It looked like a busy Monday in Seville, with tourists on the streets as usual in one of Europe’s top tourist destinations, but unlike most days of the year, thousands of football fans could be seen in blue jerseys. Or black in bars and restaurants.
Thousands of Rangers fans and Eintracht Frankfurt confirmed their presence in the largest city in southern Spain ahead of Wednesday’s Europa League final.
Local authorities expect about 100,000 fans to come to the city, most of whom will arrive without tickets to watch the final match. Only ten thousand tickets were allocated to each of the two teams qualified for the final, which will be held at the Pizjuan stadium, which has a capacity of 42,000 spectators.
Rangers, who lost in the 2008 European League final to Zenit St Petersburg, are hoping to win their first European title in 50 years after winning the European Cup Winners’ Cup, which no longer exists in 1972.
Eintracht Frankfurt is seeking to end its titleless career, which lasted 42 years in Europe, after winning the European League when it was dubbed the European Cup in 1980.
“I hope to get a ticket for 1,500 pounds,” Rangers fan Greg Cote told Reuters on Monday.
Cote arrived from Glasgow last Sunday after stopping in Newcastle and the Faroe Islands, before finally arriving in Seville.
“I was lucky because I booked my flight before my semi-final,” he said. But people are really struggling to find a way to get here and then go home.
Cote revealed that he is currently staying in an apartment with three friends for £1,600 for four nights. A quick search for a room in Seville for a Tuesday or Wednesday showed prices ranging from 650 to 1,500 euros a night in a three-star hotel.
The Seville City Council expects the hotels to be fully occupied, with an income of around 60 million euros for the city.
More than 5,500 police will be deployed on the streets, while the fan zone in the Plaza de Espana will be able to accommodate only 4,000 people.
To avoid confrontations, the fans of the two teams will be placed in two separate areas with an interval of 5.5 kilometers between them.