India's tech city Bengaluru staged the 'Premier League Live' from 14 to 15 October. The two-day event took place at Karnataka Trade Promotion Organisation (KTPO) in Whitefield.
"The stage is set and we are really excited for this weekend's Premier League Live and the opportunity to celebrate Indian fans' support of our clubs and their players in Bengaluru. It is going to be a fantastic weekend of football action on and off the pitch and we are looking forward to welcoming local fans to the event," said Richard Masters, the Premier League Managing Director, earlier in a press release.
Premier League (PL) legends such as Alan Shearer, former Leister City defender Gerry Taggart, ex-Everton star Graham Stuart, John Barnes, the ESPN commentator and a former footballer from Liverpool FC, flew to the southern Indian state to attend the event.
The list of legends did not end here as two ex-Manchester City footballers Paul Dickov and Shay Given joined the PL event, along with former Manchester United midfielder Ronny Johnsen.
Even Arsenal star Robert Pires, who played for FC Goa in Indian Super League, was stationed in Bangalore for the two-day event.
In the last day of the program, an organizer talked to IBTimes Singapore exclusively and shared why they selected Bengaluru as the host city.
"Bengaluru was chosen because we already did it in Mumbai, which we found very successful and we want it to bigger. We feel this was the best place for the interest of English soccer," the Scottish national said.
While talking about the event and their expectations from it, the organizer stated, "We expect people to enjoy themselves."
On 14 October, Saturday, the KTPO ground was occupied by the Bengaluru crowd to watch Premier League matches live on the giant screen. The event scheduled three matches on the first day. The first one was Liverpool against Manchester United, followed by Crystal Palace vs Chelsea and Watford vs Arsenal.
In the second and last day of the event, which was called Fan Park, people gathered to enjoy the PL atmosphere for the last time. The matches between Brighton and Everton, and Southampton and Newcastle, were telecast live.
Apart from the PL live matches, the Bengaluru crowd took part in different activities organized by the authorities.
The Premier League trophy tour was the main attraction of the event. People from all around the city came to the park just to click one photo with the trophy.
The virtual reality tour was one of the exciting activities that visitors really enjoyed. Inside the Chelsea stall, they arranged the set up for a VR tour for the fans. The video was about the journey of their English Premier League win in the 2016-17 season.
Next to the Liverpool FC stall, the organizers set up a counter where all fans could go to get their official club jersey printed with a player's name for free. All they had to do was fill a form and check on a box with respective player's names.
There were a few more activities which were organized for the two-day event, such as a kick lab, where fans could compare their kicking speed and accuracy with PL players.
Bengaluru fans enjoyed striker sprint track, where they had to avoid the obstacles and run to clock the fastest time. The event has a photo booth inside a stall and a card playing game for the visitors as well.
Most of the stalls of the top EPL clubs provided goodies to their fans. While standing in a huge queue, people were waiting for their turn. They were very excited to receive club t-shirts, earphones, caps, flags and other gifts from respective club stalls.
Few visitors expressed how overwhelmed they were. They also shared their experience after coming to KTPO and spending their weekend in a different way.
"It is a huge opportunity, how could I miss that. I am a big fan of Manchester United and being a football fan I did not want to miss this event," said Rohan, a visitor at the event.
"I am enjoying my weekend like I never did. I clicked photos with the trophy and Alan Shearer," a 22-year-old Richa said.
An Electronic City resident, Vivek, came to the event to enjoy the atmosphere and said "I am very happy with the goodies. I had my office today but I had to skip that because of this programme. I told my boss you can cut my salary but I am going."
People became more excited when they saw signed jerseys of the EPL players displayed inside the club stalls, including their shoes and goal-keeping gloves.
Inside the Everton stall, a section was dedicated to a huge whiteboard featuring Wayne Rooney's poster, where fans could write messages.
There was a final contest for the visitors who came on Sunday. The organisers gave an opportunity to the fans to win tickets to the UK. They will select four winners, who can watch their favourite Premier League match in the foreign soil. Lucky winners will also receive five hundred euros, including flights and accommodation fare.