Planning Advice- Join The Club

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Here’s the biggest thing I want to share with you so far. Buying tickets in advance for European football is nearly impossible. Just about every club I’ve looked at doesn’t even allow me to see if there are tickets available for specific matches. The reason? It’s all about the season ticket holders and fan club members baby!

I guess I sort of expected trouble getting tickets to some of the larger clubs such as AC Milan, Bayern Munich, Chelsea etc. but I really didn’t think that getting tickets to even smaller clubs would be such a problem. If you’re a true fan of football however you know that it takes a lot of blind faith to get though some tough seasons and getting a ticket for some of the teams is no different.

If there’s a club that you are just dying to see, try and join the official fan club if they have one. If they don’t or if the language barrier is an issue, your next step should be to try and find an English speaking fan club or a fan club for members living in your country. Typically larger first division clubs will have a dedicated fan club for members living in the United States for example. These fan clubs will give you the ability to purchase tickets well in advance of them being offered to the general public and in many cases this will be the only way short of paying upwards of $300 per ticket on some internet sites to get a seat on match day.

Let’s take Juventus as just one example. Due to problems related to hooligan activity, they have decided that only Juventus fan club members or residents of the city of Turin can purchase tickets for certain matches. I learned this the hard way and ended up not being able to get a ticket despite there being plenty of seats available.

As an added bonus, fan club members typically get behind the scenes access to the team. Members only sections of a web site may have training reports, interviews, video and more that just aren’t available to non fan club members.

Eintracht Frankfurt- Commerzbank Arena, Frankfurt

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Eintracht Frankfurt has never been one of the glamor clubs of German football and likely never will be. After spending time bouncing between 1st Bundesliga and 2nd Bundesliga over the last decade, this working class club has never lost the incredible support of its fans.

As a kid who grew up on Bundesliga matches on Saturday morning public television to someone who now follows the game on GoalTV, I’ve seen just about every stadium in Germany. One thing I noticed when watching these games is that the Bundesliga has what I consider to be the most amazing fans in all of football. One team has always seemed to stand above the rest in this exceptional league though and that team is Eintracht Frankfurt.

If you are looking for an amazing European football experience, you’d be hard pressed to find anyplace better to do it than Frankfurt. How can you make this happen? Read on.

Getting A Ticket

There are a couple of options for getting tickets to a Frankfurt match. Fortunately, unlike most large clubs, you don’t need to be a club member in order to bey tickets in advance.

The first and probably easiest method is to use the fax form available here. Note that the tickets will be held for you at the stadium and they can be picked up beginning four hours prior to kickoff on match day. The disadvantage to this method is that you can’t pick the exact seat or even the block where you seat will be. The closest you can some is to specify if you want to sit in the main stand, opposite stand, East stand or the West stand. That being said, Commerzbank Arena doesn’t have a bad seat in the house. It basically comes down to how much action you want to be in. If you want to stand, sing, yell and be in the thick of things then the West stand is where you should be. It can be more difficult to obtain tickets in this area but if you can put in your request far enough in advance then perhaps you’ll get lucky. If your watching style is more low key, any of the other three sections will suit you just fine.

The other method of ordering tickets is to use the online ticketing system. With the help of Google’s translation service it’s not that hard to figure things out. The one area that gets a bit tricky is that the form assumes that you are living in Germany and requires a German mailing address for the ticket. Now, here’s the trick. It doesn’t matter what you enter as the address, use the address shown at the bottom of the submission form if you like. Once you receive your ticket confirmation, make note of your reservation number. It will be next to Reservierungs-Nr. on the email. Take that number and send an email to ticket@eintracht-frankfurt.de letting them know that you would like to pick up the ticket on match day. For the pickup location, see this map.

For away fan seating, please click here. The away sections are marked by the red outline.

Atmosphere

Frankfurt fans are simply amazing. Most fans take the Tram so there seems to be a never ending stream of humanity flowing out from the station’s platform. Nearly everyone seems to be wearing a Frankfurt shirt and scarf to match. There are a number of food and drink stands outside the stadium gates and if you want something to eat or drink, I strongly suggest you get it from one of these stands. Once inside, all food and drink must be purchased with a Frankfurt card which is like a debit card that can be preloaded with cash.

Lines are long to enter the stadium and security will give anyone who looks like they could be carrying something on the banned item list a good frisking. Don’t worry about the size of the lines though since they have it down to an art and things will move very quickly.

There is no open container law so you might want to join the locals and bring your own beverage of choice to enjoy before you enter the stadium. Many fans bring picnic lunches and enjoy drinks and food with friends before kickoff.

