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Official Review by Mauricio Gutierrez, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Home of one of the most important baseball teams in the country, Estadio de Beisbol Monterrey was opened in 1990 and has a capacity of 27,000. Sultanes participate in the Mexican Baseball League and have won nine titles. The team was founded in 1939, and was first known as “Carta Blanca,” then as “Industriales” and finally in 1948, they adopted the name “Sultanes.”
The stadium has hosted five Mexican All Star Games and Sultanes have won four Mexican Championship Series' there.
This is an iconic Mexican baseball park.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
The stadium has exactly what you would expect from a stadium. It has food concessions along the concourse in almost every tier. There are not many options, and the concessions do not shout to you to buy any food. The options includes hot dogs, popcorn, nachos, chips, fries, hamburgers, tacos and "burritos." Everything is between $55 and $30 pesos ($4.25 USD to $2.32 USD). In the VIP zone you can find more variety that includes guacamole, fruit and chicken wings.
They offer the common and not so assorted soft drink selection: Coke, Diet Coke, water, apple and lemon-lime flavor. The sodas and water are $20 pesos each ($1.54 USD).
The beer selection is narrowed to three different brands: Tecate, Tecate Light, and the north famous Carta Blanca. The beer cost is $30 ($2.32 USD) for a single one and $70 ($5.40 USD) for a double size beer. If you have access to the VIP area, you can buy Heineken and some selected spirits like tequila, vodka or whisky.
If you don´t want to miss the action because there are no TVs in the main concourse, don´t worry, there are beverage and snack vendors all over the seats. The only unique item I saw was an ice cream served on top of a Sultanes plastic helmet, a really nice option for a cheap souvenir.
People are not allowed to bring their own food or beverage except for water and little snacks.
This is a stadium that breathes baseball all over; it is a three tier natural grass park with excellent views from everywhere.
The ticket prices go from $270 pesos ($20.85 USD) to $25 pesos ($1.93 USD). With good views from everywhere, there is no need to spend a lot. Ask for day promotions as almost every day of the week there are ticket promotions. Every door has good and fast access.
Every zone, except for bleachers, has a good view of one of Monterrey´s best known landmarks Cerro de la Silla, a four peak mountain range.
The stadium has one VIP zone and four suite zones located at field level, first and second level. Those seats are cushioned ones, the rest of the stadium has normal seats and cement stands in the bleachers. The numbered sections in the stadium are: VIP ($270 pesos, $20.85 USD), field, first and second level suites ($180 pesos, $13.89 USD) and numbered seats located in the first tier ($125 pesos, $9.65 USD). There are four general zones located in each tier with prices from $95 pesos ($7.33 USD) to $25 pesos ($1.93 USD).
In general it has good views of the field and the space between seats is reasonably good. There is no roof so you have to be aware of the elements, especially the sun. For afternoon games you can find shade in the lower part near first base and in the last seats on the third base side.
With all that being said, the best seats in relation with view and price value are the numbered seats in the first tier and the ones called "preferente segundo nivel" in the second tier, both of which are on the first base side and have the commodity of the shade.
The scoreboard was disappointing and in the afternoon games you can´t see it at all, but they compensate with good sound and a clear PA announcer.
Located inside a sports and university complex, don´t look for much action outside the stadium. Just across the street there is a bar where you can have some beers just before the game and that´s pretty much it.
The best plan is to eat something in one of the many famous "cabrito" restaurants (15 minutes by car) and then go to the Mexican Baseball Hall of Fame located inside a well known beer factory, and finish your visit with a beer tasting.
As with almost all the baseball parks in Mexico, this one also has a familiar atmosphere. Monterrey fans are passionate and aware of their team. In general they are calm and peaceful with visiting fans. The home supporter's club has a special section on the third base side, leaving the first base section for visiting fans.
The stadium is located north from the city center in San Nicolas de los Garza. There are three access options: by car, by taxi cab or by public transportation.
The airport is located within a thirty five or forty minutes drive. From city center the driving time is around fifteen to twenty minutes. If you don´t have car, the most advisable thing to do is to take a taxi cab ($80 pesos / $6.20 USD one way drive from city center).
If you like long walks and some confusion, take the subway. Take the Line 2 and the nearest station is called "Nińos Heroes," from there you will have to cross the entire sports complex where the stadium is located; it will be a fifteen to twenty minute walk normally in the heat and with sun over you. At least you can see the outside of the "Estadio Universitario" home of the Tigres (Mexican first division soccer club). I don´t recommend taking the subway because I was told that the entrance and exit towards the station can be closed without prior notice, leaving you with a longer walk to the station (maybe forty-five minutes). But you could arrive by public transport and leave in a taxi cab.
Stadium access to fans begins two hours prior to game time. Entry and the security process is at normal speed and with so many gates, it´s hard to find a crowded one.
In the first, second and third level concourses there is no field visibility. In the concourse you can find the food and beverage concessions as well as the bathrooms, those with below average maintenance and cleanliness.
Access to the second and third levels is by ramps, which are better for fans than stairs.
Besides it not being the cheapest ballpark in the country, it is totally worth the price. The stadium is in need of maintenance but the experience, views, atmosphere and history makes it worth it. If you ever go to Monterrey take time to watch this beloved north team.
To make an even better family experience, the team and stadium authorities allow the fans access to the field five minutes after the game. There you can see kids playing, throwing and catching with their parents and friends. This is also an excellent photo opportunity.
Inside the stadium you can buy Sultanes souvenirs in the store located just steps after the gates or in the three stands located in the main concourse.
The team organizes some activities for the fans to win a trip to an MLB game; those activities are made between innings. If you are a woman be careful and give a second thought to going down to the field during those activities because some coaches and/or players can flirt heavily on some fans. But feel free to go to the field once the game is over, there is nothing to worry about by then.
Sultanes have nine retired numbers: 1 (José Maiz Mier), 5 (Daniel Rios), 7 (Epitacio Reyes), 9 (Vinicio Garcia), 13 (Felipe Montemayor), 17 (Lazaro Salazar), 20 (Miguel Flores), 21 (Hector Espino) and 22 (Arturo Gonzalez).
It´s a shame that a team with 75 years of history doesn´t have championship banners in its stadium. The banners would be a very nice addition.
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