River Plate Stadium Review is part of the Steak & Malbec Trip Report.
The 2018 Copa Libertadores between Boca Juniors and River Plate was played today in Madrid instead of River Plate Stadium in Buenos Aires because River’s fans attacked Boca players en route to River’s stadium on November 24th when the game was supposed to be played. While Michigan and Ohio State fans don’t like each other, the hate between Boca and River Plate is on a different level. In 2013, I went to a River Plate match and can verify that it was an intense experience.
When I went to a game in Marseille (see A Football in Match in Marseille: Do Not Miss), the InterContinental warned me that the games can get rowdy but didn’t advise against it. In Argentina, the Park Hyatt insisted that I go with a guide and insisted that I not sit in the dedicated home fan section. Furthermore, the hotel advised against wearing any variation of the color blue (Boca colors) even though River Plate was playing a different team that day. I wondered how anyone would know I’m an outsider if I cheer for the home team. Before the game started, it quickly became apparent to me how easily I would be outed.
Not knowing the songs and chants that went on throughout the match is a sure-fire way to expose yourself as an outsider.
I figured I could have a drink or two at a bar near the stadium before heading in. That was not the case. For security reasons, alcohol is not served at bars two hours before and two hours after the game.
Drinks at the Stadium
I also thought I could have a few beers while I was at the game. For security reasons, alcohol is not served in the stadium.
Where are the Away Fans?
At the Horseshoe, I got into it with a few Buckeyes. It’s part of the experience. In Argentina, for security reasons, away fans are not allowed to attend! You would think that everyone would get along because presumably they are all rooting for the home team. You would be wrong.
Personally, I would rather cheer for Boca because their colors are more like Michigan’s. However, as an insurance policy, I purchased a River Plate hat to blend in.
Despite all security precautions, there weren’t any issues. Instead, it was just a fun evening watching football with animated fans.
Next time I go to Argentina, I would like to go to a Boca game but will leave my River hat at home.