MUNICH (AP) — For Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan Martin Stelzer, football and beer go hand in hand.
On Sunday, the Austrian and anyone seeking a chill at the NFL’s pre-game fan festival outside the Allianz Arena pulled out.
The NFL sold a lot of merchandise at its festival and vendors offered coffee, soft drinks and water, but thirsty fans had to wait to enter the stadium to buy beer.
“Here in Munich, in the country of origin of beer? It’s kind of weird,” said Stelzer, 32, who traveled with friends to watch the Tampa Bay Buccaneers take on the Seattle Seahawks in Germany’s regular season opener.
Some fans had brought beer with them to the fan fest, where activities included field kicks and soccer ball tossing. Others went to an adjacent area, bought beers and returned.
“We will never give up,” Stelzer said. “We will now look for him. Behind this parking lot, there is a small shop where you can buy beer.
The NFL said in a statement, “In accordance with standard stadium protocol, there are no beer sales outside of the Allianz Arena.”
Tailgating or gathering on an esplanade outside a stadium before a match is not done here. German football fans who drink beer do so in bars in city centers and then travel to the stadium together by train.
But fans like Stelzer, who attended Michigan’s home game against Colorado State in September, assumed he and his friends would have beer offers.
Seahawks fan Don Wood, who came to Munich from Washington State with his wife and several other friends, was also surprised.
“We want beer right now, it’s very strange. In the United States, you would get big complaints about that,” Wood said hours before kickoff.
American Teddy Rieke, who traveled with Wood and others from Washington, added: “It makes sense…get sober first.”
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