Fans are looking for the “Golden Ticket” to watch Girona vs Barcelona

Nurses, cleaners and students race to the parks, lakes and historic monuments of Catalonia this week in search of tickets for Saturday’s big event in the region: Girona hosts Barcelona in LaLiga (Live at 10:15 AM ET in the US).

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With the show in high demand for the match at the 13,500-capacity Estadi Montilivi, Girona came up with a novel idea of ​​giving 12 assists for their first match against Barcelona since 2019 – the fifth-ever meeting between the two teams. .

While Willy Wonka used candy bars to hide golden tickets, giving holders a tour of his magic workshop in Roald Dahl’s children’s classic “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” Girona opted for a modern twist. A series of small treasure chests have been placed in prominent locations in various cities and towns around Catalonia, with clues to their whereabouts appearing on the club’s Instagram throughout the week.

“The idea popped up spontaneously at a meeting a few years ago,” Adam Diaz, Girona’s brand manager, told ESPN. “It’s a little like [“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”] But we didn’t really take it from anywhere else. It’s a bit like the idea of ​​an escape room, or something similar.

“This year we hid tickets in Barcelona, ​​Banyos, Palamos, Salt and Girona. Then we gave clues through our Instagram stories and our followers started looking for tickets. Every five minutes we gave more clues until the tickets were found.”

Clues include aerial footage and drone footage to help participants focus on the prize. Allusions this week led fans, who were encouraged to don the club’s colours, to the cathedral and Parc Ciutadella in Barcelona. To the lake in Banyoles. To the beach in Palamos and then back to Girona, where Saturday’s match will take place. Hidden cameras recorded fans searching for their prize.

This is the second year that Girona has been held.”Great find(“The Big Search”), after debuting in 2019. Relegation and the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the competition’s return, but its initial success – winning marketing awards in Spain – meant it would always bounce back eventually.

Barcelona’s draw made this weekend the perfect time for that. Only 60 miles separate the two cities, and while the rivalry between the two clubs is more friendly than hostile, Girona fans want to see their local heroes transformed. Ousmane DembeleAnd Pedri And his partners on home soil (star attacker Robert Lewandowski The final is served by a three-match suspension).

“Quite a few of the participants run away from their jobs, still in work uniforms, to look for chests,” Diaz said. “For example, this week we had nurses and cleaners traveling from Girona to Sault to find tickets.”

So far, Diaz says, there have been no angry confrontations between fans finding the boxes at the same time, although the number of people looking for tickets has caused problems.

“People have recognized us and are following us while we are trying to hide al-Sadr,” he said. “We really have to think about how we can increase the difficulty when it comes to hiding chests because with so many people following them now, tickets are often found more than 10 minutes after we release our first clue.”

The last two visits to Barcelona have ended in 2-0 and 3-0 wins. However, Girona is hoping for an upset this time around. The club, part-owned by City Football Group – owners of clubs around the world including Premier League champions Manchester City – are 11th in LaLiga and can already boast a 1-1 draw against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu. this chapter.

But they will need to do more than solve some clues to find their way through the Barcelona defence; Xavi Hernandez’s side have conceded just six times in 17 league games this season, and kept 13 clean sheets, so a first-ever league win over Barcelona would be a well-deserved result for all Girona fans.

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