The Venados are Mazatlan’s baseball team and we had a great time at the Mexican league game during our stay in the city. There are a few things about this particular stadium, and about Mexican league baseball games in general, that I thought I’d share.
Tickets, snacks, pricing
The lines at the stadium box office were confusing to us. There were several lines of different lengths, with no obvious reason. I asked a man waiting in one of the shorter lines if all ticket windows were the same. He said yes, so we got on a much shorter line to buy tickets, while other people went to longer lines.
Tickets cost 60 pesos each, or about $3 USD, for the cheapest seats available. (Part of the bleacher outfield is closed for construction; more on that below.)
Tedly paid 70 pesos ($3.67 USD) for 24 ounces of beer. Water for me was less than a dollar. We saw people selling snacks in the stands in prices from a dollar up to five bucks, depending on the type and size – cut up hot dogs, chips, even cups of fruit. Tedly bought a bag of peanuts for about a dollar. That’s $12 USD so far for two people.
What would two beers cost in the U.S. at a Major League, or even a Double-A game? A bag of nuts? What would tickets cost? The game reminded Tedly of the Akron Ducks – and double A league games, but these prices were a third less.
The team, the fans, the league
Venados is Spanish for deer, so of course the mascot is a deer. It was out on the field up to shenanigans during the game – just like Slider at Cleveland Indians games, or the hot dogs with ketchup, mayo, and mustard. Families were there, young couples, old couples, groups of friends. Just like at home – people enjoying their hometown team on a Saturday night.
That’s the thing – the fans are just like us. They are simply baseball fans. They’re just regular people. They cheer when the Venados score runs; clap when their pitcher strikes a guy out; laugh when the mascot antics get going. There is nothing scary here – nothing to fear. Americans have this sense that Mexico is a “bad place” filled with “bad hombres.” It makes me so angry when people have contempt prior to investigation. I’ll move on before I digress more.
Mexican pro-baseball runs on a different schedule than in the U.S. It starts in October in the Pacific League, when American baseball is ending. Baseball in Mazatlan runs through December, with playoffs in January. Last January, the Pacific League Venados made the playoffs. They last won the Pacific League championship in 2015. (More team history in English can be found here. The team’s officials website is here.)
More on our seating
The stadium is under renovations at the time of this writing. You can still get cheap seats, but the outfield bleachers were being worked on in late October, when we went for a game. Also, there were no formal ‘bathrooms’ in the ‘cheap seats’ area – only port-o-potties. I am not sure if this was because of the construction, or if that’s how it always is in the cheap seats area. Regardless, we left at the bottom of the eighth inning because I needed a real bathroom. (Next time, I’d gladly pay another dollar to have access to a ‘real’ bathroom.)
I’m guessing there are normal facilities in other areas where there are more expensive seats, but I’m not sure. The entrance for our tickets was specific to the sides, and we were not permitted near the other seats. Our ‘seats’ were concrete bleachers – other seating areas had actual seats.
We opted for seats behind first base. The setting sun made it difficult to see the pitching mound and batter for the first part of the game, but this was before we pushed the clocks back an hour so it’s probably not an issue now, a few weeks later. That said, once the sun got low enough to easily see the field, it sure was a pretty view.
If you are going with kids, the seats behind third base had more mascot and cheerleader activity, so I’d recommend that side if you’re in the ‘cheap seats’ area. It was more active than on our side because vehicles were able to drive onto the field from the third-base side.
Transportation, final tally, final thought
To get to the game, we took the bus from Paseo Claussen section of the malecon up Avenida del Mar about half-way, and then walked a few blocks inland to the stadium. However, there are buses you can to the stadium, if you are in Centro or off the malecon. The bus was a buck for two people. On the way home, we used a pulmonia, which cost about $2.50.
Transportation added to the previous total of $12, and we’re at about $15.50 for a date night at the ball game.
We’re fans. We had a great time – the Venados were winning when we left, and they went on to win that game.We saw some good plays and enjoyed the game of baseball, which I’ve come to enjoy much more during our early retirement budget travel tour. Hey – part of the fun of early retirement is finding new hobbies and loves, right?
We will go to another game while we are here in this fantastic Mexican city on the Pacific coast. We’ll root for our hometown team, since Mazatlan is our home for this month.