A celebration of American football

IThere is an exuberant atmosphere throughout Deutsche Bank Park. Football fans wait patiently at the burger stands for their pre-game snack. Fans wait in queues up to 60 meters long in front of the entrance to the fan shop, where the items ordered online in advance are prepared for collection. At various self-experiment stations, fans of the original American game wait with the egg-shaped play equipment in order to be able to catch a ball thrown from the ball machine by falling into foam cushions like a wide receiver. When attempting a field goal, even soccer players who have trained for decades have problems kicking through the mini poles that are just five meters away. The football festival that opened at half past eleven around the first regular NFL game in Frankfurt between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Miami Dolphins is a celebration because the NFL responds to the needs of its fans with a creativity that is largely comparable to football’s complacency missing.

The English version of Major Tom’s 80s hit “Totally detached” plays in the stadium as a perfect mix of cultures. The song also describes the mood in the Fletcher’s Corner circle. A group of a dozen football fans from the greater Birmingham area set off on Friday to Frankfurt, a city that none of them had ever visited before. The performance of their Kansas City Chiefs, who brought the group together into a kind of fan club, was the reason for the trip. “We go to a Chiefs game together every year. Frankfurt was now closer to us than Kansas and also something new,” says Burrell. “And I’m totally thrilled.” The woman in her mid-fifties primarily relates her praise to the activities of the NFL. She visited the Championship, the ship that the Chiefs have anchored on the Main to offer their fans all kinds of entertainment.

First time outside the USA

But Sue Burrell also satisfied her curiosity about Frankfurt. It was precisely such guests that Frankfurt was hoping for at the beginning of its bid for the first NFL guest games on German soil. In fact, many American fans said that they had left their home country for the first time in their lives for the Frankfurt game. “Our city will receive incredible worldwide recognition through the two games,” said the mayor Mike Josef (SPD) on Saturday evening at the sports press ball. “But we also have visitors here who will immediately learn to appreciate our city.”

High-fives with the fans: Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City's quarterback, after the game against Miami.

Photo gallery

American Football

The NFL’s guest appearance in Frankfurt

At least on Sunday there was hardly any reason to complain. Around the game, Frankfurt also showed its best organizational side in interaction with the meticulously working NFL. Traveling by S-Bahn was reportedly much more comfortable than at Eintracht games, although due to the lack of parking spaces at the stadium – the NFL banned the use of the 1,600 parking spaces below the field due to safety concerns – the burden on public transport was significantly higher . This was helped by the fact that the NFL apparently managed to do what Eintracht couldn’t do at their home games: the Rhein-Main transport association hung additional wagons on the tracks to create space. In any case, a police spokesman confirmed a good two hours before the game that everything was going smoothly. He also emphasized the peaceful atmosphere among football fans.

The post first appeared on www.faz.net

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