Lucha Libre is ingrained in Mexican culture as a spectacle and full of entertainment, but also as somewhere where you can cheer for good vs. evil whilst your favourite wrestler performs moves with acrobatic ease. Of course, everyone knows that Lucha Libre is fake… well-rehearsed, but fake. That doesn’t take away from how good each wrestler is at their craft, and you will find yourself cheering along (even if you can’t understand the spoken Spanish) in the hope that your new favourite wins.
In order to attend a Lucha Libre wrestling match without a tour, you can do the following:
- Look to see when and where the Lucha Libre event is that you wish to attend: The easiest arena to get to from the centre of the city is the ‘Arena Mexico’, which is also in a safe area of the city. This is important as most events will finish between 10:00pm and 12:00 midnight.
- Look up the event you wish to go to and figure out how you would like to get tickets: There are 2 options to buy tickets at an Arena Mexico event, online prior to the event or at the gate. We chose to buy tickets online through Ticketmaster Mexico, and they cost us 125MXN each (current as of November 2016). You could buy tickets closer to the ring for up to 400MXN, but the view from all areas is quite good. We were able to pick up our tickets 1 hour prior to the event from the ticket booth with our ID and credit card we used to book.If you wish to buy tickets at the arena this is also fine, go up to one of the many ticket booths when you arrive to buy tickets – know that different sections cost less or more, so try and work out something within your budget. We would recommend turning up at least 1 hour prior to the event if you need to buy tickets as the lines get long.
- Work out how you would like to get to Arena Mexico: The arena is situated quite close to the metro station Cuauhtémoc (only 3-4 minute walk), which at 5 peso per ride is a great option for backpackers to get around.Outside of this you can always catch a taxi or an Uber for a relatively low price. When you reach the arena there is also plenty of merchandise available to purchase from street vendors.
- Eat before you go in: There are some street food options outside of the stadium which are quite good, but unfortunately the options inside the arena are lacking. We found that there were nachos, instant noodles, meat sandwiches, potato chips, and small Dominos pizzas on offer, alongside standard drinks (at slightly inflated prices).Your best bet would be to either eat before you get to the arena, or as stated earlier try out the delicious street food
- Enjoy the wrestling match!: You will usually see at least 4 matches with males, females, and sometimes even midgets getting involved depending on the night. It is fantastic to watch and you will find yourself cheering on the good guys (or the bad if that’s your thing!).
- Find your way back to your accommodation safely: Whilst the metro runs until midnight, depending on who you are with you may not feel safe returning to your accommodation this way.We were told by many people that the metro is safe in the city centre at all times, though this didn’t stop us (as a group of 4) from using Uber to get home again. You also have the option of a taxi from the arena – we would recommend getting a few streets away from the arena before hailing a taxi, both to get away from the traffic of thousands of people leaving and to lower the price slightly. You should not pay more than 70MXN to get from the arena to the centre of town (Zocalo area).
So that is how you attend a Lucha Libre event without a tour or guide, it really is as simple as that. We recommend that you get into the match as much as you can, perhaps even buying a wrestling mask from one of the many vendors outside of the arena. It truly is a fun night, and one that we won’t forget for many years to come.
If you have any questions on how to do this yourself, please leave a comment and we will help out as much as we can!
Header Photo courtesy of Carlos Adampol Galindol on Flickr here