By Ethan Brissette
In 2002 I had the opportunity to go to Walt Disney World. What I didn’t know is that this trip changed my life. As I walked aimlessly around Epcot waiting for my next adventure, I saw a shop with football jerseys outside. One Chelsea. One Liverpool. One United. One Arsenal. Did I mention Arsenal being the fourth jersey I saw? Anyway, enough banter, Chelsea was the only blue jersey and I forever became a fan of the club and color I love.
Fast forward to 2016. There was a lot of hype in the U.S. regarding Brexit and what is was going to do to the airfare prices over seas. I had never been out of the U.S. so this was pretty enticing. When I found my fiance and myself airfare for less then $700 round trip from Raleigh, I knew what had to come next: Airbnb and ticket to the Bridge….something on my bucket list I thought would never happen. I could only dream of the day I would hear those beautiful echoes and chants on the TV I heard every Saturday or Sunday. It sent shivers down my spine. The only problem was that I had no idea how to procure a ticket to a Chelsea match. I tried to buy them on Craigslist. I was told that is illegal. I tried Stubhub. Also illegal. Then I even tried to get one off the Chelsea website….every game almost was sold out the day of. Not to mention you have to buy a True Blue membership. Being in Raleigh and being a Chelsea fan was tough. Then I got the bright idea to email Chelsea In America…
I was amazed that I got a response back so quickly. I was moved up the ladder pretty fast when I told them that getting a Chelsea match ticket was on my bucket list. Then I met Beth Wild. She gave me a call that night…informed me of literally everything I could ever want to know about going to a match, places to go, pubs to drink, events happening. There was even some talk about the transfer window (it being summer at the time). Not only did she get us tickets to a Chelsea match, but I got to see Chelsea vs. Leicester, the not so returning champs. Tickets didn’t cost hardly anything at that. I think in total we paid $120 for two tickets and we were midfield 6 rows up. Amazing seats.
We ended up winning that game 3-0. The beginning of a win streak that still has won me bragging rights over all my Man U fans in Jose misery. Did I mention how good our seats were? Truly a pleasure to be there. Everyone was so nice. The event was extremely organized, not chaotic like american football. We even got to go to the Megastore and Chelsea museum & tour.
The moral of this story is that being a Chelsea fan in America is something special. I had no idea how easy it was to buy tickets until I joined this group. Don’t waste your time trying to find tickets at Stubhub, Craigsllist, etc. Join CIA today!
PS: Don’t put ketchup in chips in London.
Thank you CIA and especially Beth for this amazing journey.