Visiting a Stadium
Stadium tours are one of the most interesting activities for me. As a sports fan, nothing is better than tracing the footsteps of your favorite athletes. Under normal circumstances, you are typically going to a stadium to watch the game. Never would you think of being able to walk through the locker rooms, the press box, or step onto the sideline. Well, I guess that last one isn’t true if you can afford a sideline ticket. Sadly, tours rarely allow anyone to step onto the field. Something about the ground’s commissioner wanting to keep the grass alive. Nonetheless, it is all still very exciting.
These tours are great for families. Think about it. How happy would a 10-year-old version of you be to take a picture next to Michael Jordan’s locker? That picture would be framed with bullet proof glass and hung above my bed. My wife may have also been forced to sign a prenup too! The locker room tends to be everyone’s favorite part. That’s obvious. Although, I think there a few ladies have an ulterior motive depending on the stadium. The chance of catching Cristiano Ronaldo stepping out of the shower is too good to pass up. A one in a million chance is still a chance. Am I right?
What’s in a Tour?
All tours have the same basic format. They start out with a welcoming hello from your guide. Depending on the stadium, you may go sit in the stands or in some conference room. For example, Croke Park shows a great video about all the different Gaelic Games played in the stadium. You’re in a movie theater like room with a giant screen. I think there was even a popcorn machine in the corner too! Compare this to the experience of Allianz Arena. You start out in a beer garden as you wait for your tour to begin. Then, you head out to sit in the seats and enjoy the view. Your tour guide covers all of the facts in person.
Next up on every tour is the walk through. This is where you walk through all of the aspects of the arena. You even are able to walk through the tunnel and visit the sideline. The guide flips the switch for the entrance music and boom! You’re now saying, “put me in coach.” Finally, you are dropped off at the store and museum. The museums are really great to learn about the history of the team and sport(s). You get to see lots of old gear, trophies and jerseys. You may even be able to test your skills with a few games. The gift shop is self-explanatory. However, it is very exciting to own a piece of gear straight from the source. My wife’s indoor team was definitely jealous of her Bayern Munich shorts and socks.
My experiences with stadium tours is only international. There are a few stadiums I wish to visit in the States, but I’m slowly working my way to them! Without a doubt, they’ve all been extremely great adventures. I have toured by myself. Still, it’s more enjoyable with friends. Besides, people might think you’re crazy if all of your photos are selfies. The best experience I’ve had is with my wife in Ireland visiting Croke Park. It’s a massive stadium located near the City Centre of Dublin. The many side stories for this day will be covered in a later article. We learned a considerable amount about Irish athletics. The Gaelic games are highly entertaining. Also, Bri showed of her soccer skills, and I impressed some high schoolers by swinging a Hurl in the museum. All in all, I would do it again, even more now that I am a dad.