FOOTBALL wouldn't be the same without the obligatory burger vans and stalls selling cheap scarves outside the ground.
But the latest finds by archae-ologists working at Chester Amphitheatre suggest things may not have changed much in the last 2,000 years.
The dig, jointly carried out by English Heritage and Chester City Council, has uncovered a large number of animal bones discarded by fast-food loving spectators in the 8,000 seater stadium.
Experts have also discovered remains of a number of miniature bowls, decorated with pictures of gladiators, which may have been sold as cheap souvenirs to fans.
English Heritage archaeologist Tony Wilmott said: 'In many ways nothing's changed. People liked fast food snacks and throwaway souvenirs just as sports fans do today.
'One of the interesting things about this dig is what we've been able to find out about the area immediately outside the amphitheatre.
'This suggests there were a number of a small short-lived timber buildings around the edge which would have been used to sell these sort of things to fans on their way in.'
The dig has revealed for the first time that Chester had two amphitheatres both made of stone.
The first amphitheatre dates from 100AD and is believed to have held 5,000 spectators. The second, which replaced the original on the same site, contained a number of extra tiers and had a capacity of 7-8,000. It is not yet known when this was built.
Dan Garner, an archaeologist with Chester City Council, said: 'Any thoughts that Chester's amphitheatre was used purely for military purposes such as military tattoos or drill practice can now be firmly banished.
'Human remains recovered during the present excavations and earlier work at the site in the 1930s and 1960s clearly demonstrates people were meeting a rather brutal end in Chester's arena.
'In fact the sort of scenes immortalised by the blockbuster movie Gladiator are probably not that far removed from the sort of entertainment Chester's residents could have expected to see in the second century AD.' email@example.com
Contact point Chester Amphitheatre is on BBC 2's Time-watch at 9pm tonight (Friday). The Amphitheatre Project web-site can viewed at www.chesteramphitheatre.co.uk