Getting to Anfield

Ever thought of watching a live English Premier League match in the UK?

It may seem daunting to most, especially not being from the United Kingdom, to buy that elusive match ticket. It may also seem very difficult to plan and maybe even too expensive. I shall try to break all the costs, travel and processes down to hopefully show that it is not as difficult as many perceives to get to watch a live match at Anfield. This may apply to fans of other English clubs too. Watching a match live at Anfield is akin to going on a pilgrimage for an avid, passionate Liverpool fan, and it need not be so difficult.

Tickets

These days, the cost of getting a ticket is around £40-50 pounds, depending which match you want to go to. Liverpool, like almost all Premier League clubs, place their 19 home fixtures into four categories, this instance: A, B, and C. Within each category, it is further broken down into six tiers. Category A tier 1 tickets are, of course, the most expensive, at £59 this season. This gets you the best seats to the big games, against geographical rivals like Manchester United and Everton, as well as league rivals Arsenal and Chelsea, to list a few. And again, category C tier 6 tickets are the cheapest, and would most likely get you seats with a potentially restricted view against relegation-threatened teams.

Assuming you do not want to pay an additional fee to become a member (which gives you certain privileges when accessing match tickets), the remaining tickets are usually sold to the general public comes out 21 days before the actual match day, at around 8.15am. You have to be on the lookout for these particular days and be on the website five to 10 minutes before the stipulated release time. The number of tickets released then is usually very limited, in the low hundreds range, so be quick or be set to lose out to thousands of other fans trying to access these tickets.

ticket

yes that game ended 0-0…

You will probably need to get an online account on the Liverpool website first. For any match on general sale, you should be able to purchase up to four tickets. If you do manage to secure the ticket(s) for that particular game, it’s the simple online purchase process, with a £2.50 booking fee (members have that booking fee is waived).

Travel within the UK

So let’s say you’re already in the UK (as a student or traveller) but not staying Liverpool. You just want to make a day trip to the game. That’s where this next part can help. Assuming you book around three weeks before match day, National Rail tickets from East Midlands (fairly centre of the UK) to Liverpool Lime Street Station (slightly up north, 2.5 hours train ride) are around £23-30 (depending on which times you wish to travel). It is advisable to get your train to reach Liverpool around 2 hours before the game starts, while your departing train from Liverpool is around 2 hours after the game ends.

DSC_1327

find this bus, liverpool fans!

When booking your train tickets, make sure to click on the PlusBus option for the Liverpool area. That should cost you another £2.30. This allows you to take certain bus services in Liverpool as many times as you want for that particular date/day. This is good because just 150 metres from Liverpool Lime Street Station is the boarding point for Stagecoach buses that goes direct to Anfield. Your PlusBus ticket allows you to take this service, while on your return to the city centre from Anfield, you can take either Arriva’s 26 or 27 service with that same day ticket. These two trips alone would cost you around £4 on their own, so the PlusBus day ticket is well worth getting.

Food

The food on sale in Anfield stadium is expensive. If you are there for the first time and want the full stadium experience, then by all means, purchase food from inside the stadium. But what could be better would be to follow the local fans in getting food from the many food trucks and shops surrounding the stadium. They are usually slightly cheaper and may be of greater variety, although there will always be the usual chips, burgers, hotdogs and pies. A plate of chips cost around £2 and a beef burger will set you back around £3. So if you do get a hearty meal at the ground itself, do expect to fork out a minimum of £5.

Screen Shot 2014-10-26 at 7.20.41 pm
left: from outside the stadium; right: from inside Anfield.

There isn’t much point having your post-match dinner around the ground either, as you will be finding similar food in the city for cheaper. However, some fans leave around five minutes before the game ends, which leads to the long bus lines to contend with, and that may tempt you to eat while waiting around. But you’d be better off going to visit the merchandise shop. However, right after the match, the queue into the shop is usually very long, with starstruck fans like yourself wanting to purchase their own souvenirs.

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worthy souvenir for your travels

Further, a match day program costs around £3, and that’s quite essential to get as part of the match-attending experience. I used to collect those last season, but have since stopped buying them.

So there you have it…

All my views collage

Upper Centenary Stand (most left); Anfield Road End (next two); Main Stand (last three)

Getting to a match isn’t as difficult as it may seem, especially if you are already based in the UK. You just need a little patience and also make sure that you are camping at your computer when the general public tickets goes on sale.

Budget (Overestimates)
Match Day Ticket: £50
Return Train travel within the UK: £35
Stadium Meal: £7
Match Day Program: £3

Total: £95

Hopefully this helps information-wise and that it will help you get to your favourite club’s match soon!

Thank you! I will get back to you as soon as I can! :)

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