Soccer—or fútbol as it’s called in Spanish—is an integral part of Mexican culture. For the country’s people, Azteca Stadium (Estadio Azteca), which is the largest stadium in Mexico, is the heart of the sport. Home to the professional soccer team Club América and the Mexican national team, the 84,000-seat stadium is the first venue to host two FIFA World Cup finals, and it will welcome a third in 2026.
Its name a tribute to Mexico City’s Aztec heritage, Azteca Stadium (Estadio Azteca) opened its doors in 1966 and continues to draw throngs of fans every year. In addition to the World Cups in 1970 and 1986, the stadium hosted the 1986 quarter-final match between Argentina and England, where both the memorable “Hand of God” goal and the “Goal of the Century” were scored.
Besides scoring tickets to a match, die-hard soccer fans can get their fix with a behind-the-scenes tour of the venue, which usually includes a look at the inner workings, such as a visit to the locker rooms, press room, and bench area, plus a walk onto the legendary field.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The stadium is a popular attraction, so tours may sell out; book early to avoid missing it.
- There are no tours on match days or the day before a home match.
- Match tickets can be purchased at the gates on game day or online ahead of time.
How to Get There
In the Santa Ursula neighborhood of Mexico City and about nine miles (15 kilometers) from the historic center, the stadium is accessible via the Azteca station on the Xochimilco Light Rail line, which connects to the city’s metro system at the Tasqueña station. (The light rail and metro require two different tickets.) It’s also about a 30- to 40-minute car ride from the Mexico City International Airport.
When to Get There
The Mexican football league system (Club América is part of the Liga MX division) divides its season into two: Apertura (opening season) and Clausura (closing season), each with its own tournament and champion. If you want to catch a match, visit Azteca Stadium from July to December (Apertura) and from January to May (Clausura).
Tips for Attending a Match at Azteca Stadium
Like with most sporting events, you’ll have to contend with traffic, security, and unruly football fans on match day. Some things to keep in mind
- Be sure to head to the stadium early, especially if you still need to purchase tickets.
- Don’t wear a belt because it will most likely be confiscated by security (although there are vendors who will babysit it during the match for a fee).
- Carry some extra pesos in your pocket to give to the bathroom attendants in exchange for toilet paper.