From the Telegraph:

A series of finds unearthed at a previously unknown Roman amphitheatre in Chester suggest the habits of sports fans have not changed in almost two millennia, archaeologists said yesterday.

Milling about outside the ground, spectators picked up fast food on the way to their seats. Stalls offered cheap souvenirs of the fearsome encounters and feats of physical prowess that took place in front of thousands of fans.

A series of finds from the excavation provide a glimpse into the lives of those who attended gladiatorial contests, floggings and public executions 1,900 years ago.

The remains of flimsy wooden structures thought to have been stalls were found outside the arena and alongside beef ribs and chicken bones - believed to have been the left-overs of Roman Britain's version of fast food.

Parts of mass-produced samian pottery bowls depicting gladiatorial scenes found at the site are thought to have been sold as cheap souvenirs.

The two-storey arena, dating from around AD100, also has an external stairway, making it unique in Britain and providing new evidence of Chester's importance in the Roman Empire.

Tony Wilmott, senior archaeologist at English Heritage, said: "People came, ate some snack food and maybe bought throwaway souvenirs.

"They could buy a bowl featuring their favourite gladiator. In many ways nothing has changed.

"Unlike at most British amphitheatres, there was proper seating in Chester, like a mini-Colosseum. It appears the amphitheatre we already knew about in Chester was built to enlarge this one.

"There are no other examples like this in Britain. Comparable ones are in major centres abroad such as at Pompeii. This suggests Chester may have been an even more important place in Roman times that we previously believed."

The newly-discovered amphitheatre, about 230ft in diameter, was unearthed beneath the remains of a later, larger arena discovered in 1929. Half of the site lies beneath a built-up area.

The latest excavations by English Heritage and Chester city council show a stone arena that could accommodate about 5,000 spectators with some wooden seating.

Large quantities of yellow sand are believed to have been imported to show up and soak up the blood better. A human tooth was found in the sand at the site.

UPDATE: this just in as I head out the door ... there's a more extensive piece in the Daily Post