I think everyone knows that football is VERY important in Argentina, as it is in most of South America. People talk about football, they watch games on TV, they get depressed when their team loses… I knew all of that but going to a game really made me understand the passion on a deeper level. I went to see a game between Racing and Velez Sarsfield back in October so I figured it was time to write about it! (Why Racing: Two reasons. My friend Carlitos the butcher is a HUGE Racing fan, and for the year and a half that I frequented his shop four times a week, I became rather indoctrinated by him and his family. And many other friends are Racing fans as well, so I was sort of a fan. Secondly, my friend wanted to go to check out the atmosphere and because he had heard that the stadium was really nice.)
Practical info: If you are looking to attend a football match here in Buenos Aires, it is easy to get tickets to most teams with the exception of Boca Juniors. (River Plate can be a little bit difficult but not too bad.) Boca has changed their system to where only socios, members, have access to the tickets, so it has become a lot more difficult. It’s probably the one team that it is worth using an operator for. For teams like Racing, you can usually get tickets at a central location. For instance, Racing has a branch of their supporter shop, Locademia, in the center (a play on the nickname of their supportes or hinchas, La Academia), on Lavalle 1650, between Montevideo and Rodriguez Peña. You can buy tickets there a few days before the game; it was very easy. (We did the same thing for a San Lorenzo game but that was a lot less fun!) We went for the platea seats, which are numbered and lets you sit down.
Racing is located in Avellaneda, which is just south of the city, in the Province of Buenos Aires. We took the 24 bus which took us all the way there for 4 pesos. On the way back we got a cab which was 120 pesos or so. (San Lorenzo was technically closer but it is more dangerous as it is right next to a large informal neighborhood, Villa 1.11.14.)
Racing is known for its hardcore fan and it was 100% true. They were insane! For instance, they had a banner that covered the entire 65,000 person stadium. (Sometimes you wonder what this country would be like if people put that same passion into other things…) But at the same time it felt really family friendly and there were no fights or anything like that. Lots of fathers came with their sons (this must be where they learn all the swear words.) I should add that for the last few years, all games in the upper four divisions are played with only home team supporters, to avoid confrontations. So if there are fights, they are between the supporters of the same team. People sang basically through the entire game, it was a lot of fun. Highly recommended!