A Football match
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The pictures below were taken on August of 2004. The match was between America, from Natal (read football in Natal), and Cachoeira, a team from Espirito Santo; the teams were playing the Second Division of Brazilian League (read about football in Brazil).
If you are considering going to a match while in Natal, some tips:
Fans are peaceful, but very noisy. Lots of fireworks, lots of name callings (against the players and referees), but nothing hostile or violent. Police is always around (the cops get to watch a match for free).
Because the teams of Natal play in the Second or Third Division, the stadium doesn't get very crowded. You'd better avoid the match America versus ABC; these are the two most popular teams in Natal, and this match attracts the largest number of people (and the more enthusiastic, too). Pick a day when America or ABC play against a more obscure adversary.
Matches take place in Machadão stadium, near Shopping Natal. Notice that, right beside Machadão, there is a smaller arena called Machadinho, used for volleyball, basketball, etc. Also, some events take place in the vicinities of Machadão, like the Carnatal. Machadão means (also) "big axe", but the name was given after Machado, name of the engineer who designed the stadium; Machadinho means "small axe" or "small Machado".
Ticket cost R$ 10, for a seat in the "arquibancadas" (the ladder), which you see in the pictures; kids up to 12 years old enter for free. By force of a recent law, every ticket brings the number of your "seat", but nobody cares about that. There is a more reserved section, the "cadeiras" (chairs), which costs about double; not worthy, unless the stadium is crowd, or it´s raining.
Plenty of buses and taxis after the match finishes, but not any special line. The place gets messy, but remains safe.
People sell beer, coke, pop corn and snacks inside. Toillets are not the cleanest, but decent.
If you are used to going to stadiums at your country, you will see nothing to be surprised in Natal. However, if you are curious about the legendary Brazilian football, going to a match is a good option to have fun on a Sunday afternoon.
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