Using The Tram

Metro stops can be identified by signs such as this one shown below.

Tram Sign

Take the orange tram line number 21 to the Stadion stop and follow the signs marked with a stadium symbol.

Stadium Sign

If you miss a tram don’t worry. The number of trams going to and from the stadium are increased so that you should be able to hop on one about every five minutes. Even the huge line at the end of the match to board should go pretty quickly but be prepared to really pack things in tight.

Pictures & Video

Everybody Pogo!

Amazing flag display

Fans Stadium Flags

1860 Munich- Allianz Arena, Munich

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Despite being in one of the biggest cities in Germany and playing in one of the greatest stadiums in the world, 1860 Munich continues to struggle to reach the top level of German soccer. They have remained in the German second devision ever since their relegation from the Bundesliga in 2004. Overshadowed by the larger and much wealthier Bayern Munich, 1860 can only look with envy at the successes and triumphs enjoyed by the super club with whom they share Allianz arena.

Originally intended as a joint venture between the two clubs where revenue would be shared, financial hardships led 1860 to sell their share in Allianz arena to Bayern Munich. While giving up future revenue generated by their share in the arena, the sale to Bayern did allow 1860 stay out of bankruptcy.

For many fans wishing to watch a match at Allianz arena, 1860 will likely be the only option since Bayern Munich’s Bundesliga matches are nearly always sold out well in advance.

Getting a ticket

Due to the fact that 1860 is currently in the second division and plays in one of the largest stadiums in Germany, tickets can be obtained easily on the day of the match. Look for a sign like this-

Ticket sign

and you will find the ticket windows below. Pay attention to the signs above each ticket window. If the sign has Arena Card on it, then you will not be able to pay for your tickets there. The arena card is used by regular fans and can be pre loaded with cash. The card can then be used as quick payment by tapping it on one of the readers which will automatically deduct the cash from the card.

Arena Card

Look for signs that say Tickets Kategorie 1 or Tickets Kategorie 2 and you will be able to pay with cash or a credit card.

Kategorie 1

When you buy your ticket, you might want to specify which team you are rooting for if you care. I didn’t and ended up in the away supporters section. It was no big deal but if you care, make your preference known so you end up in the right place.

Away fans are generally seated in sections 128-130, 236-240, and 334-339.

Atmosphere

Despite not enjoying the popularity of Bayern Munich, the city does have a nice buzz in the air for match days. German football fans love to show their colors and 1860 fans are no exception. Streams of fans wearing power blue replica jerseys and scarves swarm the metro stations and prepare to head off to the match. Nearly all fans take the metro since the arena is outside of the city and has limited parking.

Many fans have denim vests with various patches sewn on to every square inch. It seemed to be a German thing since I didn’t see this type of fan display in any of the other countries where I watched soccer.

Patches Pre Game

Fans from Jena celebrate their away goal. Click here for video.
Jena Fans

Getting Around

By far the most used, fastest and best way to reach the stadium on match day is on the metro. Take the U6 blue line to Fröttmanning which is also marked with a soccer ball icon on match days. Upon arriving at the stadium, just follow the rest of the crowd up the stairs and to the right to the stadium.

Metro Stop

If you already have a match ticket it can be used to board the metro both before and after the match. At the end of the game there will be lines for the metro that look like they will take forever to get through. Don’t worry though since there are extra trains in service on match day and the lines flow right along. Just be prepared to be packed in like a Tokyo subway car.

Metro

Juventus- Stadio Olympico, Turin

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Despite recent troubles involving match fixing which saw the Italian giants relegated to Serie B, Juventus continues to be one of the major teams in world soccer and is the most successful team in all of Italian football. This success has allowed them to have some of the biggest names in soccer and when you pair that with the wonderful city of Turin, it’s no wonder they have more fans than any other Italian club.

Once you arrive in Turin, pay a visit to one of the many useful tourist information booths.
Tourism Booth

Mention that you are there for the football match and you will be given a guide that not only includes a very handy transit map which will help get you to the stadium but it also includes various walking tours of the city so you can see many of the amazing sites to be found in Turin. I found the tourist information provided by Turin to be some of the most useful in Europe.

Getting a ticket

Despite what many web sites and books still report, Juventus no longer plays matches at the Stadio Delle Alpi and instead plays at the Stadio Olympico. In fact, my experiences from trying to watch a Juventus match is what really drove me to try and help others avoid the fiasco I had. My advice is to check on the English language Juventus web site and make sure that they haven’t switched stadiums yet again.

