On one of my regular, heavily delayed trips to work thanks to South Eastern Trains we thought about our forthcoming trips and where we could end up. Every year we should set ourselves stretching personal goals, and what better way than starting to plan our trips for 2015. New stadiums, old stadiums. New cities, old cities. Heck even some old stadiums in old cities if the mood takes us. But the three below are the ones that we are looking forward to the most, those that really get the pulses racing….
So without further ado, let me introduce you to our 2015 bucket list. Come along, enjoy the ride.
3rd Place – Toumbas Stadium, Salonika
“Stu, we are going to see Panthessalonikeios Athlitikós Ómilos Konstantinoupoliton in April”, Danny tells me. My answer of course, is if you can say it, I’ll pay for it. And so in April we will be heading off the Salonika, Greece’s 2nd city to watch the chaps from PAOK. In terms of hostile atmosphere it is up there with the most riotous in the world. Flares, fire, fans, football. Apparently beer isn’t allowed, but with the entrance to Hades right next to you, it’s probably best to be sober.
2nd Place – The National Stadium, Singapore
“Stu, can you head over to Singapore again in February. I know it’s the third time in a year but I’m sure you can find something to amuse yourself outside of work”. They had me on Singapore. Last year when I was in the perfectly manicured city the final touches were being made to the 55,000 all seater national stadium. Today, it is open. And boy, does it look good. The largest domed structure in the world, with specific automatic seating arrangements for football, rugby, cricket and athletics, public transport on the door steps and beer pumped to every seat…well may be. Basically, it looks like the best thing since Philleas Fogg’s Singapore Sunset.
1st Place – The New San Mamés, Bilbao
There was very little wrong about a EFW in Bilbao. Outstanding food, brilliant beer, outrageous architecture and a football ground that oozed atmosphere and history. So how can you improve on that? Well, how about building one of the most state of the art and modern stadiums in the world slap-bang next to the old one? The new stadium fully opened in September 2013 and looks an absolute peach, sitting on the banks of the river with just over 53,000 seats. Sexy isn’t a word you can use often to describe a football stadium, but this is one such occasion. The question isn’t when can we go but how often.
Tomorrow – Day eleven of this riotous joyride through 2014 with the best football website.