Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti (map it)
Avenida Presidente Jose Figueroa Alcorta 7597
Buenos Aires, Argentina 1428
Year Opened: 1938
There are no tickets available at this time.
Official Review by Marcello Arrambide, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
This stadium, commonly dubbed "El Monumental" was opened to the public on May 25, 1938. It is home to River Plate soccer team which is the arch rival of Boca Juniors. After the renovation in 1978 for the World Cup, the stadium can hold a maximum of roughly 65,000 people. That doesn't stop the Argentinean people from fitting up to 100,000 at one point during a popular event in history.
El Monumental is a unique stadium being very close to the nearby University. The actual property has been converted to a sports complex offering tennis courts, basketball courts, as well as ample space for a soccer game. In the complex you can also find housing, a theater, and a museum as well.
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During recent events McDonald's has actually served as the caterer for games held at El Monumental. While the quality may be suspect, it's much better than what the regular concession stands offer. El Monumental is the higher standard of food. You can find Mechadas and even Sanguches available for sale along with Argentina's most popular beer, Quilmes. Mechada is the Argentine version of the hamburger with meat that is shredded and stuffed with different spices and veggies. Sanguchas (originally Peruvian) are the Argentinean version of sandwiches.
For a combo you can look to spend roughly $4-$7 at the current exchange rate.
If you are going to attend a game at this particular stadium it's certainly going to be a soccer match. Soccer in Argentina is about passion, not about fanfare. The fans and people who attend games at the stadium are often called millionaires as it's one of the nicest, if not the nicest, stadium in the city. While it is a bit more commercial, you can still see the passion. So much so that the visitors section is completely barricaded off with barbed wire and extremely high walls. This is to ensure that trouble doesn't brew between the home team and the opposition fans. Compared to other games I have seen in Argentina it is a bit more commercial but still a good time.
While Argentina as a country has begun a downward spiral the area near the stadium is near one of the nicest areas in Buenos Aires. A short drive can bring you to some of the nicest areas of the city where you can find a plethora of restaurants to choose from. A taxi may cost you a few dollars after the conversion.
Just outside the stadium doors there aren't any restaurants. There is simply a street with a line of food vendors that sell mostly street food where most people hang out after games. If you are looking for a restaurant it's best to head to the barrio of San Telmo (20 minutes) or Palermo SoHo (5-7 minutes).
Check out Plaza Dorrego in San Telmo which will give you great food cooked on an open grill. Des Nivel is a wonderful option where you can find sausages for as cheap as $2 and great steak as well.
In Palermo Soho you can ask to be taken to Plaza Serrano where you have your selection of a huge variety of restaurants.
Being that soccer is part of the culture in Argentina the fans are always a big draw. There is a lot of yelling and chanting throughout the majority of games. During a 2011 exhibition game between the World Cup champions, Spain, and the national Argentinean team, Spain played mostly their backup players while Argentina played all of their starters. Even though it was just an exhibition game, Argentina won and had a 1 hour fireworks spectacle. They take their soccer seriously so you better come prepared.
The stadium is massive and finding an entrance is easy, but finding an entrance that is open is a whole different story. Any big event is usually chaotic in Argentina but being that the stadium is so large there are plenty of walkways and stairs anytime you want to get in or out.
Getting there is easy as long as you are taking a taxi. There are no metro stations near the stadium but you can take a bus.
Soccer is big business in Argentina so finding tickets for games can sometimes be a pain. The stadium is large enough that it keeps prices low. If you are going to a national match like the one I attended look to pay a bit more than just a normal game between soccer clubs in the city. You can expect to pay $20-$50 for regular games and $70-120 for bigger games.
Don't expect anything different when you attend a game in El Monumental. While McDonald's isn't really an extra you are looking for, the games here are just like football games in the states.
It's very commercial but still worth going. If you only have time for one soccer match or are looking for something more authentic I would highly recommend you go to La Bombonera Stadium in La Boca. It is still a good experience just a bit more commercial at El Monumental. If you want more excitement sit in the visitors section, the barbed wire and very high walls will protect you.
Marcello is a day trader who has lived in Buenos Aires and attended various games throughout the city. You can find out more about Marcello via his site Wandering Trader Travel blog.
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