Porteños are fanatical about their fútbol (soccer), and it is a part of the daily culture. There is the national Argentine team as well as smaller local teams. The two most popular local clubs are Boca Juniors and River Plate. Each team has its own stadium and their fans define loyalty.
La Bombonera is the home stadium of the Boca team, located at Brandsen 805, and is one of the most famous sights in the city. Tickets for a game here go for about $20 for the cheap seats (entradas populares) and $40-75 for the fixed seats (plateas).
A warning to any foreigners, though, especially women: fútbol games are taken seriously, and they can get quite dangerous, especially at the Bombonera. The “popular” sections are always packed with the die-hards, with a lot of chanting, pot smoking, and occasional fights breaking out. The “platea” seats are safer, but even here things can always turn ugly after a bad call. There aren’t many women at these games at all. If you decide to take the risk and experience this truly porteño event, do not take anything valuable with you, keep your pockets empty, and remove any and all jewelry. Keep your guard up and go with a group.
Basketball has gained popularity in recent years in Argentina, with many of their players currently playing for NBA teams. The most popular squad in Buenos Aires is the Boca Juniors team, and they play in an arena (called “La Bombonerita”) inside the main football complex. Tickets to the games are fairly cheap, starting around $15.
Rugby is also gaining momentum ever since the national team, Los Pumas, placed third in the World Cup in 2007. The rugby season in Argentina runs from April to October. San Isidro, in Buenos Aires Province, is home to two of the best teams: Club Atlético de San Isidro (CASI) and San Isidro Club (SIC).
Argentines boast that the best polo in the world is played on their soil. To understand the country’s fondness for this very royal sport, it’s worth catching some polo when the season rolls around in September. Numerous polo clubs dot the conurbation of Greater Buenos Aires, but the most prominent venue is the Campo Argentino de Polo in Palermo (Av. Libertador and Av. Dorrego). It’s here that the annual Argentine Open Polo Championship is held in November. Check the website of the Argentine Polo Association(in Spanish) for information on upcoming events.
You can purchase tickets at the stadiums themselves, on the team websites, or through local tour groups such as Buenos Aires Hostels, which arranges drop-off and pick-ups as well.