So I recently went to a Boca Juniors game.
Needless to say I witnessed some of the most passionate fans in world football. Period.
But it wasn’t as easy as making a quick stop down at the local box office or even picking up a scalped ticket outside the stadium.
In fact, those options aren’t even available!
You see, Boca Juniors is the most famous football club in South America.
It’s where Maradona plied his trade for so many years before moving to global superstardom.
With their proud 102-year old tradition and extremely loyal and passionate local, working-class fans, it’s near-on impossible to get a ticket if you aren’t one of their 60,000 club members.
Why? Well their stadium, La Bombanera, only holds 49,000 raging fans.
So to the black market of re-sold membership cards must we all venture if we want a first-hand experience of true South American passion.
So where can you find boca juniors tickets?
Well it’s all about who you know and what you’re willing to pay!
That’s how it rolls in this town.
Essentially, it has to be worth it for these passionate fans to want to give up their seat and let you pose as ‘Edgar Martinez’ for the night.
You have 2 options:
1: You can go through US-run website, www.landingpadba.com, and purchase a ticket through their online portal for anwhere upwards of USD$130
2: You can contact your hotel/hostel concierge and let them know you want to see the game. They’ll have a couple of local contacts who will be able to ‘find’ a few tickets for you.
Either way, they will both lead to the following experience:
There is only one option when buying these tickets, and it’s the supervised, closed-in, transfer-included option.
You’ll be picked up from your accommodation by a nice local in a mini-bus.
Inside, you’ll join a few other tourists who have figured this out just like you.
You’ll ask how much each other had to pay for the ticket, and find out who got ripped of and how much your contact must have received as a kick-back for organizing it for you.
Who cares? It’s BOCA JUNIORS!
A few minutes from the stadium, your ‘guide’ will stand up and give you the following instructions:
“Boca fans don’t like tourists at their games, so this is how we are going to go:
1. Always walk behind me
2. From the second we leave the van to the second you get through the final gate, never speak a word unless it is Spanish
3. Always have your ticket in your hand
4. Give me the ticket back when you are through
5. Don’t do anything a tourist would do until you are in”
It’s a pretty daunting speech, and that 5 minute walk from the van to the stadium made me feel like the americans posing as nazi’s in the movie Inglorious Bastards’.
But after you pass the 4 security checkpoints and you get through to your seat, you’ll realize just what an amazing night you’re in for.
The fans, known as the 12th player for their passion, wont stop all game.
The concrete stadium literally shakes under your feet when everyone is up jumping and dancing throughout the game, and the electronic scoreboard looks like its about to tip over from the swaying.
Fans are hanging from the rafters and tensions are high all game. So much so that the night can become more about the crowd than the players.
On the outer rim of the stadium are food trucks selling hamburgers and choripan at inflated prices, whilst drink vendors spruik water and pepsi up and down the aisles.
Never before, even amongst world cup games and local derbies, have I felt such a rush seeing a football game.
If you ever get the chance, ask the question and find yourself a ticket to a Boca game!
- Have you ever been to a Boca Juniors game?
- How did you get your tickets?
- If you’re planning on going to Buenos Aires soon, let me know!