We all like our home comforts, and Stamford Bridge is one of the finest grounds in England. If you are one of those lucky enough to enjoy the luxury of attending the majority of home games at The Bridge, you probably have a very pleasant routine to your visits.
A few responsible drinks in a Chelsea supporters pub followed by a quick visit to the bookies to make some cash when Hazard scores and then a stroll to the ground to buy a match-day magazine and browse around the megastore. What you do after the match might well depend on the result, but you have the local knowledge to know where to go for another pint or well-earned burger.
There’s no place like home, however, sometimes an invariable routine can become boring and occasionally you might glance over at the away stand and ponder why they seem to be having so much fun whilst their team is getting outclassed. But there are a couple very good reasons why all football fans should go on an away day.
Recent research by Voucherbox has revealed that for Chelsea fans it actually works out to be £209 cheaper to attend all 19 away days than staying at The Bridge for the season. This might seem nonsensical, but they’ve obviously put in a lot of time to calculate the cost of travel both across London and to the far reaches of The Riverside Stadium and Dean Court. It will be no surprise to discover that Arsenal, with the highest prices in the Premier League, are also better off when travelling away from the Emirates. This has come about through clubs agreeing to cap away ticket prices at £30 for the next three seasons, yet most fans would be unaware that even with travel costs, they could actually make a saving on away days.
Although you’ll be outnumbered at every other Premier League stadium you visit, except for possibly the KCOM Stadium, that doesn’t mean the atmosphere will be diminished. The camaraderie and friendship you build with your fellow Blues travellers will ensure you are able to raise your voice and make the Chelsea chants heard in even the most hostile of stadiums. There are some truly great stadiums to visit and although you might abhor the team that plays there, you can still appreciate the bricks, character and history of the place. There are some stadiums that could do with a lick of paint, but they each offer a unique football viewing experience and atmosphere that you should sample.
There are a few things you should consider before embarking on an away day to make should it’s a memorable Chelsea experience and not a total nightmare. The police can be an annoyance if they take a hard line stance and assume all Chelsea fans are visiting their city with bad intentions. Be prepared to remain calm as they attempt to herd you from point A to point B to avoid encountering any local fans. Also make sure your travel is arranged in advance, as you don’t want to be stranded in Liverpool on a Saturday night wearing the club colours.
These are small considerations that shouldn’t dissuade from what is always a wonderful and distinctive football experience when you hit the road. Once you’ve returned home from an away day you’ll be glad to be home again, but it won’t be long before you’re getting excited about which city and stadium you can visit next.