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Wanda Metropolitano set for US style "tailgate" ahead of derby

Update:

The Wanda Metropolitano is set to host a festive pre-game party ahead of Saturday's derby with inspiration coming heavily from American sports culture. Anyone who has attended a NFL or MLS game for the first time will have noticed the party atmosphere outside the stadium with food, drink, merchandise stands, activities for children all aimed at those attending the match but also open to those fans not lucky enough to have secured a ticket for the event. The game itself is just a part of the overall experience and this initiative has been instrumental in generating a family atmosphere at US sporting events with a less aggressive crowd.

NFL tailgate
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NFL tailgatearchive

Match-day experience

In recent games Atlético have tried to recreate this pre-game experience and despite the fact I'm a traditional football fan from Europe, I do like this step. For us. going to a game was always tainted with a degree of intrigue and apprehensiveness. The US model and that being implemented by Atlético is a different and promotes more time around the stadium, more entertainment possibilities and more time to get to know fellow fans. The focus is on festivity and that the be-all and end-all is not the result of the game. A friend commented recently that a handful of clubs in the Europe, notably in Germany were trying to promote this type of experience which has been fully embraced by Atleti with the opening of the new Wanda Metropolitano. Moreover the initiative is working with positive feed-back from the bulk of supporters.

People arrive at the new Wanda Metropolitano stadium before the Spanish league football match Club Atletico de Madrid vs Malaga CF in Madrid on September 16, 2017.
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People arrive at the new Wanda Metropolitano stadium before the Spanish league football match Club Atletico de Madrid vs Malaga CF in Madrid on September 16, 2017.OSCAR DEL POZOAFP

Tailgating

For the recent Barça game, the pre-match activities started at midday with two areas, one more family focused, the other aimed at a younger demographic. There were plenty who only went along to enjoy the fun and then headed home or to a bar to watch the game, Post-match, there was another concert which ensured the bottle-neck to leave the ground was less of a problem. Given that Atlético had to build a stadium with a limited supply of bars, cafes and restaurants, the club have decided that on match-day, they supply the entertainment and food with a nod to home (the infamous squid sándwiches from Bar Brillante) being a case in point. A new ground and a new match-day experience.