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With virtually constant action, I don't see how association football (soccer) fans in live attendance can leave the stands for any reason. I am much more familiar with sports that have a natural breaking point in the action. So this is a question that I would like answered directly by those who have solved this by attending a soccer match, faced the need to ingest or excrete, and you had to solve this in the most practical/pragmatic way that kept you from missing potential scoring action.

So let me provide the counter-point. In basketball and American football, there are quarters and stoppages of the clock: timeouts, special teams' actions for transferring possession, penalties and foul shots, and for main events, television/broadcast timeouts. Baseball has over a dozen breaks in the action per game. Tennis viewers and golf viewers have different expectations. But with auto racing, the events can be missed for periodic absences by the obligatory "what did I miss?" question upon returning.

So American audiences are used to finding the restroom during these events, or finding the concession stands.

My observation is that roaming vendors might be able to (partially) solve the latter of the two problems with soccer. But I don't even see much of that going on at soccer matches. The former could be solved (like in American NASCAR) with a BYOB policy. Or perhaps there are enough screens in the concession and bathroom areas now for fans to follow the action.

  • If you really need to do one of these things during one of the halfs, you simply accept to miss part of the game. People don't go to an association football game with the intent of drinking and eating during the game. This is a concept that is prevalent in most american sports but unexistent in association football. People simply know in advance that they go to a game to watch the game, and not to eat. – Fatalize Feb 16 '17 at 14:10
  • @Fatalize "People don't go to an association football game with the intent of drinking and eating during the game" Yeah, that's not true at all. For some it's the only reason to go. But the first sentence, that. – Don_Biglia Feb 17 '17 at 22:49
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At half-time.

A soccer match is split into two halfs of 45 minutes each, with a 15 minute break inbetween. An especially hungry and thirsty fan can buy food and drink before the match, consume it during the first half, relieve himself in the break, then repeat the procedure for the second half, at least in theory.

In practice there may be queues for facilities, so this fan might opt to leave his seat just before half-time to beat the queues, or risk missing the start of the second half.

You don't mention alcohol explicitly, but this is of course a big factor on input/output of fluids. Even where alcohol is not allowed in the stadium, fans may have been drinking before the match, and 45 minutes may be too long. In this case, the fan would just have to risk missing a couple of minutes of action to take a trip to the toilets.

In older times, fans in England might have gone for direct method of relieving themselves, as detailed in 1989 by the Taylor report:

The practice of urinating against walls or even on the terraces has become endemic...

But fortunately conditions have improved since then.

If you want to maximise your food and drink intake, and have enough money (or contacts), you could choose to sit in a hospitality box, but risk the possibility of not being seen as a proper fan, and being more interested in prawn sandwiches than the team.

In total, a football match is completed within 2 hours, with a short break in the middle. If the match is a decent one, then the action should be enough to entertain fans for 45 minutes at a stretch.

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    I would add that beside going to the rest room, fans usually don't eat or drink during a game. At least in argentina, the things that you can buy inside a stadium are way too expensives and are not worth it. – gbianchi Feb 15 '17 at 18:40

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