Sports in Mexico
Friday, 09 April 2010 02:36
The most common misconception regarding the sporting scene in Mexico is that it revolves around soccer, soccer and soccer. While soccer is certainly the most celebrated and recognized of sports, those traveling to the country can get their athletic kick in a variety of ways. Mexico offers a diverse sporting world just like any other country and below are some links so help you get familiar with those athletics.
While I said Mexico isn't all about soccer, it would still be foolish not to go to Mexico and not try to enjoy at least one event in this category. Here are a couple places worth witnessing a game, given the opportunity.
With their stadium, Estadio Azul, located right in the heart of Mexico City, there are few more opportune teams to watch than Loz Cementeros of Cruz Azul. One of the most prestigious clubs to grace the Primera Division de Mexico, these are the guys you are usually watching if you turn to a random game on Telemundo or Univision. With one of the largest fan bases in the country and found right in the capital, this is the place to be to enjoy the flag-waving, cow bell clanging, mariachi band playing madness that is a Mexican soccer game. You can find their schedule here.
If Mexico City is your destination, and you want to experience one of the largest stadiums in the world, then maybe endulging yourself in a game involving the Club American Football Club is the way to go. Club America lays claim to the second most titles in Mexico's premiere division and plays at Azteca Stadium - the fifth largest stadium in the world and having hosted the World Cup twice.
The winningest squad in Mexican Premiere history, Chivas is based in Guadalajara, Jalisco. This is the only team in Mexico that fields exclusively Mexican players and so if you want a true experience, here it is. Their rivalry with Club America rivals the Yankees-Red Sox matchup in the states and is esentially a holiday in Mexico when the teams meet twice a year - even given the name, The Clasico. This team also gives you a chance to witness a good game outside of Mexico City.
While perhaps not on par with soccer, few sports in Mexico rival the popularity of baseball. With several leagues and impressive teams spread throughout the country, this offers the tourist plenty of opportunities for a good ole' baseball game outside of the confines of the U.S.
For the cold weather fans, this league offers a rare opportunity to enjoy baseball during the winter months. Eight teams compete in this league which runs from October to January. The winner advances to play in the Caribbean Series, which features the top teams from many of the Latin countries.
Looking for baseball with more of a relation to the U.S.? Then the Mexican League is where you want to be. The league is one of three recognized official Triple-A minor leagues leading to the MLB and the only one based outside of the States.
The Tomateros are one of the more successful teams in the Mexican Pacific League. The team plays out of Culiacan brought notoriety to Mexican baseball in winning the 2002 Caribbean World Series.
Aguilas is another member of the Mexican Pacific league that has had somewhat of a prolific history. Great names such as Mike Piazza and Jonny Gomes have seen time with the Aguilas. Based in Mexicali, Baja California, this gives those not wanting to travel too far into Mexico a chance to witness some premier play.
One of the fastest-paced sports in the world, Jai Alai is not something you are going to find much of in the U.S. but as a favorite pasttime in Mexico, you might luck out.
This court, with its Moorish style building, offers a popular tourist attraction for both sight-seeing and sport-watching. Just hop on the road to Tijuana from Mexico and get here on a Friday night and you will be all set.
Another popular draw of sports in Mexico is the chance to witness some things you could never find in America. Take bullfighting, for instance. Bullfighting, while maybe not for the faint of heart, is a popular passtime in Mexico and offers a unique experience to tourists.
This site offers a chance to find bullfights throughout the country of Mexico. Details on particular fights and ticket deals are also available here, in addition to a complete schedule.
Despite the country's love and devotion to soccer and baseball, it is in fact Charreada that lays claim to being the national sport of Mexico. The Charreada is the original rodeo and those from Tucson might be familiar with the sport do to the annual event hosted in February on the southside.
The official site of the event, one can find riders, schedules and history on this site. Asssuming you can translate.
For those who want to be famililar with what they are getting themselves into, this site offers a history and explanation of the events involved in the Charreada.
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