Club: Club América | Opening: 1966 | Capacity: 104,000 seats
History and description
Estadio Azteca was built in the 1960s to accommodate the growing support of Club América and to provide Mexico with a flagship venue for the upcoming 1970 World Cup.
Estadio Azteca got designed by architect Pedro Ramírez Vázquez after a careful study of the most famous European stadiums of that time. Construction of the stadium, which took a total of 4 years, was not easy due to the hard volcanic rock the land consisted of.
Estadio Azteca officially opened on the 29th of May 1966 with a friendly match between América and Italian side Torino (2-2).
During the 1970 World Cup it hosted a total of 10 matches, among which a semi-final and the final between Brazil and Italy (4-1).
Sixteen years later, Estadio Azteca again hosted a World Cup final, and it has thus far been the only stadium to host two World Cup finals (Maracanã will receive the same honour in 2014).
The stadium had received a small refurbishment before the start of the World Cup, and went on to host 9 matches, among which the famous quarter-final between Argentina and England (2-1), a semi-final, and the final between Argentina and Germany (3-2).
Due to safety measures the capacity of the stadium, which could hold 115,000 spectators in 1986, has been slightly reduced to its current total of 104,000.
Apart from being the home of América, Estadio Azteca is also the standard playing venue for official matches of the Mexican national team. Over the years it has also been the home of various other Mexican clubs, such as Cruz Azul and Necaxa.
Estadio Azteca is located in the south of Mexico City, about 15 kilometres from the historic city centre.
The stadium is easy to reach by metro and the connecting light rail. First take metro line 2 (which crosses the city’s historic centre) to its final stop Tasqueña, and then transfer to the light rail (tren ligero), which has a similar look as the metro, but for which a separate ticket is required. Get off at stop Estadio Azteca.
If arriving by car, the stadium can be reached by driving all the way south over the large Avenida Tlalpan (which originates in the historic centre). Stay on the right side of the metro and light rail tracks, and the stadium will automatically show up on your right.
Alternatively, the stadium can be reached from the Anillo Pereférico ring road, which passes just south of the stadium. Take exit Estadio Azteca. There is a lot of parking at the stadium, but expect to get stuck in traffic.
Address: Calzada de Tlalpan 3465, Col. Santa Úrsula Coapa, Distrito Federal 04650
Eat, drink, and sleep
Estadio Azteca is located in a predominantly residential area, and there is hardly entertainment around. The area north of the stadium is somewhat dodgy, but there is no reason to venture there. Of course, you can always get a quesadilla outside the stadium at one of the many stalls before the match.
There is no hotel very close to Azteca, though the Fiesta Inn is technically at walking distance (but if you can afford it, you can also afford a taxi). It is located next to Gran Sur shopping centre.
There are a lot of hotels in the historic centre though, from where you can catch metro line 2. Slightly more upscale is the area around the Avenida Reforma, which is also packed with hotels. You need one more metro transfer though.
There are a reasonable amount of eating and drinking options in the historic centre, many by day and sufficient by night. Other nightlife options can be found in the Zona Rosa on Reforma, more upscale options in the Condesa area, or a more alternative scene in the Roma area.
Tickets can also be bought at the gates of the stadium on the day of the match. Due to the size of the stadium, América rarely sells out.
Prices will depend on the opponent, but for a typical league match upper tier seats tend to go for MX$ 100.00, and lower tier seats for MX$ 200.00. Prices are increased to between MX$ 200.00 and MX$ 500.00 for a few high-profile matches.
Estadio Azteca offers guided stadium tours that include the press room, home dressing room, players tunnel, and dugouts. The tour lasts 30 to 40 minutes.
Tours run Mondays to Fridays at every half an hour between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm, and Saturdays and Sundays between 10:00 am and 1:00 pm. There are no tours on matchdays or the day before a home match. Bookings are not required.
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org. The tour costs MX$ 80.00 per person.
Relevant Internet links
Clubamerica.com.mx – Official website of Club América.
Esmas.com – Official website of Estadio Azteca.
Mexicocity.gob.mx – Official website of the Mexico City tourism agency.
Metro.df.gob.mx – Website of the Mexico City metro.