MUNICH — For Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan Martin Stelzer, football and beer go hand in hand.
On Sunday, the Austrian and anyone else looking for a cold one at the NFL’s pre-game fan festival outside Allianz Arena struck out.
The NFL sold plenty of merchandise at its festival and vendors offered coffee, soft drinks and water, but thirsty fans had to wait to get inside the stadium to buy beer.
“Here in Munich in the home country of beer? That’s a little bit weird,” said the 32-year-old Stelzer, who traveled with friends to watch the Tampa Bay Buccaneers play the Seattle Seahawks in the first regular-season game in Germany.
Some fans had brought beer with them to the fan fest, where activities included kicking field goals and throwing footballs. Others went to an adjacent area, bought beers, and returned.
“We will never give up,” Stelzer said. “We will now look for it. Behind this parking garage there is a little shop where we can buy beer.”
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The NFL said in a statement: “Consistent 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 game isn’t done here. German soccer fans who drink beer do so in bars in city centers and then travel together to the stadium by train.
But fans like Stelzer, who attended a Michigan home game against Colorado State in September, assumed he and his friends would have beer offerings.
Seahawks fan Don Wood, who came to Munich from the state of Washington with his wife and several other friends, was also surprised.
“We want beer right now, it’s very strange. In the U.S., you’d get big complaints about that,” Wood said a few hours before kickoff.
American Teddy Rieke, who traveled with Wood and others from Washington, added: “Makes sense… be sober heading in.”
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