Around the world in 80 football grounds - A cheap and easy way to get to the Estadio Azteca (Club América v Puebla)

Being a passionate football fan (or soccer as I reluctantly had to refer to it a couple of times in the US!) I love adding an extra dimension to my travelling by visiting a new ground to see a football match wherever possible. Having visited some of the famous grounds of the Camp Nou, San Siro, Allianz Arena, Wembley and the City Ground (Nottingham Forest are my team!) I have been able to experience some amazing matches and atmospheres.


I am currently travelling around the USA and Central America with my girlfriend (Miss Eat Travel Love) and will seize every opportunity I can to drag her to the electric atmospheres and samba football
of the Americas! It is perhaps fitting then that our first match saw a club who's badge displays the continents of Central and South America - Club América vs Puebla in the famous Estadio Azteca.



Home of the Mexican national team and Mexico City's Club America this famous stadium has always caught my eye due to its massive capacity (105, 064) and it's historic significance. The stadium is the only one to host 2 World Cup finals (although will be matched by the Maracanã in 2014) and was the scene of England v Argentina in 1986, which featured the infamous Maradona "hand of God" and "goal of the century".

Whenever possible I prefer to save money and get more of a local, authentic experience by doing the event myself without a tour.  So after checking the club's website (www.clubamerica.com.mx) and seeing that there was a home game on at the Aztec Stadium whilst we were in Mexico City I decided I would add another ground to the ones I've watched a match in.

Booking Tickets for the Aztec Stadium

It was a nice surprise that when we went to book tickets (www.ticketmaster.com.mx) we discovered they only cost MX $28 per ticket, plus MX $35 if you're sad like me and want an actual ticket to collect at the ground instead of printing one off for free! MX $28 is about £1.40 or US $2.10...pretty amazing when I'm used to paying £32 for English Championship football!


How to get to the Aztec Stadium in Mexico City

The Aztec Stadium is easy to get to using a combination of the metro and light rail. We considered taking a taxi or a tour but I would recommend getting the local transport (especially if you haven't experienced it before).

Although it can be rammed, it is ridiculously cheap with a metro ticket costing 3 pesos/about 15p (one way) and then the separate ticket for the light rail costing another 3 pesos (one way)...a total of 12 pesos/60p to get there and back from anywhere in Mexico City (near a metro stop).

We were staying around the Zocalo in the centre of the city and hopped on at the Zocalo metro stop heading towards the end of the metro line 2/blue line at Tasqueña (final stop) before the short walk outside to the light rail (tren ligero) where we took the train to the Estadio Azteca stop.


When transferring to the light rail we became a little more cautious of our surroundings as it turned out that we had managed to join hundreds of hardcore Club América supporters. It was a fantastic sight to see as hundreds of them were chanting, banging drums, waving flags and bouncing around in their team's shirts.

However, a few were wearing self-proclaimed hooligan/ultra tops and so we followed the lead of the locals in letting the swarm of supporters take the following train whilst we waited for the next one. I would think this is not a regular thing and was more a coincidence with the time that we went. 

We also didn't really feel threatened at any point (just cautious) and I enjoyed seeing a snapshot of the passion and intensity of the Club America supporters. After another crammed journey we arrived at the Estadio Azteca station and turned out of the station to get our first look at the famous ground. 

We headed down past the rows of stalls selling club merchandise and collected our tickets then headed through the gates into the Aztec Stadium arena. 


What to expect at the Aztec Stadium

Inside the gates for the stadium there were lots of different kinds of pre-match entertainment in the form of tents for penalty shootouts and DJs. After a little look around we headed inside the ground to find our seats and take a few photos before the match started.

After showing our tickets to a steward we had our 2nd pleasant surprise as we were led to some comfortable, leather chairs in front of a box instead of the plastic ones in the majority of the ground. We haven't paid anything extra so I don't know if this was just a lucky coincidence but we weren't complaining!

Food and drink at the Aztec Stadium

As we had experienced at the Lucha Libre the previous evening, there are a number of food and drink sellers who move between the aisles and seats selling beers, snacks, pizza and crisps/chips. Sipping on a couple of beers, we looked at the ground ahead of us.

The pre-match pitch had lots happening on it with huge, inflatable Corona bottles swaying and parades of promoters and cheerleaders walking around the outside of the pitch. Kick off arrived and Club América in the blue and yellow took an early control of the match with some especially impressive direct and skilful work down the wings.

What to expect from a Mexico City football match

The atmosphere was fantastic throughout the match with a constant wall of noise around the ground led by the die hard Club America fans, and their band, behind the goal.

Half time arrived with the score 1-1 after a late handling error from the Club América 'keeper from a long range shot.

The second half was just as good with a quality 30 yard effort and a penalty giving Club America a 3-1 win.

Leaving the Aztec Stadium

We rushed out of the ground at the final whistle in the hope that the train wouldn't be too crammed (no such luck!) and reversed our journey to arrive back safely at our hotel in the Zocalo.

For anyone who is visiting Mexico City I would definitely recommend a trip to Estadio Azteca whether you're a football fanatic or just want to experience the passion of a match in Mexico.

The price, ease of getting to the ground and experience make it an unmissable day out if you are in Mexico City at the right time!
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