RETURN OF FANS – FOOTBALL IS BACK
Date Posted | 01/06/2021
Wembley Stadium hosted one of the first spectator event in the country on Sunday 18th April, as Southampton took on Leicester in an FA Cup Semi Final to decide who would play Chelsea in the final. The match saw just under 4000 spectators, from the local community and NHS workers, witness Leicester make their way to their fifth FA Cup Final appearance. Although they were not “fans”, it was a start.
Watching guests make their way into the stadium, many of whom for which it would have been their first time at the national stadium, looked awestruck. It’s not hard to be when entering the 90,000 seater arena, with the Wembley Arch looking over you. These spectators may not have had a preference of winner, but they made enough noise that we are sure that everybody working in the stadium would have cracked a smile upon hearing the cheers for the only goal in the game.
With Leicester booking their tickets to the final, there were more events to come.
The Carabao Cup final hosted between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City saw a doubling of the spectators, still with 4000 local/NHS attendees, but now with 2000 fans from both teams. The cheers louder, the groans louder, and the celebrations from travelling Manchester City fans certainly louder as they secured another League Cup for their trophy cabinet.
After the Carabao Cup final we saw the big one, The FA Cup Final. Hosted between Chelsea and Leicester City, an all blue battle at Wembley Stadium. 20000 fans, filling up the stadium lower seating areas (social distancing allowed for). It was at this point that it felt like football was back. Proper reactions to the on field action, cheering, screaming, and agony from both sets of fans.
Our team were glad to be back dealing with all the usual issues faced with fans being in attendance of a football fixture. The team was jubilant at having the chance to do what they love, work with fans and provide and enjoyable experience.
As the 17th of May cut off for events passed, we saw fans return to Premier League action as we oversaw the final fixtures at:
Craven Cottage (Fulham FC)
London Stadium (West Ham United FC)
Amex Arena (Brighton & Hove Albion FC)
It was great to see fans returning to their “homes” that they had been without for so long.
The season was rounded off with the EFL Play Offs at Wembley Stadium, three days of football at the home of football. Fans from Brentford, Swansea, Blackpool, Lincoln, Morecambe and Newport all saw their teams either win promotion or suffer the agony of a Wembley defeat.
It had been far too long for the die hard supporters of their teams to see their clubs in action, in person. And suffice to say, we hope to be saying goodbye to “Behind Closed Door” fixtures for a very long time.