If you are a sports fan traveling through or to Mexico City, then I highly recommend taking a trip to the ‘Azteca Stadium’. Home to the iconic Club America, the stadium is the place to be on matchday but also worth doing the stadium tour of.
Below you can read my guide to visiting and experiencing a football match at Azteca Stadium, Mexico City, or visiting for a stadium tour.
History of Azteca Stadium
Upon completion in 1966, Estadio Azteca immediately found itself on the list of renowned football stadiums.
With a massive capacity of over 85,000 fans, the stadium was the sixth-largest in the world upon completion and the second-largest football stadium behind the revered Camp Nou.
Although it was built as the primary stadium for Mexico City’s 1968 Summer Olympics, the Azteca Stadium was soon more famous for hosting two World Cup Finals and is the place where Pele and Maradona both lifted the Jules Rimet Trophy.
Today, two domestic teams, Cruz Azul and Club America, play their home matches at Azteca Stadium. Cruz Azul made the move in 2018.
However, Club America has been playing here for decades and they consider the stadium their traditional home.
How to Get There
Azteca Stadium is found roughly 15 kilometers south of Mexico City and can be reached in several ways. The most common way to head to the stadium is by making use of the city’s metro before connecting to the local light rail.
Directions and lines may change depending on where you are based in Mexico City.
But if you are traveling from downtown, jump on Line 2 and ride the train all the way to Tasquena. Along the journey, you will make your way through the city’s historic district.
Once you have arrived, you can transfer to the light rail, known locally as Tren Ligero.
The rail will drop you off just a few hundred meters from the stadium. Keep in mind that you will need two separate tickets to complete the one-hour journey and it will cost around $0.60 USD.
Depending on traffic, you can cut the journey time in half by driving.
The long Avenida Tlalpan provides a straight shot from downtown Mexico City to the stadium. While there is a lot of parking at the stadium, expect ample traffic on matchday.
An easier solution if you are visiting for the stadium tour, is to do an organized tour and this will usually include collection from your hotel.
Tickets for the Azteca Stadium
You will have two options when it comes to buying tickets for a game at Aztec Stadium.
The first option is buying online through sites like Ticketmaster and resale sites such as SeatGeek for Club America matches. If you want to purchase tickets to see Club Azul in action, you can do so here.
One of the better options is to try and get tickets for bigger matches when Club America squares off against Guadalajara in the biggest game of the year, the El Super Classico.
Or when they play their other rival, Pumas UNAM and, of course, Cruz Azul.
The latter has quickly garnered the nickname ‘young classico’ since Azul began playing at Azteca Stadium.
Sports fans who have traveled to Mexico to experience the Azteca Stadium have noted that online purchasing isn’t as straightforward as you may be used to.
It is worth trying first to potentially save time, but sometimes dealing with a human, face-to-face takes some of the stress out of it. You can find all the Ticketmaster stores in Mexico City right here!
If you have timed your run at a different part of the football calendar, not to worry as both teams consistently pull between 30,000 and 40,000 passionate fans.
On those days, you can grab yourself a ticket at the stadium. However, expect long lines, as it is the most common way for locals to get their tickets.
Prices for the game can vary dramatically based on who is playing, however, you can often expect to pay around $10USD for a regular match and double that for a rivalry game.
As you can see, watching a football game at Azteca Stadium is budget-friendly and is often an incredible value as a tourist, when you add in the atmosphere of the passionate local crowd.
Matchday at the Azteca Stadium
It will soon become clear to you how important football is to the people of Mexico City, and for people across Mexico. Wherever you go around town, you’ll see pickup games in the parks or down the quieter streets.
Club America is the most successful team in the country’s top-flight league and has long been a top performer in the CONCACAF. If you have time to see just one team play, it has to be this one.
As you make your way towards the stadium, there are a series of food stands and souvenir tents. Check out the street food vendors that are receiving the most attention. For cheap eats before entering, you can enjoy some tasty quesadillas among fellow theatergoers.
Before entering the stadium, you may want to get into the spirit of the day and grab yourself a jersey. You’ll have access to two different sections selling Club America apparel.
Outside there will be many third-party sellers flogging low-quality jerseys, hats, and shirts. Although not the real deal, it’s a simple and cheap option to represent the colors.
Club America also has an official merchandise store inside the stadium. But depending on your arrival, the lines can test your patience.
Azteca Stadium was designed to mimic the storied arenas of Europe, and if you’ve been to your fair share of football stadiums, you will enjoy the similarities.
Getting around is easy and there are plenty of food and drink options around the pitch. You may even find a vendor going up and down the aisle selling ramen noodles.
For something as simple as a burger, fries, and a giant cup of Corona, expect to pay around $10USD. Not too shabby for stadium prices.
In the lead-up to the kick-off, you will notice the atmosphere rise. You could cut the tension with a butter knife. The raucous singing and endless jumping give the stadium a physical heartbeat and you can feel the pulse coursing through your seat.
The noise level can often be debilitating, especially if you haven’t experienced something like it before. The intensity can make it difficult to concentrate on the match at hand as if the action off the field is just as important.
It is an incredible experience, one that will have your heart beating long after the 90th minute. Such is the envelopment of the atmosphere, however, that it can be overwhelming for some. It can pay to warm up with a lesser match to prepare.
Azteca Stadium Tours
If you are interested in the history of Azteca Stadium, then it is well worth signing up for a stadium tour.
Lasting around 40 minutes, it isn’t as extensive as other arena tours, however, you will be able to check out the home dressing rooms, the players’ tunnel, dugouts, and the press room.
Tours run every 30 minutes between 10 am and 5 pm Monday through Friday. The weekend has a shorter schedule between 10 am and 2 pm.
Prior bookings are suggested as the tours run based on availability.
On matchday, the tours end six hours before kickoff.
Where to Stay in Mexico City
Before and After Your Stadium Visit
Mexico City is a vibrant capital with a lot to offer traveling sports fans.
Before and after the match, you can explore the historic center of the city, while there are several pubs and bars that are designed for traveling football fans close to Azteca Stadium.
These include Kitchen 6 Gastropub with an extensive menu, perfect if you want to avoid a stadium burger. Rufino and La Cerveceria de Barrio offer ice-cold pints and small bites with a great atmosphere.