Eintracht Frankfurt versus Glasgow Rangers: The Europa League final on Wednesday evening in Seville attracts well over a hundred thousand fans. The city is in a state of emergency, hotel prices are exploding.
The simplest hostel rooms for more than 1000 euros, crazy travel routes by train, bus and plane and an expected “migration of peoples”: the city of Seville is preparing for a unique onslaught before the final of the Europa League between Eintracht Frankfurt and Glasgow Rangers. Up to 50,000 Hessians and over 70,000 Scots are expected in the final metropolis in Andalusia. In terms of tradition, fans and a charged atmosphere, dimensions should be reached on Wednesday with up to 35 degrees before the game in the evening (9 p.m. / RTL) that is otherwise only possible before a World Cup final.
“There will be an onslaught that this city has never experienced before. It will probably be the first time that we have fewer fans away from home than our opponents. It will be huge,” said Frankfurt CEO Axel Hellmann, looking at the showdown in the Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán, which, to the annoyance of both fan groups, only holds a little over 40,000 spectators.
Only 10,000 cards for each fan camp
Both clubs received just 10,000 tickets but could have sold more than ten times that number to their international title-hungry fans. This is particularly bitter for the two finalists because in Seville alone there are two larger football stadiums than FC Seville. But that can’t slow down the euphoria in Frankfurt and Glasgow.
“We are full of anticipation because this competition is a unique gathering of Europe’s loudest and most vocal fans. It will be an almost unique and very, very big, atmospheric final,” said Hellmann, whose club was a little surprised by the race in Europe. Eintracht, which ended the Bundesliga year in a sobering eleventh place, has been in a state of emergency for weeks. Everything revolves around Europe, much more crass than usual. Christoph Daum – ex-coach of Hessen – expects “a small migration of peoples” in Seville, as he told the German Press Agency.
For Hellmann and the club, the final will also be the temporary climax of a crazy journey: in 2016 preventing relegation against Nuremberg in the relegation, winning the cup against Bayern in 2018 and the first European final in 42 years in 2022. Tens of thousands of their own fans will travel across Europe to this event – on bizarre, sometimes uncomfortable and mostly damn expensive routes.
1600 euros for an ordinary hotel room
If you want to be there in Seville, you have to pay a hell of a lot – and then be lucky enough to be selected for a ticket. This applies equally to Frankfurters and Scots. Professional Leon Balogun describes the passion of the Rangers fans like this: “It can be absolutely uncomfortable when things don’t go that way. Nevertheless, it’s absolute love and obsession. That’s what makes these fans. I love it, this force.”
The two fan groups are on friendly terms, with Eintracht even having a conference room called Glasgow Rangers. The Hessians were euphoric that the traditional club from Scotland and not RB Leipzig made it into the final. Even if the fight for tickets and hotels has intensified and become more expensive. Those who were late had to pay 1,600 euros for two nights in ordinary accommodation in Seville. After the semi-finals, the usury knew no bounds.
The public viewing, which Eintracht is playing in their own World Cup stadium, also shows the enormous power that the final triggers on the Main. The Bundesliga club, who already had huge crowds of fans away in Barcelona and at West Ham, could have sold up to 100,000 tickets. More than ten times the usual price of 10 euros was called up on the black market – mind you, to see the game on a big screen, around 2300 kilometers northeast of the actual final city.
A fan arrives by bike
For the fans, the ticket situation is by far the biggest problem. Accommodation and arrival options can be organized with cutbacks, a large purse or imagination – a fan rides a bike from Frankfurt to Seville. But the number of cards is limited. “I don’t have to explain this anger to myself. I know it and I feel it. I’ve also received some disappointed emails from my circle of friends,” said Hellmann.
The club have made a “fundamental decision” on the ticketing, as Hellmann explained, in light of the 3-2 in Barcelona and the 2-1 at West Ham. The particularly loud and active fans should definitely be there in order to be able to hold up against the Scots. “We are pragmatic. We want to bring the furore from the ranks to the pitch,” said the official. In summery hot Seville, this furor will be felt all day long.