I'm going to preface this with - I AM A BAYERN MUNICH FAN.
Okay now that we got that out of the way, this past weekend I traveled to Ann Arbor, Michigan to go watch Liverpool take on Manchester United at 'The Big House'. Boy, is that house BIG. People have been telling me how huge it is for years, and I have watched countless NCAA football games on TV take place there but NOTHING prepared me for this behemoth. Truly.
I bought the tickets for this game many months ago, as soon as the schedule for the International Champions Cup was released. My boyfriend Mark is a big Manchester United fan so it seemed like a great reason to do a short getaway for a weekend. Luckily, I also have family in Michigan - so my cousin and her husband were going to come along too!
The drive to Detroit went as usual for myself, my mom and dad. Now with Mark accompanying me suddenly the back seat of my mom's car could be put down so we could nap stretched out? I was not afforded this comfort before that day, thanks mom. We had our usual stop at the EnRoute by London to get some food and stretch our legs. A big trend we did notice was the influx of Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) jerseys that were also getting food around us at the stop. Mark made sure to high-five all the Manchester United fans instead.
As we got to the border we made our stop at the most important part of crossing into America - the duty free shop. I would like to mention at this time that Mark purchased some bars of chocolate and that it came to $53.00 CAD while I bought two bottles of Appleton Rum (so, 2L) and that came to only $29.98 CAD. Let that sit in your mind for a minute.
We expected a crazy lineup at the border but we actually got through the tunnel and to the border patrol guard pretty fast. The gentleman at the border told us they were expecting 40,000 people to cross into Michigan JUST from Canada that day to watch the Liverpool vs. Man U match.
Now about getting to this damn game once we were in the country....
First of all, get there EARLY. This town doesn't seem particularly big and it is lined with so many houses that come along with an insane amount of parking rules that could get you towed with ease. We left Detroit around 3:30pm and we were fortunate enough that my cousin drives like she trying to get those 5 stars in Grand Theft Auto. We got to the Michigan Stadium area really quickly, avoiding most of the traffic heading there. Once arriving there I got to see my first frat party out on a lawn, I was able to purchase a muffin from a four-year-old on the street and we miraculously found parking. This wonderful woman had ONE spot left for $20 USD and she was only a 10 min walk from the stadium. Success.
The walk to the stadium was fine, we just followed the crowd but wow, once we got closer the sheer size of attendance for this game became surreal. It was also really funny seeing all the trash cans with purses in them. Apparently, some people did NOT read any of the five e-mails Michigan Athletics sent to remind people attending about the no purses above the size of a clutch policy.
Like I mentioned at the beginning, nothing quite prepares you for seeing 100,000 people in a stadium. It was such a beautiful sight to see. As an avid sports fan, this is a memory I will hold forever, just like the moment I went to the NFL Draft. You are just taken aback at what is currently happening around you/in front of you and how many other people are getting to enjoy this one specific thing with you. Great feeling. Since both teams wear red and white, the entire stadium was covered in those colours. We had chosen tickets in the Manchster United section but to be frank, you really couldn't even tell the difference.
Well, until Liverpool was scoring and won 4-1.... then yes, you could tell who was cheering for who.
I truly loved the experience but, if I may make a suggestion - DO NOT get up to do a goddamn thing during the game. Mark made the mistake of leaving 10 minutes before half to go grab us some waters and he didn't return until 40 minutes later. He basically missed half of the second half just being in line to get those for us. Pretty big waste of time and game to me, they need to do better with that process.
After the game we spent the rest of the evening + next day with my family enjoying life and food. Please see picture of me floating and being cute below.
Hope the rest of you had just as great of a weekend!