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Official Review by Jason Marquitz, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
This historic and vaunted stadium is one not to miss with a trip to Guadalajara. The Estadio Jalisco is a shared stadium and has hosted many teams that have called Guadalajara home. With the opening of the Estadio Omnilife in 2010 and the subsequent departure of Chivas, Atlas became top billing in the stadium. With hosting sets of matches in two World Cups and the 1968 Olympic Games and its deep history in the Mexican league, Estadio Jalisco is not only a treasure in its namesake state, but the entirety of Mexico.
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Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
The general Mexican soccer rules apply here. Do your eating outside the stadium and your drinking on the inside. Little is offered inside the stadium and vendors can be a little sparse. Chips and other salty snacks could be found with ease.
Now, I highly recommend eating outside the stadium before a match and do so by finding yourself a torta ahogada. This 'drowned' Mexican sandwich that is famous in Guadalajara is filled with pork and various toppings and is served in a massive lake of chile sauce. Sometimes, it is even served in a plastic bag to collect all the sauce. It looks miserable, but the taste will quickly dispel any doubts.
In the approach from outside, the stadium appears to be a massive concrete hulk with little fanfare. Upon entering the structure, those assumptions prove to be true. There aren't a lot of bells and whistles with the Estadio Jalisco.
What the stadium does have is beautiful sightlines, a well-kept field, and a showcase for top-notch talent. The massive structure has two distinct tiers. The upper tier is completely general admission and offers the cheapest seats for any match. The away supporters group occupies the south end of the upper tier. The lower tier is divided in to several price ranges and comfort levels. The north end is reserved for the home supporters group. The south end on the lower level offers modest prices with assigned seating. The sidelines offer normal reserved seating and some palcos (boxed seating) and a heftier cost.
For the bigger matches the fans can get pretty animated. The top tier of the stadium actually shakes when the fans are in full force. This could be disconcerting at first, but definitely can give the full impression of fan intensity.
The area around the stadium is fairly residential. It sits across the street from the Plaza de Toros Nuevo Progreso, the massive bullfighting ring. Other than that, there isn't much around the stadium. A trip to Estadio Jalisco will likely require transportation directly before and after the match, as there is much to do in Guadalajara ... just not there.
Fans of the Rojinegros are the truly faithful. The team carries tremendous support in the state of Jalisco, despite sharing a city with the Mexico giant, Chivas. The team doesn't often have a contender and rarely has the money to invest in big signings. Atlas has only one title in its history, and that was in 1951. This is a long suffering fan base, but you wouldn't know it from the fans in attendance. They might not always fill out the cavernous Estadio Jalisco, but they will make their presence known. Their organized fan group is one of the more boisterous in Mexico and never relent throughout the match. Their collective chants may not be the most creative, but they certainly qualify as impactful with great participation.
The stadium sits to the north of the heart of Guadalajara. It can easily be reached by car, taxi, or light rail train. Parking is available if you arrive early enough and are willing to pay. Otherwise, searching for make-shift parking lots or spaces with someone to collect a small fee will be in your future.
When compared to the massive distance needed to be covered to reach the Estadio Omnilife, the Estadio Jalisco is an absolute breeze to reach. It is actually in the city proper and a trip there can be fitted in to other activities in the day.
Ticket prices vary based on opponent, but even the matches with the highest buzz are fairly inexpensive. Tickets can range from $12 in the upper ring to $60 in the prime spots below. There won't be a lot of extras to keep you entertained before and after the match, but the low prices more than justify a trip to this historic venue.
For both Mexican World Cups (1970 and 1986), the Estadio Jalisco played a significant role. In 1970, the stadium hosted Brazil and England's group. Brazil would go on to win the group and the entire tournament. All of their matches through this run, other than the final, took place at the Estadio Jalisco. In 1986, Guadalajara was once again home to the Brazilian team with Spain being in the same group. Brazil didn't have the same luck though as France knocked them out in the quarterfinals in the Jalisco. The stadium also hosted the semifinal match in which West Germany defeated France.
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