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Simen 1,019 pts

Stadium Atmosphere

Posted by Simen about 4 years ago · 13 replies

Among our fans the general attitude seems to be that we have a terrible atmosphere at our home games. This is based on comparisons with our own away games, other Premier League home sides, and European football in general (Bundesliga is mentioned quite often). There are supporter unions (REDaction leading the way) working their asses off to improve this, yet there is only so much you can do as a minority when a great atmosphere is in essence 60.000 people going bananas at the same time in the same place.

One of the main arguments used by Season Ticket-holders is that Emirates is a tourist-infested library where everyone is afraid to break the silence because this might piss off the person next to them, or even the stadium stewards. The general suggestion to solve this problem is ticket prices. That is a discussion I'll only scratch the surface of in this topic, but in the end it's the clubs decision, not the fans'. The only effective way to reduce ticket prices is to boycott the club and its games, which I assume is out of the question since there will always be another fan to take your seat as soon as you leave it. Since there's a huge demand for tickets while the stadium has a maximum capacity we can only assume that the prices will stay the way they are, if not becoming more expensive. My point is: Why fight this evolution of more foreign fans? Yes, I know prices in Germany are lower, and I have personally witnessed an entire Bayern away tribune holding around each others shoulders, jumping to the beat of gigantic drums. This isn't going to happen at the Emirates overnight (if it is even what we want). This is a bond between supporters that has to be forged. In my opinion, this can only be done with the right attitude.

That attitude can't be: "Fuck those foreign wimps stealing our seats. Fuck them for taking pictures with their phones to share on Facebook. Fuck them for enjoying themselves instead of joining in on chants they have never heard. Come to think of it: Fuck them for showing up without ever having heard the chants!"

In my opinion, the general approach should be to help those foreign tourists settle, and feel welcome. Face it, Arsenal is a gigantic club with millions of fans world-wide. The right to have massive feelings for a club ain't anybodys property. But how can this be done? How can you change the attitude of thousands of regular match going fans? You probably can't. I probably won't change much with this appeal either. But I hope that someone reading this might have a different mind-set next time they see a new face in the seat beside them at the Emirates. I'm not saying it will fix all the atmosphere problems, but I think that starting a conversation with this tourist (if not a long one) might make him/her feel a lot more welcome and confident in joining in singing. Those who really want change should see it as their task to educate obvious "match-day beginners", teach them the chants, ask them to join in singing, and generally make them feel more welcome.

To round this off I also have a specific suggestion to the likes of REDaction and those planning supporter-engaging activities like flag-/banner-/card displays. The next time an "every seat"-activity is arranged (card display, t-shirts/balloons/small flags to everyone) you should print the lyrics of our most common chants on the back side of the card, or on a sheet next to the "main item". It's quite hard to catch the lyrics if you don't sit right next to someone singing them correctly, and this might even make it possible to get short songs going instead of just word-efficient chants.

13 Comments

Ix Techau Evil Mastermind 14,271 pts
Posted about 4 years ago by Ix Techau

Besides, it's not like the Emirates is full of tourists anyway - how would they get tickets? The biggest problem Arsenal has when it comes to tickets isn't price, it's the lack of availability. If you want tickets for a game, you need to do one of the following:

  • Spam the website like crazy the second tickets are released to the general public (I've tried this numerous times and have never gotten tickets this way)
  • Buy holiday packages that include tickets (super expensive and not face value)
  • "Borrow" a season ticket for face value (90% luck to get hold of one)

As far as I'm aware, there is no other way of getting tickets if you're not above red member.

Another argument is that it's the lack of working class fans that is the main cause of atmosphere going down, and again I call bullshit. Why would your income dictate vocal levels or passion? It's just pure classism. If you earn more than £35,000/year you won't sing any songs? Please.

Simen 1,019 pts
Posted about 4 years ago by Simen

Lets try to avoid a full scale ticket debate in here, and stick to "How to get a better atmosphere", but since the debates flow a bit into each other I'll do my best to answer your questions.

Buy holiday packages that include tickets (super expensive and not face value)

This is probably the most common alternative. I've used it myself on numerous occasions. Mainly when going with my girlfriend and her dad, since I'm the only one of us with a red membership. But I also bought my ticket through a Norwegian travel agency for last years FA-cup final. This is actually legit, although the price suggested black market. But they only have tickets for the "Club Wembley", "No supporter zone" (which is absolutely ridiculous in it self. 25k tickets to fans of each club and 30k tickets like the one I got?). But who am I to complain? Shaking Yaya Sanogo's (legend) hand, and Chambo celebrating with my home made scarf was quite an experience.