Speaking of getting tickets, there is now a law in Italy which requires all tickets to display the name of the ticket holder and the ticket holder must present a valid form of ID that matches what is on the ticket. As of now, it is not possible to purchase tickets online for Juventus matches. If you want a ticket, you must either buy from one of the tobacco shops displaying a biglietteria symbol or from the a ticket window at the stadium on match day. The tobacco shops are located throughout the city but not all of them sell tickets. These pictures show what a tobacco shop will look like if they are authorized to sell Juve tickets.

Tobacco Shop Tobacco Shop

Unfortunately, the reality is a bit different. When I tried to buy a ticket at a tobacco shop I wasn’t allowed to and my Italian wasn’t good enough to understand why. I also tried to purchase a ticket from the stadium ticket office and was told that only people who could prove that they were residents of Turin could buy tickets even though they plenty of available seating for the match. For a map of ticket window locations at the stadium, click here.

I’ve tried to find out why this restriction was in place and if it is a new policy but so far I have not received any answers. One of the problems is that like most large European soccer clubs, nearly all of Juve’s ticket sales are to those people who are part of one of their official fan clubs and are “members” of Juventus FC. If you really want to have a better chance of not only buying a ticket but getting in to the stadium at all, I would strongly recommend that you become a member of Juventus FC. The current price is €12 and more information can be found here.

Away fans are typically seated in the south east corner of the stadium in the following sections. 125-128, 233-238 and 319-322.

Atmosphere

Perhaps it was simply the areas of the city I was visiting but I saw much more evidence of support for the other Turin soccer team, Turino than I did for Juventus. Part of this might be explained by the fact that the arrangement is somewhat like the Yankee’s and the Met’s in New York City. Juventus is seen as the glamor club with all the money while the smaller Turino is the club of the working class. As a result, a large amount of the supporters for Juventus aren’t from Turin at all but come from all over Italy. Everyone likes a winner after all and Juventus is no exception.

It’s not until you actually get to the stadium that you begin to see supporters in their replica jerseys and scarfs. Due to the fact that there aren’t many bars or restaurants close to the stadium or perhaps it’s just an Italian thing, most fans didn’t begin to show up until less than an hour before kickoff. For such a large club, there aren’t many souvenir or food stands to be found around the stadium.

Unfortunately, hooliganism is still very much a problem for Italian football and I witnessed a few incidents while I happened to be outside the stadium. Police in riot gear are concentrated at the North side where the Juve ultras tend to congregate prior to kickoff. At one point, I saw a group of Napoli ultras rush the Juve ultras and a short fight broke out between the two sides. It wall all over in about 15 seconds once the Napoli ultras ran off and were pursued by stadium security.

Ultras Haircut Police

Getting around

Remember the handy transit map you picked up from the tourist information booth when you arrived? Now you can use it to get to Stadio Olympico. The stop you want for the stadium is called Sebastipoli and it’s on line number 10. They run extra trams on match days so you shouldn’t have to wait long if you should miss your desired tram. Unless you’re coming from outside of Turin you only need to buy the urban ticket which costs €1. To watch a short video that shows how to buy your ticket for the tram, click here.

Tram 10

Pictures and video

When people found out that only residents of Turin could purchase tickets, things got ugly between the fans and the ticket employees as seen here.

Prohibited Items Sunset Stadium at night Checking ID

Barcelona- Camp Nou, Barcelona

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Barcelona is undoubtedly one of the most successful and most well known soccer clubs in the entire world. With this success comes the need to also employ some of the biggest names in the game and this includes players such as Ronaldinho Puyol Eto’o, Henry and others.

Once you arrive in Barcelona, locate a tourist information booth. They’re all over the city and close to all major tourist sites and close to train stations. Take the brochure on the Barcelona card even if you aren’t going to buy one. Inside is a very handy map of the metro routes that you should tare out and keep in your pocket. The other thing you’ll want to get at the tourist information booth is the city map of Barcelona. They should be laying right on the counter and they’re free. Many smaller streets aren’t listed on this map so you may have to walk a few blocks before you can figure out just what street you are on. If this is a problem for you then you might want to buy a more detailed map of the city or take along a personal navigation device.

Getting a ticket

Due to the fact that the club is regularly playing in the Champions League, you should always check for the official date and time of their match which is available 10 days prior to the originally scheduled kickoff here.

Generally speaking, if Barcalona are playing in the Champions League in the following week then the previous league game will take place on a Saturday and if the Champions League match is on a Wednesday then the league game will be on a Sunday. I say generally speaking because this is almost always the way it works but there may be exceptions. For league matches when there isn’t a Champions League game the following week it’s impossible to know if a game will be on Saturday or Sunday until the official schedule is announced 10 days before kickoff.

