I just got back from Brazil, where I among many things, watched two olympic football games and here is a little about my experience and what i think about the stadium.
Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador da Bahia is off to a good start when I get there. I right away notice that it’s almost in the middle of the city and fairly hard to drive to in your car, as traffic is intense, but it’s easy to reach by foot from the city center. This is the way more football stadiums should be.
That way we get less of these idiots in their cars who always feel a need to leave the stadium 10 minutes before the end of the game, in order to get to their car before the other idiots who drive to the game. These losers do not belong in a football stadium, so thank you guys for putting Arena Fonte Nova in a place that you can get to by foot and by metro in an easy way.
Football is something you watch, right until the end of the game.
There are also lot’s of beer vendors outside the stadium, so arriving early is no problem.
I am there to watch olympic football and being danish, I have decided to go for the Denmark games there, first against Brazil and three days later against Nigeria, after Denmark with a bit of luck made it to the quarterfinals.
I am there with my old mate johnny, who is also danish and we start off by having lunch before the Brazil game. Arena Fonte Nova is located right next to a fairly poor part of Salvador, but as long as you do not go too deep in to the neighbourhood, then it’s ok to go there and eat at one of the local restaurants and it’s very friendly and much cheaper than the fancy restaurants right next to the stadium.
The Denmark vs Brazil game is sold out and the stadium is packed, apart from one of the VIP areas that has been left empty, maybe for security reasons. Getting in and out is very easy though and using toilets and going to the bar for a beer is easy too. The stadium is constructed in a way that makes it very accessible to the visitor. I have been to many many stadiums around the world, but this is for sure one of the better constructed stadiums. Only thing I do not like, is that you have to buy a ticket for your beer first and then pick up the beer in another line. Waste of fucking time to line up twice, but this is unfortunately common in Brazil. Not just in the football stadiums, but in many bars too. I guess the idiot owners think they can avoid fraud better this way, but it’s actually the other way around.
During the Brazil game, the atmosphere is intense and the Brazilians are cheering and singing almost all the time. From a football point of view it’s entertaining, but not exciting, as Brazil is way better than Denmark, but we are having a good time and hang out with some Danish/Brazilian families. rail wins 4-0 and 99% of the stadium is happy. Johnny and me are staying at a small place just 5 minutes walk from the stadium, so it’s easy to walk back, even if it’s an evening game.
Denmark qualifies for the quarterfinals despite the defeat, as South Africa and Iraq draws. Johnny has to go back to Rio de Janeiro to volunteer at the Olympics, but I am quick to secure myself a ticket for the Denmark vs Nigeria game. That game is more exciting from a football perspective, as the teams are more even, but the crowd is a lot more relaxed, as 99% of the crowd is not from Denmark or Nigeria. About half the spectators are late for the game and the whole thing is a little more like a picnic in the park, combined with a lot of small protests against the current Brazilian government, which many Brazilians, especially in Northeast Brazil where Salvador is, think has made an illegal coup when impeaching the president. There is no fighting though. Just a lot of booing at each other, whenever politics enter the arena.
Nigeria wins the Game 2-0 which is deserved, as they are the better team. The Brazilian crowd agrees all the way through and constantly cheer for Nigeria and often boos at Denmark when they are in ball possession. It might also help Nigeria that they have a little group of very loud and very cute Nigerian girls cheering for them, with big Nigerian flags.
After the game, there is a really nice atmosphere outside the stadium and I speak to many other football fans from countries like Belgium, Brazil, Argentina, Denmark and Japan, just to mention some of the nationalities.
I really like these international games for that. You have so many people coming for the game and to meet people, more than to support their team and hate the other team and this is where I fit in perfectly, as I am unable to get in to a bad mood, even if my team lost two games with 0-6 combined.
I’m a football geek and a globetrotter and I love travelling anf football much more than I love my country 🙂
Where is Arena Fonte Nova located?