With only 8 teams left in the running for Europe’s greatest soccer prize, the excitement continues to build as the Champions League final is just a couple of months away. On May 25th, 300 million people in 70 different countries will be watching on their TV sets. They’ll collectively hold their breath, bite their nails, and cry out with anticipation and joy, while they take in every exciting minute. A lucky 90,000 will be inside Wembley Stadium, watching history unfold live in front of their eyes. Of these 90,000 fans, there will be a countless number of different experiences.
Some fans will come from thousands of miles away, perhaps from Australia or North America, eager to experience live European Football for the first time. Some will come from just around the corner, unwilling to miss a major worldwide sporting event that’s happening in their backyard.
Some will be young, babies whose parents want to share their love of soccer with them. Some will be old, fulfilling a lifelong dream and crossing it off their bucket-list. Most will be somewhere in between: groups of friends experiencing the ultimate guys’ weekend, couples on their honeymoon, soccer-loving families, corporate men and women, fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, the list goes on and on.
Most fans will arrive in London days in advance and take advantage of London’s free Champions League Festival. They might get their photo taken with the Champions League trophy, or have a chat a former player while getting an autograph. Parents will have just as much fun as their children, watching them take part in interactive games and skills clinics. Grown men will feel like children, giddy with excitement as they soak in the atmosphere throughout London. Some fans won’t arrive in London until the just before the game and fly out shortly after, unable to clear their busy schedules but unwilling to miss the opportunity to cheer on their favorite team at the most prestigious tournament in Europe.
Some fans will spend the day before the game touring London, visiting Buckingham Palace, checking out the spectacular city views from the London Eye, or visiting the National Gallery. Some will enjoy the best dinner of their life at one of London’s top restaurants and follow it up with a West End show. Some will mingle with locals and other visitors at one of the city’s many pubs. Some will be reunited with family or friends they haven’t seen in years.
On the big day, some will hop on the Jubilee line and take the tube to Wembley. Some will be chauffeured in a private car. Some will show up hours in advance and soak up every minute of the experience. Some will be seeing Wembley Stadium for the first time, others will be stadium veterans.
Some will catch a glimpse of royalty or their favorite celebrity. Others will be too focused on the game to even notice.
Most will be in their seats to catch the first glimpse of the Finale ball and to hear the Champions League Anthem. Others might have ducked out for a quick hot dog, or one last beer before the game starts.
Some will feel the once-in-a-lifetime euphoria of watching their team hoist the trophy and claim bragging rights as the best on the continent.
Every single one of the 90,000 will feel the excitement and an atmosphere like nothing else in the world. They will see for themselves why London is the only city to host 2 Champions League finals in 3 years. They will be part of history.
One event, an endless number of experiences. What’s yours going to be?