They'll never walk alone
June 28, 2010 7:44 AM   Subscribe

For my husband's birthday I want to take him to see Liverpool play at Anfield. What is the best way to do this, and where in Liverpool should we stay?

My husband is a Liverpool and and England fan, so has suffered a series of terrible disappointments in the past few months. To help him get over them and in a spirit of eternal optimism, I hope to take him to see Liverpool play at Anfield. Ideally I'd like to get 2 tickets to watch them play Chelsea in November. I've looked online but ticket sellers seem both dodgy and with very inflated prices for these big matches, well over 300 pounds each in some cases.

This is causing me to rapidly revise my original plans which sucks as I don't have a back-up gift idea. So here are my questions:

- Any recommendations for how to get cheaper tickets in advance? (A long shot, I know)

- I've seen the earlier questions suggesting that I ask the concierge of my hotel to arrange them. Which is great -- but do you have any hotel recommendations for Liverpool?

Whilst I've seen Hope Street and Malmaison, I'd prefer a small, stylish B&B (not a hostel or faceless tourist-trap, something closer to a boutique hotel), serving great breakfasts. I'd also like to pay less than 120 pounds a night for a double so that I can feel better about being gouged for the tickets. Outside the city is fine especially if it's a beautiful location, as long as the owners can help me arrange tickets.

- If you don't have alternate recommendations, which of the Liverpool hotels would you recommend? It would be between Malmaison, the Hope Street Hotel and 62 Castle Street.

- And finally: help a football novice like myself -- what sort of tickets should I look for? Long side? Kop? Goal side? Reserved seats? Etc

Do you live in Liverpool? Have you been to Anfield? Can you help me rescue my husband's footballing dreams?
posted by tavegyl to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Tickets to this match will be very, very expensive (likely over £100 a person, though the £300 price tag seems high). There are likely to be very few available tickets for sale to this match, as they will all be allocated to season ticket holders and the like or will sell out immediately. This doesn't mean it's impossible, just that you will have to be diligent. I sincerely doubt your concierge will be able to arrange tickets to a match like this on the day (or the week) of the match. I recommend joining a Liverpool fan forum, as they often have message boards devoted to people getting rid of their tickets that they can't use or to solicit tickets.

As for where to stay, I have no recommendations, having never been to Liverpool. However, if your husband is as big a Liverpool fan as you make him out to be, I recommend the Kop end, though these tickets will no doubt be hard to procure. If you are not as big of a fan as your husband, it may not be as fun for you. Finally, make very, very certain that you don't accidentally pay a tout for seats that end up being away support (obvious, but should be said anyway).
posted by proj at 8:14 AM on June 28, 2010

Do not stay in accommodation anywhere near the ground. There are now plenty of boutique-style hotels in the centre. The Malmaison will be fine, Hope Street looks interesting (although I have never stayed there).

Lived in Liverpool 1996-2002, but haven't been back regularly since.
posted by gene_machine at 8:46 AM on June 28, 2010

This is going to be very very difficult. Have you considered picking a match less likely to be "the match of the season"? I did the same thing for my husband - and Arsenal fan - for a Fullham game - so inner-city rival and all but not hotly contested - and it was damn near impossible. I had the disadvantage of trying to do it from the states but I doubt it would have been much easier locally. I ended up finding my tickets on Craigslist for what it's worth. They were about 100 pounds each.
I didn't want to risk it - I wanted tickets in hand before match day - but there were touts around the grounds before the match. For the match you're talking about, though, I'm not sure I'd put my faith in that route.
There are travel companies that sponsor group trips to big matches like this. You may want to investigate getting tickets that way.
The upside - if you can secure tickets to this game for your boyfriend, you will be voted the absolutely best. girlfriend. ever.
posted by Wolfie at 11:32 AM on June 28, 2010

Does your husband participate in any Liverpool fans' forums? If so, it might be worthwhile joining yourself and PM'ing one of the mods to explain the situation. They will at the very least be able to answer questions on the ground and the city, and will almost certainly have good contacts with some of the supporters clubs with ticket allocations, so they may be able to get tickets for a fellow supporter at more reasonable rates . Liverpool also have a fairly sizeable following in Ireland, but many of the Irish season ticket holders don't travel for midweek games, so it may be possible to pick up tickets outside the ground for face value at these games if the other options prove too expensive.
posted by Jakey at 1:03 PM on June 28, 2010

I might be wrong, but isn't there legislation banning resale of tickets to avoid known hooligans entering grounds?
posted by mippy at 2:36 PM on June 28, 2010

I'm not a Liverpool fan, but whilst the Chelsea game might be "better", you're much more likely to see goals and a Liverpool win against a "smaller" team, tickets for these games are also much more likely to be available.

Mippy is right in that it is illegal to resell football tickets, but it certainly still happens.

I would advise looking into a game against a smaller opponent, and getting the tickets direct from the club.

You will however struggle to buy tickets this far in advance, as clubs often only sell the next 3-4 games. It would certainly be an idea to phone/e-mail Liverpool's ticket office directly and explaining the situation.

I've been to Anfield, and I'd have thought any ticket would be ok, lots of people would prefer the Kop end, but I actually prefer watching football from the sides, it's down to personal preference. The atmosphere is going to be good anywhere inside the ground.
posted by chrispy108 at 4:30 AM on June 29, 2010

I live in Liverpool and can most likely (95% confidence) get you tickets. My husband gets tickets to Anfield for friends of his all the time and has never once not gotten them. This is between dozens of friends with season tickets and family who work at Anfield. I'm pretty sure he could get them for well under £100 as well. I'm not some dodgy ticket tout and this is all above ground. I have little interest in football - I just know that my husband seems to always be getting people tickets. You can memail me if you'd like more info.

Hope Street is a beautiful hotel in a great location and considered one of the best hotels in the city. It is the very definition of a boutique hotel. It would probably be the one that I'd recommend. The Malmaison is also gorgeous and on the waterfront but a short walk from the city centre. It is also a chain (albeit a nice chain), if you're looking to steer clear of that kind of thing. Another you might consider is Hard Day's Night which is smack in the city centre so probably the best location of the three. It is a Beatles themed hotel, which sounds cheesy but they've managed to pull it off as a stylish boutique hotel. I haven't seen the rooms but from what I've heard it's a great place.

FYI - Anfield also does tours of the grounds for about £10 if you're not already aware - something your husband might be interested in. I think the details are on the website.
posted by triggerfinger at 1:09 PM on June 29, 2010

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