Due to the size of Camp Nou, tickets generally don’t sell out unless it’s a match against Real Madrid or Espanyol. That being said, I would still highly recommend that you try and purchase your tickets in advance in order to secure the best seat possible.

As is the case with most clubs in Europe these days, dues paying members are given priority when it comes to buying tickets. For non members, tickets can be purchased 15 days in advance through the Barcelona web site.

Bring your passport and the credit card you used to make the purchase with you to pick up your tickets. Here’s a map with the location shown. Look for this sign and head through the gate to get your tickets-

Access 9

If you are feeling really adventurous or perhaps you are reading this from Barcelona you can purchase tickets from the same location on game day.

Away fans are generally seated in sections 521 and 522.

Atmosphere

On matchday you’d hardly know that there was a game on if you weren’t near the stadium. About two hours before kickoff, things really start to pick up around Camp Nou as fans start to descend on the stadium. There are food carts located around the stadium and the typical souvenir stands just like you’d find at any soccer stadium in Europe.

Food Stands Typical Food

Unless it’s a match against Real Madrid, Espanyol or perhaps a match with league cup implications the atmosphere at Camp Nou is very laid back. After visiting Camp Nou, one reporter wrote that loudest noise he heard from the fans came during the half when people took the wrappers off of their sandwiches. I have to say that it’s probably not far off the mark. The Camp Nou supporters likely to make the most noise will be seated behind either of the goals so if you’re looking to be a part of songs and chants then that would be your best bet. Just don’t be surprised if there is actually very little singing going on once you’re there.

Using The Metro

Metro stops can be identified by the following signs-

Metro Sign

If you’d like to see how to purchase a metro ticket, please have a look at this video.

To reach Camp Nou, take either the metro line to Palau Reial or the metro line to Les Cortes. If you need to pick up your ticket, Palau Reial will put you on the side where the Access 9 entry gate is but it’s not that far to walk around if you get off at Les Cortes instead.

You only need to purchase one of the “single tickets” to reach the stadium. If you want to save time getting home after the match, you should go ahead and buy an extra “single ticket” for later use.

Be aware that due to the large crowds at Barcelona matches, getting on any form of public transportation can be a problem. Make sure to allow yourself plenty of time to get back home and be prepared to wait in line for any bus or metro.

Tip- After inserting your ticket at the metro turnstile, wait until the green arrow lights up. It takes longer than you’d think it should but if you don’t then you’ll end up with bruised thighs.

Pictures & Video

Barcelona anthem before the match.

Fans upset with the referee

Team Store Creepy Dolls Stadium Stadium Stadium Stadium

Error closing main::stdin: Postfix amavisd-new errors on 10.3.9 server

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If you’re suddenly getting errors like this, just download and replace your old version of amavisd with the latest version. You can download it from http://www.ijs.si/software/amavisd/

mail amavis[16728]: (16717-06) run_command: child process [16728]: Error closing main::stdin: Bad file descriptor at /usr/bin/amavisd line 1872, line 97.\nNov 19 21:07:20 mail amavis[16717]: (16717-06) TROUBLE in check_mail: parts_decode_ext FAILED: parsing file(1) results – missing last 2 results at (eval 42) line 154.Nov 19 21:07:20 mail amavis[16717]: (16717-06) PRESERVING EVIDENCE in /var/amavis/tmp/amavis-20071119T210720-16717Nov 20 05:07:20 mail postfix/smtp[16700]: E176CCAA12A: to=, relay=127.0.0.1[127.0.0.1], delay=16317, status=deferred (host 127.0.0.1[127.0.0.1] said: 451 4.5.0 Error in processing, id=16717-05, parts_decode_ext FAILED: parsing file(1) results – missing last 1 results at (eval 42) line 154. (in reply to end of DATA command))

MDS Error messages in Mac OS X server

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If you’re not able to log in to server admin and you have a bunch of these messages in the system log, here one potential fix.

Mar 26 14:36:02 mail /Applications/Server/Server Admin.app/Contents/MacOS/Server Admin: MDS Error: unable to create user DBs in /private/var/tmp/mds/501
Mar 26 14:36:02 mail /Applications/Server/Server Admin.app/Contents/MacOS/Server Admin: MDS Error: unable to create user DBs in /private/var/tmp/mds/501

From the terminal, enter sudo security install-mds and hit return. You should now be able to log in using server manager. Unfortunately this error will come back the next time the weekly script is run so to get around that I’ve created the following cron job to take care of this. If anyone can tell me why this happens I’d love to know.

