Commonly regarded as one the best stadiums in the world with a pounding and vibrant atmosphere, the 49,000-seat La Bombonera is a temple of football. It’s this reputation that draws thousands of locals and foreigners every year through the turnstiles of the place that Boca Juniors calls it’s home. For many visiting Buenos Aires, attending a Boca match is a must but getting there can sometimes be confusing, especially those who don’t speak Spanish and are always being warned about the criminals waiting to rob them around the corner. So how do you go about getting in, anyway?
Like many other top Argentine teams, Boca does not distribute single tickets. The only way you can get you inside, short of being an ambassador or millionaire, is to become a member (socio). And becoming a member isn’t as easy as you might think. Currently, the wait list is seven years long, which has unfortunately fueled a massive black market. As a result, many members ‘rent’ their tickets to tourists as a means of getting inside; most of the time coming at a hefty price with no guarantee of what the experience will actually be like. The prices and the lack of security may scare off a lot of potential visitors. Moreover, the US $140 and upwards price of tickets is the going market rate.
While the atmosphere at La Bombonera is incredible – where many hardened football fans from abroad leave jaw dropped at how Argentine fans can sing and shout for almost two hours straight – imagine being a young tourist in Argentina who doesn’t speak Spanish (let alone Porteño Spanish), going to a late kick off at Boca, with no idea where you’re sitting. Speak to any Argentine and they’d advise against standing in la popular, where most of the die hard Xeneizes (Boca fans) will be. In addition, La Boca is not the safest of BA neighborhoods at night, and getting a taxi back is not as easy you think.
Personally, I’d advise against buying tickets on the street or from scalpers. Go to a tourist company. The prices are slightly higher, but at least you’ll be secure in the knowledge that you’re going to be picked up and dropped off. Prices obviously range in regards to the service and package, but companies like LandingPad BA, for example, have already begun to offer comprehensive deals for a range of events.
They also offer security in regards to where you’ll be sitting, so you don’t end up hanging out with La Doce (the Boca Juniors hooligans). Furthermore, it offers you more security in regards to payments, ensuring you aren’t sold a fake ticket — a common scam here in Argentina. If the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.