A couple nights ago, I attended a very exciting event- my first professional soccer game! More specifically, I experienced what it’s like to be a true European sports fan. Temple Rome organized students to go watch the AS Roma football (no not American football- this is what they call soccer) team play Genoa in a fun evening match.
The whole experience was exciting from the start. My friends and I rode the tram from the very first stop near the Piazza del Popolo all the way to the end of the line. The games are held in the Olympic Stadium, which housed the Olympics in 1960. On the tram, I was able to pick out all the Roma fans- people were decked out in maroon and orange, the team’s colors, wearing shirts, scarves, and hats. People were cheering and singing, getting pumped for the game!
When we arrived at the stadium, from the second we got off the tram we could hear the large crowds chanting from inside the stadium, along with the sounds of some fireworks. We quickly ran inside and found our seats, because we didn’t want to miss any of the excitement. With that being said, Roma scored a goal within the first ten minutes of the game. Everyone went wild- jumping up in their seats, cheering and singing, and some people even set off firecrackers from their seats!
There was a special section for the more spirited Roma fans. From afar, it looked like so much fun to be in that section. The fans didn’t sit down once; they were all standing in their seats, wearing the same black shirts, chanting fight songs for the whole 90 minutes of the game. I was also impressed by how some fans waved these giant flags for the entire length of the game. That’s true dedication to your team!
Being at the game, I couldn’t help but compare it to sports games I’ve been to in America, whether it’s a Temple (American) football game or a Major League Baseball game. I noticed the same kind of spirit in outfits- wearing your team’s colors and logos. Also, the cheers reminded me of American sports. But like I said, the overall spirit of the fans was unlike anything I had ever seen before. I felt like American sports games are a little more laid back compared to what I experienced last night. Imagine every game was like going to the World Series!
Getting tickets for the game was a little different than what I am normally used to. To buy a ticket, you have to go to a specific location or store that sells tickets for the football games. I don’t think you can just purchase tickets online. Also, when you go to buy your ticket, you must bring your passport, because they type your name on your ticket. I thought this was really interesting (and also a pain), but it’s because of security reasons. What was also a bit unusual was that tickets for women are cheaper than tickets for men (good thing I’m a girl!).
Overall, going to a Roma football game is something that I would definitely do again. It was such a special experience, and so much fun. If I go to another game, I want to learn all the chants and songs so I can sing along with the fans!