3 6 * * 0 root /usr/bin/security install-mds

Invalid serial number error in Mac OS X server 10.4

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You may see a few of these in /var/log/system.log

servermgrd: servermgr_info: [45] SNCheck(“xsvr-104-000-x-xxx-xxx-fhv-xxx-jyp-xxx-x”) failed with 2 (: )\n

You’ll also have an invalid serial number error when you look at server admin. If you’re sure you haven’t installed OS X server using the same serial number anywhere else, delete the last letter or number of your serial number from server admin and enter it back in and save the change. Next, repair permissions on the server and reboot.

Compile ClamAV for Intel with support for digital signatures.

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Getting this error when trying to compile GMP on an Intel Mac?
C -o .libs/dive_1.o
tmp-dive_1.s:98:junk `@GOT’ after expression
make[2]: *** [dive_1.lo] Error 1
make[1]: *** [all-recursive] Error 1
make: *** [all] Error 2

Here’s the fix. For ClamAV you’ll actually need version 4.1.4 of GMP as 4.2.1 doesn’t currently work with ClamAV. Use the following-

./configure --host=none-apple-darwin and then

make CFLAGS="-arch i386 -pipe -no-cpp-precomp" MPFR_CFLAGS="-arch i386 

-pipe -no-cpp-precomp"

** Warning: linker path does not have real file for library -lbz2.
*** I have the capability to make that library automatically link in when
*** you link to this library. But I can only do this if you have a
*** shared version of the library, which you do not appear to have
*** because I did check the linker path looking for a file starting
*** with libbz2 and none of the candidates passed a file format test
*** using a file magic. Last file checked: /usr/lib/libbz2.a
*** The inter-library dependencies that have been dropped here will be
*** automatically added whenever a program is linked with this library
*** or is declared to -dlopen it.
gcc -dynamiclib -flat_namespace -undefined suppress -o
.libs/libclamav.1.0.4.dylib matcher.lo md5.lo others.lo readdb.lo
cvd.lo dsig.lo str.lo scanners.lo unrarlib.lo zzip-dir.lo zzip-err.lo
zzip-file.lo zzip-info.lo zzip-io.lo zzip-stat.lo zzip-zip.lo strc.lo
blob.lo mbox.lo message.lo snprintf.lo strrcpy.lo table.lo text.lo
ole2_extract.lo vba_extract.lo msexpand.lo -lz -lc -install_name
/usr/local/lib/libclamav.1.dylib -compatibility_version 2
-current_version 2.4
ld: -undefined: unknown argument: -L/usr/lib/gcc/darwin/2.95.2
/usr/bin/libtool: internal link edit command failed
make[1]: *** [libclamav.la] Error 1
make: *** [install-recursive] Error 1

VPN connections from Windows XP to Mac OS X server not working

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Mac OS 10.4 server /var/log/ppp/vpnd.log
Fri Dec 1 15:33:52 2006 : DSAuth plugin: Could not authenticate key agent for encryption key retrieval.
Fri Dec 1 15:33:52 2006 : sent [CHAP Success id=0x84 “S=BC3824FC91AE5D8761245FBC6313C56C265954EE M=Access granted”]
Fri Dec 1 15:33:52 2006 : DSAccessControl plugin: User ‘hrowan’ authorized for access
Fri Dec 1 15:33:52 2006 : MPPE required, but keys are not available. Possible plugin problem?
Fri Dec 1 15:33:53 2006 : sent [LCP TermReq id=0x3 “MPPE required but not available”]
Fri Dec 1 15:33:53 2006 : rcvd [IPCP ConfReq id=0x4 ]
Fri Dec 1 15:33:53 2006 : rcvd [LCP TermAck id=0x3 “MPPE required but not available”]
Fri Dec 1 15:33:53 2006 : Connection terminated.
Fri Dec 1 15:33:53 2006 : Connect time 0.1 minutes.
Fri Dec 1 15:33:53 2006 : Sent 0 bytes, received 0 bytes.
Fri Dec 1 15:33:53 2006 : PPTP disconnecting…
Fri Dec 1 15:33:53 2006 : PPTP disconnected

Use DSCL to check for the existence of the VPN MPPE Key Access User. If you don’t have one that’s your problem. dscl /LDAPv3/127.0.0.1 -list /Users

You should have a user named vpn_ followed by a string of numbers and letters. If not, a quick man vpnaddkeyagentuser shows you what you need to do to fix this. Assuming you’re on the opendirectory master to begin with you’ll enter sudo vpnaddkeyagentuser /LDAPv3/127.0.0.1 and then use DSCL to verify the vpn_ users has been created. Restart the VPN service and you should now be able to log in using PPTP from a Mac as well as IPSec from Windows XP.