Today we traveled via the “tube” and by train to watch an English Rugby Game. (We are all becoming quite good at navigating through the underground)The game featured London’s Wasps and another semi local team from Bath. We arrived and were immediately greeted given an official Wasp scarf/lanyard, and taken on a tour around the facility. As a group we toured what would be the equivalent of the visiting and home teams’ locker rooms, the suites, were taken through the tunnel onto the actual field, and got taken into the room that housed the Wasps’ glorified trophies. We even got to take a photograph with the teams’ mascot on the field prior to the start of the game.
The stadium actually holds 2,000 less people than Johnny Unitas Stadium and their suites were certainly not as extravagant as we would expect to see at home in the states. It was definitely interesting to see the difference in complexity between a stadium in the United States and one here in London.The game we attended today was televised. The community relations tour guide warned us that there may not be a large turnout, as when games are televised fans tend to stay home and watch the matches from the comfort of their own homes. There is a recession going on in London as there is in the United States and it is cheaper for people to watch the game from their homes. Despite the recession and the forewarning, the particular match we attended was packed.
It took awhile for us to catch onto the sport, but it was very entertaining and proved to be a great deal of fun. The Wasps made a great come back in the first half, consisting of 40 minutes, after they were down by about 10 points. The crowd was very engaged the entire time which truly emerged us in the English culture. The Wasps won the game, making it even more exiting to attend! I made sure to buy scarves and hats to bring home to my family and friends.
Sports and Industry in the United Kingdom
Minimester Program, January 2013