The Journey from the Big Apple to Azteca Stadium in Mexico

289
Azteca Stadium

The Estadio Azteca is a soccer stadium located in the suburbs of Santa Ursula, Mexico City. Since its doors opened in 1966, the stadium has housed the official home games of the professional Mexican national soccer team. Its current capacity holds 87,000, and it’s the largest stadium in Mexico.

The atmosphere is electric, and when you combine the visual beauty with the passion of thousands of Mexican fans, it can transform a soccer game into one of the most memorable sporting events of a fan’s life. 

Residing in the southern part of this decumbent municipality is like one of the country’s concrete temples. The Azteca stadium’s ambience, charm, and charisma comes to life when 10s of thousands of spectators provide the audio at 7,200-foot altitude. We should expect no different when the USA visit on Thursday.    

USMST Travel to Mexico City

On Thursday, March 24, 2022, the American international soccer team travelled to the legendary stadium in a crucial clash as both the U.S. team and Mexico race for a World Cup Qatar qualification position. The CONCACAF World Cup qualifying stage is separating the USA and Mexico by nothing but goal difference, as both squads sit on equal points – emphasising the importance of this meeting. 

One of America’s most loyal fan bases resides in the Big Apple and those New York fanatics who’ll be supplementing the sportsbooks with their wagers. In addition, a portion of those fans will be booking flights or taking the 41-hour drive for a beautiful scenic road trip to the Azteca.

The USA defeated Honduras 3-0 in their previous World Cup qualifier, and bettors using their handicapping initiative at New York BetMGM would have walked away with positive profits. I expect similar bets will endure from New Yorkers and fellow Americans because of Mexico’s inconsistency during the 2022 World Cup tournament thus far.

Some would suggest that New York bettors should remain cautious because the American’s past success inside the Azteca isn’t desirable. The USMNT hasn’t won a game inside the iconic Azteca Stadium since 2012, with a four-game winless streak since then. However, Mexico required a late Raul Jimenez penalty to defeat Panama in February, further adding to their conflicting and unpredictable form, giving the visitors a great chance to break this unsuccessful trend.

When the two sides met last year, Christian Pulisic and Weston McKennie assisted the USA in taking all three points. But to reiterate, the USA own a shocking history when playing versus Mexico in hostile territory, winning just 2 of 32 meetings at the Azteca stadium.

Travelling From New York to the Azteca?

The New York faithful travelling to support the USMST are presented with multiple options when travelling to the Azteca, depending on preference.

For those looking to make a trip of it, spare two days to make the 44-hour drive. This is the cheapest option ($400 – $600), but the 2691-mile road trip isn’t for the faint-hearted, so it’s best to book a hotel for a night’s rest in between.

A bus journey also takes two days, so flights from Newark, JFK, or La Guardia airports are the most common approaches. Following a 12-hour flight, you’ll have to spend a mere 45 minutes on the TasqueNa subway before reaching your destination, the Estadio Azteca.

The Infamous Azteca

The Azteca stadium has been the host of countless history-making moments, and it’s the only stadium to host two World Cup finals (1970 & 1986).

The unforgettable moment when Diego Maradona used his hand to score versus England during the 1986 quarterfinals meeting between Argentina and England was under the Azteca lights.

Behind its unique design, coaches are distanced twenty yards from the sidelines as the benches aren’t conveniently placed on top of the action. In addition, a sense of claustrophobia is removed as spectators are sat in stands removed from the field.

The worry for most teams is the impending altitude that cannot be avoided – A considerable disadvantage for the visiting North and Central American teams. The visiting teams often use oxygen supplements at halftime, and it’s essential that the timing of substitutions are carefully planned out.   

It’s no secret that the U.S. squad own a sense of physicality in their play style, but overexertion and forcing this approach will soon be met with fatigue when dealing with the altitude in Mexico.