As far as I'm aware, there is no other way of getting tickets if you're not above red member.

Yes there are. You can buy off the Ticket Exchange. It is actually a quite good feature for both ST-holders and red members. A ST-holder who can't attend a match puts it out for sale through the TX, I (RM) buy it at face value through Arsenal.com like it was any other ticket - but before it goes on sale for the general public. This makes it possible to get pitch-side seats without queuing for years to get a ST.

Also, in my experience there is a couple of thousand available seats for most home games to the red members (although 100 km away from the pitch) in the upper tier. This is also before they go on general sale, and if you don't want to watch us beat Spurs, these stay available for at least a couple of days. Biggest risk here is that as a foreign fan you have to plan a weekend with flight, hotels and stuff long before tickets go on sale, so it is more secure to buy through an agency. Then you know for sure you will get your ticket.

Ooops... I probably went a bit too in-depth on this issue even though I said I shouldn't. Lets open a "how to get a ticket" thread if there's any further need to discuss this issue, and try to get back to the atmosphere in this one.

Ix Techau Evil Mastermind 14,271 pts
Posted about 4 years ago by Ix Techau

One of the shittiest. Clapping Cesc off made me 100% sure about this. One of the shittiest around.

Definitely the cringiest moment of 2015 so far. People applauding Cesc as if he single-handedly helped us to five league titles then got forced away against his will, when in reality he won nothing and couldn't wait to get the fuck out.

Ix Techau Evil Mastermind 14,271 pts
Posted about 4 years ago by Ix Techau

Sorry, back on topic.

I'm not sure cheatsheets to chants or a welcoming attitude towards so-called "tourists" will do anything to improve atmosphere at the Emirates. I think it's a culture thing at the end of the day. I think most people supporting Arsenal aren't the types to drink five beers and then scream obscenities for two hours at a family event. I think that generally we're more sensible and introvert.

Because if you think about it, why does a crowd sound excited? It's not sober people with friendly songs, it's drunk yobs singing about opposition managers being paedophiles, that's what the noise is.

So maybe I'm contradicting myself when I say class has nothing to do with it. But if it means increasing the ratio of drunk lunatics to improve atmosphere, I'd rather stick with the library.

redmond61 5 pts
Posted about 4 years ago by redmond61

It would need the club to chill out a bit towards us, they won’t we are treated as children and turnstile fodder.

Red action should be moved to middle of North bank Lower, that too wont happen

Allow flags in north bank lower, won’t happen

Have north bank lower a standing area, won’t happen

Have north bank lower non reserved seating so i can sit/stand next to my mates, won’t happen, but it happens for every away game.

Club to chill out on the standing, won’t happen

Fundamentally the club have got what they wanted, a sterile family friendly bowl where corporate guest won’t feel intimidated, nor tourists too. The starting point is the club relaxing. That also wont happen!!

Ix Techau Evil Mastermind 14,271 pts
Posted about 4 years ago by Ix Techau

Get a safe standing section and sell tickets for pennies = atmosphere.

Safe standing is fine, but what difference would ticket price make? The demand is still way higher than supply, so the crowd won't change. Lowering ticket prices is only a solution to increase demand.

VA10 Football God 4,805 pts
Posted about 4 years ago by VA10

Safe standing is fine, but what difference would ticket price make? The demand is still way higher than supply, so the crowd won't change. Lowering ticket prices is only a solution to increase demand.

Difference is that people who actually want to scream their lungs out will have a chance to get in.

Ix Techau Evil Mastermind 14,271 pts
Posted about 4 years ago by Ix Techau

Difference is that people who actually want to scream their lungs out will have a chance to get in.

But that's not true. Demand is still higher than supply, and will even increase if prices are reduced. So the people would stay the same. Tickets will be £10, but you'll never get hold of one.

Ix Techau Evil Mastermind 14,271 pts
Posted about 4 years ago by Ix Techau

You will. I doubt a lot of those tourist will enjoy the safe stand.

Families with smaller children perhaps wouldn't, but to a tourist it would be a dream to get a "proper" experience going to a football game in England. Besides, safe standing still doesn't solve the problem with demand being higher than supply. Just because you introduce safe standing doesn't mean that half the stadium become drunk loud yobs, so the atmosphere would stay the same.

By the way, we had the exact same problem at Highbury in the 80s and 90s, this topic has been discussed for decades. Even at the height of the invincibles and the most successful period in our history we were considered a quiet crowd. It has always been relatively quiet, even when tickets cost £5 and most of the people in the stadium were working class.

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