Enjoying a Weekend Football Trip to Seville
For diehard fans of local team Brighton and Hove Albion, the idea of following or attending matches of other teams might seem abhorrent, especially with the Seagulls flying amongst the elite of English football in the Premier League, after a 34-year absence from the top flight.
However, with Gatwick Airport quite literally just up the road from Brighton, a whole host of opportunities and possible destinations await the more adventurous fans of football, keen to experience the continental flavours the beautiful game has to offer. Cheap deals for flights and accommodation make it possible to enjoy visits to numerous European destinations, all within what fans might normally end up paying for away trips to many English grounds.
One such destination with plenty of appeal is the southern Spanish city of Seville, which is the economic and administrative capital of the Andalusia region. Along with the historical, cultural and culinary delights to enjoy in this wonderful city, nestling on the banks of the Guadalquivir River, those with an appetite for football will more than get their fill by getting to see either Sevilla FC or Real Betis in action.
The most prominent of the two clubs in recent years has been Sevilla FC, currently sponsored by the world’s largest online betting exchange and leading casino offer company, Betfair, who are headquartered in London. A club with plenty of other British ties dating right back to its foundation in 1890, Los Hispalenses are also the most successful side in Andalusia, having won the Europa League five times since 2006. They also eliminated Manchester United from the Champions League last season.
Home for Sevilla FC is the classic yet impressive Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium, which was originally built in 1955, but has received a facelift and many improvements to facilities on offer during recent years. The venue currently boasts an all-seater 43,883 capacity, although given that during the 2018-19 season the club sold just shy of 40,000 season tickets, this can sometimes make getting tickets on general sale quite tricky.
Fortunately, rather than rely on expensive third-party ticketing agencies, the official Sevilla FC website is fully available in English, which means that tickets can also be purchased directly online, without any fuss or complications. It’s then a simple matter of collecting them from the ticket office, when you arrive to attend the match.
The neighbouring club of the city is Real Betis, who have perhaps suffered more ups and downs in their history, but look as though they’re entering what could be another golden age. The last trophy the team won was the Copa del Rey at the end of the 2004-05 season, but under the current management and playing attractive football, Los Béticos are nowadays regularly competing amongst the European positions in LaLiga.
Boasting the biggest football ground in the city by some margin, home for Real Betis is the Benito Villamarín Stadium, with a current capacity of 60,720 seats. Akin to their local rivals, the stadium has received a complete facelift and a new South Stand was recently completed, raising capacity significantly to meet the ever-increasing demand from local fans. Impressively, by the end of the 2018-19 season ticket campaign, over 51,000 had been sold.
Demand for general tickets remains high, but with the higher capacity, there’s often a better chance to get tickets at the Benito Villamarín, compared to nearby Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán, if just turning up at the ticket office on matchdays. However, it’s always advised to book in advance with possible and like their neighbours, Real Betis also have their official website fully available in English, making the purchase of tickets a straightforward process online, once fixture dates are announced.
Give yourself plenty of time to enjoy the beautiful city of Seville, either side of a match, as there’s plenty to see and do.
- There are several competing airlines offering flights from Gatwick to Seville, so shop around for the best deals and offers.
- Don’t forget to take your booking confirmation and passport to the stadium ticket office, when collecting your matchday tickets. Ticket offices usually open at least two hours before kick-off on matchdays for collecting reserved tickets.
- Getting tickets for matches such as the Sevilla-Betis derby, European games, or against rivals such as Barcelona and Real Madrid, can be very difficult. Stay tuned to information via the club websites when details are announced and be prepared to reserve tickets quickly, or miss out.
- Around both stadiums on matchdays there are lots of lively of bars, eateries and supporters’ clubs, so don’t be afraid to mingle with the local fans before and after matches. They’re very welcoming, even if you don’t speak Spanish!