You haven’t seen a soccer game until you’ve been to a soccer game in Colombia; and you haven’t seen a rilvary until you’ve been to a Deportivo Independiente Medellín (DIM) versus Atlético Nacional game.
We were lucky enough to be able to go to a “clasico” game between these two rivals last Saturday. It was completely out of control. Here’s a little about what to expect when attending a Medellin soccer game.
Buying Medellin soccer tickets
Prices depend on the game and the location of the seats in the stadium. For this game, the seats we got were $40,000 COP (about $13 USD). However the more common, and convenient, way to get tickets is to purchase them from someone else who goes to the stadium and buys a lot at one time. This usually will cost you around $70,000 COP ($24 USD) depending on who you buy from and how close it is to the game date.
Buying an Atletico Nacional jersey
Knock-off jerseys can be bought pretty much anywhere. Depending on quality and where you decide to purchase, a Medellin jersey can be purchased between $20,000-$50,000 COP ($7-17 USD).
Atletico Nacional Medellin pre-party
You can’t go to a Nacional team (Medellin’s local “green” team), without going to the pre-party on La 70. La 70 is the street leading up to the stadium and it is filled with fans in green jerseys. Each team has its own band and during the pre-party, the band goes into the streets to rally up the fans.
Attending a Medellin soccer game
One thing that is important to remember is the extreme rilvary between Nacional and Medellin. They are both the top teams in Colombia and they are boh from the same city. Colombians take soccer very seriously. On game days between these two teams, certain metro stops only allow certain teams to onboard, and each team’s fans are required to use separate entrances into the stadium to prevent fights.
Because of this, there is high security entering the stadium. Men are not allowed to wear a belt (pro-tip: use a shoelace), and you should try to bring as little as possible.
Medellin soccer fans
The pre-party in the street is just a warm-up. Once you get into the stadium you’ll see the real show. The home-game fans get 75% of the seating of the stadium, while the other 25% is saved for the away-fans. However, the “super-fans” for each team have their on territory; on the south side of the stadium sit the Nacional fans, and the north-end the Medellin fans.
Each team has a band that plays the entire game, banners showing off the neighborhoods they represent, flags and posters. These sections sing, chant, and jump the entire game. This is traditional of Latin American soccer team fans and is definitely something unique about the experience.