Real Sociedad to stage pre-Copa drum parade at Anoeta
The Basque club tried to get Thursday's Copa del Rey tie against Barcelona brought forward a couple of hours as it clashes with local festivities San Sebastián Day.
If Real Sociedad fans cannot attend the traditional Tamborrada drum parade as it clashes with Thursday's Copa del Rey tie against Barça, then the Tamborrada will come to them at Anoeta stadium so that can savour the festivities in San Sebastián on the eve of the city's public holiday, which gets underway on the stroke of midnight on Thursday
Biggest day of the year
The problem is the 21:15 CET kick-off. The Basque club had tried, to no avail, to get LaLiga to bring forward kick-off to a more convenient time - for example, 7 o'clock, but programming for the live broadcast could not be changed. It's not that supporters will not have the time to cross the city from the stadium to the Plaza de la Constitución for the raising of the flag at midnight - it is a relatively short distance. It's missing the celebratory meal which has many facing a dilemma. The local tradition is for families to get together for a huge meal - either at a restaurant or one of the city's famous Txoko gastronomic societies. These affairs can last well over three hours and in the Basque Country in general, dinner tends to start earlier than in other parts of Spain - at 9pm or earlier - and reservations are usually made months in advance. So La Real supporters must now choose between going to Thursday's game, or having the traditional dinner.
The club has organized organized a series of events to encourage supporters to come to the stadium then, at 23:00 hours, move on to the Plaza de la Constitución for the raising of the flag. The first will be a Tamborrada drum parade in the Amara neighbourhood where Anoeta is located. Drinks and Pintxos will be available in a huge marquee which will be set up next to the ground. The drum parade will continue inside the stadium before kick-off, with the bands performing laps around the pitch circumference.
Rather than putting prices up for the match, La Real have reduced ticket prices - the 400 available tickets for the game will be priced between 10 and 20 euros. And season ticket holders who have decided not to go to the game have been urged to give up their seats so that others can attend. La Real have used such initiatives, to great success, in all of their Cup games - including special offers for students in the region.