While visiting Marisol’s sister in Cali, we had an opportunity to attend a football game between Deportivo Cali and Envigado in what would be my very first game in Colombia. Deportivo Cali is one of the most successful clubs in Colombian football history, and they were playing an importing game near the end of the season.
Estadio Deportivo Cali
Wilson bought the tickets a few days early and drove us to the stadium, Estadio Deportivo Cali, which is located near the airport in Palmira. The stadium opened in 2010 and seats 52,000. It’s the largest stadium in Colombia, and Deportivo Cali is the only team in Colombia that owns its own stadium.
We pulled up to the parking lot about 45 minutes before game time and walked to the gates. Security guards patted everyone down and checked bags before we were allowed to enter the stadium. From there, we made our way to our seats.
Although our tickets had seat numbers, they’re not enforced except for the side of the stadium you purchase tickets for. We sat in the east tribune, which cost COP$32,000 per ticket and is a bleacher section. The west tribune is more expensive and many seats have seatbacks. On both the east and west sides, there are huge blocks of suites. The ultras are located on the south side standing and chanting during the entire game, while the north side was more tame like the other sections.
The stadium is definitely lacking some amenities that should be expected, including a scoreboard, a clock, and public address announcements. We had no idea how much time had passed in the game or who was coming into the game during substitutions.
Concession stands inside the stadium sold drinks and snacks at reasonable prices. Three beers and two waters cost me COP$9,500. Hot dogs and hamburgers were the available foods.
As for the game, it wasn’t very exciting overall. Deportivo Cali started off with a strong attack in the first 10 minutes, but play slowed down until a 35th minute goal by Harold Preciado.
After halftime, there were no real chances and very little action until the final 15 minutes of the game when things started to get a bit chippy. There were some hard fouls and we thought a few of the players were ready to start brawling, but the contest ended with a whimper. Deportivo Cali walked away with a 1-0 victory.
Here are the game’s highlights: