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Jaillan Yehia

How To Watch A Football Match In Vancouver (Hint: It’s not like England)

Written by Jaillan Yehia

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Vancouver Whitecaps FC

In a nation obsessed with hockey, it pays to be a football fan: here are the 5 phenomenally easy stages to finding yourself cheering on Vancouver’s home soccer team…

1. Go Downtown

Head towards BC Place Stadium in downtown Vancouver about 25 minutes before the match. 5 minutes if you’re not hungry. Marvel at how uncrowded it is, and the fact that if you come by car you can park within spitting distance of the stadium. Watching a football match in Vancouver really is easy.

BC Place

Get a side order of wisdom with your footie at BC Place

2. Stuff Your Face

Pop into Japadog to get yourself some fabled pre-match sustenance so that when you’re chanting ‘You big fat bastard’ at the goalie with the other fans (I kid you not) you won’t be doing so while holding a fattening snack in your hands.

Japadog

3. Choose Your Side

Walk up to the queue-free ticket booth and purchase tickets to see the Whitecaps from $38 upwards, choosing to sit with all the normal fans, or in the ‘supporter zone’  – where the militant fans have been penned up like dangerous beasts and the most zealous of their number leads the chanting with a megaphone.

Whitecaps FC

4. Get In The Mood

Have your bag very cursorily peered into by some laid back security guards as you saunter into the stadium, take your seat, sit back and wait for the match to start. Maybe borrow some more experienced supporters’ baseball caps so you blend in. Chilled.

Whitecaps FC

5. Become A Bona Fide Whitecaps Fan

Begin to understand why it’s so easy to get into this football match. Until star player Tommy Heinemann comes on, shaking up the match and seemingly moving at super speed compared to his treacle-legged comrades. Get really excited when the goals start flowing. Congratulations, you’re a real fan now.

Whitecaps FC

Bring on Tommy – the fans seem to be delighted with this decision.

Bonus number 6. Bring your zoom lens…

So you can capture the moments when the players shorts fall down.

Whitecaps FC

In summary  – the fans are staunch, the atmosphere is friendly, the stadium open-air, the souvenir potential pretty cool. And in the summer, well you can’t watch the ice hockey can you?

Of course in order to watch a football match in Vancouver you’ll have to get yourself to Canada first. I’ll admit that might just be the tricky part. I used travel comparison site Momondo to compare flight prices from London to both Toronto and Vancouver, and settled on using Air Transat, the closest thing Canada seems to have to a low cost airline.

So for around £650 return on flights, plus either $45 in a taxi or $5 on the Skytrain to downtown Vancouver from YVR Airport, then a bargainous $38 stadium entry (though tickets can start from as little as $25) you can find yourself cheering on the Vancouver Whitecaps.

 


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