If you’re headed to Mexico City, one of the top things to do is see a lucha libre show, or a Mexican professional wrestling match, and one of the top places to do so is Arena México. If you’re not into professional wrestling in the first place, but want to experience this part of Mexican culture, what can you expect?
You’re going to need some cash (and a little Spanish).
While you can purchase your tickets to an Arena México lucha libre match online, it’s often easier to do so in person, the day of the event. Arrive at the arena about half an hour ahead of the show and get in line. You’ll want to pay cash and learn a little bit of Spanish so you can pick out the seats you actually want (just knowing some simple phrases to indicate the number of seats and the row you want is helpful). Avoid the scalpers (who can be rather aggressive) and only purchase your tickets from the designated ticket booths.
Tipping is customary.
You’ll need additional cash once you’re inside the arena. Ushers will show you to your seat and then expect a tip. If you use the restroom, the restroom attendant will likewise expect a tip. If you order food or drinks, those vendors will also expect a tip.
You won’t see much unless you sit down low.
Be prepared — if you don’t sit low, toward the ring, you won’t see much. That’s because vendors clog the aisles and rows the entire show, selling all manner of things. Just about any kind of food — popcorn, instant noodles, beer, pizza — you want is available, as are toys, lucha libre masks and a variety of other items. The good thing is, you won’t go hungry or thirsty.
The only drinks you can purchase outside your seat are micheladas.
You can purchase a variety of drinks from your seat from one of the roaming vendors, but if you want to go out to a concession stand to purchase a drink, you’ll only find micheladas. They’re worth trying out, and just about everyone in attendance will have one. A huge cup is filled with two full beers, lime juice and a chile-based sauce. The rim is coated with a slightly sticky similar sauce and then dipped into salt.
You’re going to have a great time.
Whether or not you can understand the Spanish, what’s going on or even the rules, you’re going to have a great time. Beer, cheering crowds and men in sparkly outfits and masks practicing choreographed violence combine for an experience you definitely won’t forget anytime soon.
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