Thursday, March 10, 2011

River Plate

We got there 20 minutes early. People just starting to enter the stadium. 
We finally went to a River Plate game on Sunday night. Our friends Michelle and Jeff were visiting and they were equally if not more excited to go. We found our apartment is walking distance from the stadium so we are officially River Plate fans. First step was getting tickets. We were told that the best and safest way to buy tickets was to go through a hostel or hotel that provides transportation, a tour and a beer for triple the price. Good advice I am sure, but we decided to go the riskier route. We went to the stadium an hour before the game to see if we could scalp some tickets or perhaps buy them from a box office. There was no box office in sight, but sure enough we were approached by a few sketchy characters, looked for the most confident scalper and bought four tickets for $400 pesos.

After going through three security lines, it was the moment of truth. Honest scalper? Or deceptive swindler? Unfortunately it was the ladder. Only one of four tickets worked. However, the man let us in anyways, probably because he knew we were dumb americans who didn't know any better. If that was the reason he let it slide, then fine by me!

Next task- finding good seats, by that I mean the safest place we can stand with out getting our teeth knocked out. Finding a good spot was easy, the stadium was a barely quarter full. For a moment I thought to myself this must be a practice game or something. The crowds were calm and the players seemed small on such a big field. The whistle blew to start the game and by the end of the second half Matt looked at us like he had a epiphany and informed us that was the River Plate Junior team! The real game was just about to start.

Floods of fans in red and white poured into the stadium holding banners, flags and umbrellas. A band of drummers took their seats in the middle of the section. We braced ourselves for what was to come. The whistle blew, the stadium got louder and the floor started to vibrate. The songs began, barely a moment of silence in between. People sang with such pride and honor, placing their hands on their chest and waving their right arm in the air. I could feel the spit hit my neck from the man singing behind me. A women with dreadlocks stood in front of us, her River Plate shield tattoo visible on her back. Young boys started to climb the wired fences that separated our section from the one next to us and perched themselves so they could get a better view of the field. A two year old boy sat on the shoulders of his father waving his hands in the air. It truly was an unbelievable sight, one that can't be compared to any sporting event in the states. People live, eat, breathe soccer and if you come to Buenos Aires without going to game, you will never truly understand the culture here.


  1. I was looking for a Buenos Aires real estate agency that would help me find a nice property in Palermo which is were I decided to stay after reading about the different neighborhoods. Nunez is pretty nice but fat from downtown, am I correct? Best, Mike

  2. It sounds amazing, definitely on my list of things to do when I eventually get to BA. Gotta love the South Americans for their passion for football :)

  3. Tay...sounds like you are having an amazing experience in Argentina! You job sounds like a blast!!!!