged the shuttle driver to let us run into the hotel and store our bags while he waited for us. He agreed.
- After lots of long rides and waiting around for shuttles, we rode for another hour back to London and we arrived at Stamford Bridge 45 minutes before kickoff. Relieved from all worries about being late, we picked up a coffee and I checked my email using the wi-fi. Chelsea had replied to my email stating that they had processed my refund and re-sold my tickets!
- We ran to the stadium and the tickets indeed were invalid. We told to get in line at the box office. We got to the window 20 minutes before kickoff and were told there are only 3 single tickets available in different sections. I was near tears from the stressful day and sacrifice we made for this. I begged the agent and telling him how far we had traveled, and how unfair this is. Maile was crying. He offered to check again, and was talking to a manager while the line of angry old Brits were cussing behind me. He sent us to another window and told us he had 3 in the same section now. I begged again. He tried again and ended up giving us 2 free tickets together and 2 we had to pay for. We ran around the outside and found our seats 5 minutes after kickoff. While entering the gate, the security guard stopped me and said cameras are not allowed but he would let me in. If anyone saw me taking a photo, my camera would be confiscated. Another stroke of luck. What a day!