Occupying the Bombonera

After half a year watching football in Argentina, I've been to a many of the famous stadiums in the region: El Monumental, El Cilindro, and Uruguay's Centenario, but I hadn't been to arguably the most famous: La Bombonera – the chocolate box, as the home of Boca Juniors is named. Going to a Boca Junior match, a highlight of a lot of generally ignoranti tourist's visits to Buenos Aires, has not made it onto my list of activities. My problem is that it is very difficult to get tickets without spending a fortune. Boca benefits from being a hugely popular team that is winning, with the ability to aggressively promote its corporate image internationally. For those reason, as someone posting a comment on an Ole article noted, there are only seats in the Bombonera for “socios, turistas, y ladrones” (members, tourists, and thieves). Tickets from members are often sold to tourists, sometimes by thieves, for 200 and often more pesos; at least twice the cost of the most expensive popular tickets for other Argentine clubs. They say the Bombonera is one the experiences in world football, but for me I'd rather see All Boys play surrounded families wearing the black and white rather than in a herd of 20 tourists ushered past paid off security guards. So for all my time here, I'd not been in the Bombonera.

Until last weekend that is, I can now say I've stood, sang and celebrated not just one but three local goals in the tribuna of the Bombonera. And unlike other foreigners, I entered with my socio card. A perfect solution:
San Lorenzo was forced to play their local match against Godoy Cruz in the Bombonera after the Nuevo Gasómetro was closed for safety reasons. Two weeks ago a strong wind storm blew through Buenos Aires, living significant damage, collapsed buildings, and several people were killed. Thousands were without electricity in the poor parts of the city for several days as trees and buildings had fallen on power lines.
The athletics facilities of the Club Atlético de San Lorenzo de Almagro were amongst the most damaged, including a collapsed roof over the roller hockey and debris destroying the windows of the capilla de San Lorenzo. A young female athlete was also injured by falling bricks while training. And a large section of the visitor's tribuna was blown out:
It was decided that this damage was significant enough to force San Lorenzo away from their stadium and given the complexity of matches this weekend – the “superclasico de Avellaneda” and Huracan visiting El Monumental de River – it was chosen to host San Lorenzo in the Bombonera. No word on what San Lorenzo will be doing in two weeks, their next home match.
While we didn't fill the the Bombonera with socios, turistas and ladrones (we were missing out on many from each category), we did fill the Bombonera with a few songs from the banda of the Gloriosa Butteler.
We sang,

and sang,

and sang,

(I was somewhere above the second trapo from the left, that feel at some point in the match because of all the jumping).

I need to keep better statistics and it may be creeping bias, but I don't think I've heard any other hinchada sing as many different songs for their team. And there are dozens more, since retired from the stadium, that you now only hear sung on the travelling buses. In spanish “fuimos a copar la Bombonera”.
And for the first time, I've seen San Lorenzo win a 'local' match, coincidentally when they were not in their local. Godoy Cruz is having a difficult time likely because of their efforts to play in both the Libertadores and this championship and falling behind in both. Good for San Lorenzo, who completely dominated, winning 3-nil even with a missed penalty.
Because of the win, San Lorenzo continues to sit just above Tigre, who also won against Boca 2-1 this weekend, a spot away from the direct relegation. Every one of the last 9 matches are high pressure 'finals' for San Lorenzo, every win is a chance to celebrate:
Next Sunday, the banda of the gloriosa travels to the suburb of Banfield.
iIgnorant because many tourists often do not know anything more about Argentine football beyond “Boca Juniors”.

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