Calz. de Tlalpan 3465, Sta. Úrsula Coapa, 04650 Ciudad de México, CDMX, México
55 5487 3100
One of the most iconic stadiums in the world, the Estadio Azteca has been standing proud since 1966, when construction was finished in time for the 1968 Mexico City Olympics at a cost of $260 million pesos. Since then, the venue has been host to a record 19 World Cup matches, including 2 World Cup Final Matches (also a record), several massive concerts by international musical artists, and even a visit from a Pope. A visit to this historic sporting venue is an obligatory once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage for many serious soccer (or fútbol) fanatics around the world.
“There’s just something very special about the Azteca. You need to be inside it, to feel it to understand. It’s unique.” – Pelé
The stadium was commissioned by Televisa (Mexico’s most important media company) executive Guillermo Cañedo in an effort to make a serious bid for the World Cup, the event was eventually awarded to Mexico in 1970, an event that featured what many call the Game of the Century, the Italy – West Germany semi-final that featured 5 goals in extra time. Estadio Azteca and the rest of the world got to see the sport’s most iconic star, Pelé, at his prime. 16 years later the stadium again witnessed the other legend of the sport, Diego Maradona, lift the world championship for his country of Argentina.
Many newer and more modern stadiums have been built around the world and in Mexico since then but the colossal concrete structure is still imposing to first-time visitors, not only for its size but for its history. For true Mexican soccer passion, one must attend a Mexican National Team game at the stadium and enjoy the roar of the crowd whenever the home team scores. Have a beer (or two) from one of the many vendors who go back and forth between the aisles loudly promoting their refreshments. The 87,523 capacity of the stadium still manages to be a spectacle whenever it is at its full capacity.
Another option is to attend a game by the local Mexico City team, América, which is owned by Televisa. A rowdy game versus their arch-nemesis the Chivas de Guadalajara in what’s considered to be the national derby, the “clásico”, is also a special spectacle worthy of a trip to the southern part of the city, where Azteca is located. The yearly regular-season game hosted by the NFL is also a world-class spectacle that is an ideal excuse to attend the venue, again the stadium has been witness to other greats of another sport, the “fútbol americano”, like Tom Brady.
Visiting the iconic Estadio Azteca is a life experience that goes beyond just a soccer match (or a concert, for that matter) it’s an opportunity to make your own pilgrimage to this temple of sports culture.