So You Wanna Watch Lucha Libre in Guadalajara?
When Wes and I first arrived to Guadalajara, we didn’t have much of an itinerary in mind. We only had a week in the city and we were full on winging it. If it wasn’t for the helpful staff at our hostel, we just might have missed out on our favourite moment of the week: lucha libre in Guadalajara.
Lucha Libre in Guadalajara
If you’re planning a visit to this Mexican metropolis, make sure you’re in town on a Tuesday night for a spectacle like no other. Lucha libre (Mexican wrestling) is where the best of the best wrestlers battle in colourful masks and costumes to entertain the crowd. If you’ve seen Jack Black in Nacho Libre, multiply the fun and laughs by 10 and you’ve got yourself a night at lucha libre in Guadalajara. And even if you're not a fan of wrestling, this Mexican experience is one you won't want to miss!
When & Where to Watch Lucha Libre in Guadalajara
Lucha libre fights are held twice weekly at the Arena Coliseo de Guadalajara. There are fights on Tuesdays at 8:45pm and Sundays at 6:00pm.
Getting to Lucha Libre in Guadalajara
Arena Coliseo de Guadalajara is about a 10 minute walk from Mercado Libertad BUT in an area where we were advised not to linger. This is why, even though there's public transit available, I would suggest taking an uber/taxi or going with a group like we did.
Lucha Libre with Red Pub
You know the expression, “half the fun is getting there”? Well, that was definitely the case for us on this Tuesday night. We heard through our hostel that the Red Pub (or Estacion Central Bar) offered group tours to the infamous wrestling event. Wes and I normally prefer to save money and take local transportation but when we heard that the Red Pub takes you to the arena in a double-decker bus, we were intrigued to say the least!
There are multiple Red Pub locations in Guadalajara but the one we toured with is the one off of Av Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla (near Chapultepec). I would definitely recommend getting to Red Pub early and trying a burger from the food truck that is parked in front of the bar. The burgers were pretty good. We were one of the first people to arrive (around 6:30pm) and we were served our burgers and beers quickly. By the time the crowds rolled in, it looked like the servers were struggling to keep up and people were getting impatient.
Another benefit of arriving early is that you’ll get to ride a double-decker bus to the arena! We were in the first group called to line up so we were able to get the front seats on the upper deck and had a memorable ride to the lucha libre. It was about 8pm before 2 bus loads full of people were on their way to the arena.
You can buy a drink from the pub for the road but you’ll have to get a plastic cup from the server on the bus as glass is not allowed. They also sell beers on the bus but it costs a few pesos more than at the bar. If you find yourself sitting at the top deck, be prepared to duck under the tree branches throughout the ride!
Lucha Libre in Guadalajara: Tickets
With Red Pub, our tickets were $175 pesos each (2016). This included transportation to and from the arena, entry to the wrestling match as well as one free beer at the end of the night. In our opinion, totally worth it.
Tickets for Lucha Libre in Guadalajara can also be purchased through Ticketmaster and at the door. Online tickets range from $75 to $165 pesos plus additional service fees.
The Main Event
The chaos began as soon as we got off the bus and didn’t end until we were headed home. At the entrance of the arena, we joined a large crowd of people where the guys and girls were separated into two different lines. Security included a pat down and bag check so, when they saw our camera in my bag, I was told it had to be checked in. I was skeptical but didn’t have much of a choice so I reluctantly checked my camera and all of our photos and video were taken from our phones instead.
I'll start by saying that the atmosphere in the arena was INSANE. Wes and I walked into the madness, glanced at each other and knew it was going to be a fun night. I don’t think you can put an event like lucha libre into words. The energy from the both the wrestlers and the crowd is like nothing I've ever experienced.
We didn’t know what section our tickets were for and, since no one was checking, we just sat ringside and as close to the front as we could. There were vendors selling beer, t-shirts, popcorn and other souvenirs so we didn't have to get out of our seats the whole night. There were several matches including a female fight and lots of entertainment leading up to the main event.
The Lucha Libre Chanting
The entire night was loud. People were cheering, the wrestlers were grunting and the vendors were making sure their voices were heard too. The most memorable part of the night was probably the chanting in the crowds. The crowd sitting ringside would scream and yell chants to the people in the fenced off standing section and vice versa. And then the whole arena would cheer on their favourite wrestler and boo the others. There was a lot of swearing. The music was blaring. The crowds were going wild and the energy was contagious. It wasn't long before Wes and I were on our feet, cheering and screaming and clapping and booing with the others. When in Rome, right?
The whole way home we couldn't believe how great of a night it was so I would definitely recommend going to see lucha libre in Guadalajara. And if Guadalajara isn't on your list, there are also lucha libre nights in Puebla and in Mexico City. Is the event child-friendly? Well, that's up to you. While we never felt unsafe, there is a lot of yelling and swearing from both the wrestlers and the audience. Sundays in Mexico (or domingos familiar) are popular days for family outings so there may be more families attending lucha libre in Guadalajara on Sunday evening.