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Primera División: UAG Tecos at Pachuca

8 March 2009 No Comment

To my disappointment, the Primera Division did not schedule any soccer matches for the weekend in Mexico City. Three teams could have been home (America, Cruz Azul, or Pumas UNAM), but none were. The next best option was to travel to Pachuca which is 88 kilometers from Mexico City.

On Friday night I had negotiated with the cab driver to drive me to Pachuca – about a 90 minute drive from Mexico City accounting for some traffic. Before the soccer match Saturday night, I could not figure out how to purchase tickets to Pachuca before the match. This made me a little hesitant to pay the cab 1700 pesos for the roundtrip, but I figured tickets would be available at the stadium since most Mexican soccer matches do not sell out.

Possible Pre Game Dining
One option for eating while driving to Pachuca is to stop at one of the barbacoa tents on the side of the road. Even though they have seating for 20-30 people, there is nobody in the tents and there are approximately 20-30 places to eat on the drive. The cab driver wanted to stop along the way, but I said no since the tents seemed shady and I would prefer to eat at the stadium.

Obtaining Tickets
We arrived at Estadio Miguel Hidalgo around 5:30 pm for the 7:00 pm start time. I walked up to the ticket window and bought a ticket for 100 pesos. The stadium only had general admission seats except for one section at midfield. After buying my ticket, I asked the cab driver if he also wanted to attend the match (thinking he would have to buy his own ticket) rather than wait for me outside the stadium. He informed me (in Spanish) that the ticket I purchased was actually good for 3 people and that he would like to go to the match. Since that was the case, I paid 20 pesos to park the cab in the parking lot and we both entered the stadium with the ticket I had purchased.

Estadio Miguel Hidalgo
The stadium consisted of one level with mainly general admission seating. One good thing about Mexican sporting events is that the concession prices are cheap. One 940 milliliter beer (about two 16-ounce beers) at Pachuca only cost 40 pesos (less than $3). A paste (basically a warm sandwich) cost 10 pesos and sodas cost 17 pesos.

The Match
About 20 minutes into the match I began to realize my cab driver was a Pachuca supporter. He was singing all of the Pachuca songs and cheering for Pachuca the entire time. Also, he told me his Dad grew up in Pachuca. However, he had not been to a match for a long time since moving to Mexico City so at least he had not been planning to attend the match anyway.

Pachuca defeated UAG Tecos 3-2 after scoring the winning goal in the 90th minute. Before the winning goal, I made the cab driver move to the other side of the stadium where we had parked the car in order to avoid traffic. After the winning goal, we left and discovered the Mexican parking attendants had blocked the taxi with another car in the parking lot. After about a 5 minute wait the car that was blocking us left and we were able to leave without too much traffic.

We made it back to the hotel by 10:30 pm.

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