New York, NY |
This past weekend in the early morning dew of New York City’s South Street Seaport, Premier League fans, former players, promoters, personalities and broadcasters all came together under one roof for the inaugural NBC Soccer ‘Fan Fest’ event.
With a stealthy invitation campaign seeing the majority of invites going out behind the scenes to the various supporters groups in the NYC area, this event truly brought together many of the more dedicated PL fans in the city and the event certainly did not disappoint.
Although the centerpiece of the event was the late kickoff between Liverpool and Chelsea, we saw fans from almost every Premier League club present for the earlier games, from the NYC Swans to NY Hornets, NY Spurs to NY Reds, and most everyone in between … and all in full voice!
Upon arrival fans were greeted by NBC personalities such as Rebecca Lowe, Robbie Earle, Robbie Mustoe and Roger Bennett (of Men in Blazers), as well as Chelsea FC youth team trainers, Liverpool FC social media team and everybody’s “favorite” former referee Mark Clattenburg. It has to be noted that everyone just mentioned had an incredible amount of time for all of the fans and invited guests, regardless of whether they sang through the live broadcasts or even hurled the occasional abuse in friendly banter.
A real surprise came when former Chelsea FC legends Ashley Cole and Michael Essien arrived on site to greet fans, chat live on the air and take pictures with the other main guest; the Premier League Trophy. As we soon found out, the two soccer greats had surprised the New York Blues earlier that morning by joining them on a customized open top bus ride from Chelsea Market much to the delight of all on board. A job very well done by NY Blues organizer Danny White, who managed to keep much of it a surprise.
There was a wonderful atmosphere in the Fulton Market Building as the open plan space was divided into two between Chelsea and Liverpool fans. It was LFC NY led by Gareth Watford along with the NYC Kopites who had the first reason to celebrate, but in a serendipitous late turn the Chelsea fans had their moment too … which no doubt pleased the NBC producers who had cameras trained on both sets of fans throughout the game.
All in all it was a tremendously well run event, with just the right amount of fan mix, surprises, free food and drink and the usual amount of Saturday entertainment we’ve come to expect from the EPL. For a first attempt the bar has been set extremely high, nonetheless we hope to see more events like this from NBC Sports in the future, so until then watch this space!
The Soccer Republic would like to take the chance to thank NBC Sports for the invite and allowing us to cover the event, as well as all of the people who attended for bringing the usual fun and commitment they bring to their home bars each and every week!
Check out the gallery below and if you wish for us to share your pictures and videos in future please use #SoccerRepublic on any form of social media!