Fans are set for disappointment as authorities confirmed there would be no live broadcast of the game on large screens in dedicated fanzones around Madrid on Saturday.
Tens of thousands of Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur fans have travelled to the Spanish capital to support their teams as they compete for the Champions League title.
Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson had lobbied Madrid Mayor, Manuela Carmena for free public screenings of the live games, but confirmed on Thursday that his request had not been met.
— Liverpool News 365 (@iLiverpoolApp) May 24, 2019
Many were hopeful that despite early insistence from authorities that there would be no live broadcast of the game on big screens, it was merely a ploy to put people off coming unless they had tickets.
“They did the same thing in Kiev,” said James, a Liverpool supporter who was in Kiev for the Champions League Final last year. “They didn't announce until the last minute there, because they don't want people travelling over without tickets.”
- Fans descend on Madrid for massive football party
- Champions League Final: Everything Liverpool and Spurs fans going to Madrid need to know
Fan groups of Facebook and Whatsapp were filled with speculation about whether big screens were going up.
“Any sign of the big screens going up in the fan zones yet?” wrote one post in a group dedicated to Liverpool supporters travelling in Madrid on Friday.
“We're in the fan zone and been informed by a worker that there will be a big screen showing the game. Then asked the police and they said there will not be a screen showing the game. So what the hells…” came one reply.
Both UEFA, which runs the fanzones and Madrid City Hall which authorises activities in them confirmed to The Local on Friday that there would not be giant screens installed for the final.
The police also tweeted out this unequivocal statement:
— policia_UCLF_TFC (@policia_UCLFTFC) May 29, 2019
Some supporters expressed their disappointment:
“Actually f**ked off at this now. No big screen, bars getting booked out to watch the game all over the shop.
What the actual f**k is going on? Any f**kin chance of going over having a great day singing, drinking, meeting millions of Reds and then watching the game close by without having to pay rip off advance fees to get into pre booked bars or get a Metro out of town to get to actually see the game?
Absolutely f**king ridiculous this.
But others were more stoic.
One wrote: ” Screens or not just go Madrid an party like its 2019 allez allez allez about it.”
“There will be plenty places to watch the game. Big screens or not. Just be prepared and sensible, it will be ok,” wrote another.
Madrid’s full of bars
Fan zones will shut at 6pm when those with tickets will be expected to travel to the stadium and those without will have plenty of time to find a location to watch the game.
Madrid has an estimated 12,000 venues – bars, restaurants and cafes – which will have screens and will likely show the match.
Irish bars in the centre are likely to fill up quickly and will be turning people away at the door once they reach capacity but almost every bar in Madrid has a television and, in football-mad Spain, all will be tuned to the final.
Fans are advised to head away from the centre and the area close to the stadium where bars will be most busy.
Try turning down a quieter side-street and the chances are you will find a bar with a TV.
Order a cerveza and a plate of patatas bravas and settle in for the game.