Cubans are mad about baseball, their national sport. Here’s how to see a game when you’re on the island.
Teams from the national league are found in towns across Cuba, but the easiest place to see a game is in Havana. The Cuban capital is home to a team called Industriales, which plays at the Estadio Latinoamericano in the Cerro neighbourhood. As an interesting historical aside, President Obama watched a game at the stadium on his visit in 2015.
This giant blue arena dominates the neighbourhood, which is largely residential and has few other tourist attractions. However it’s worth making a trip on game day.
First of all check whether your visit coincides with the season, which runs from the end of November to the end of May. Then take a look online to see whether Industriales are playing at home. If you’re in luck, it’s time to find a ticket.
Cuba is a nation of fixers, and one of the best ways to get anything done is to ask a local. If you’re staying in a casa particular, ask the host family if they can help you out. Alternatively get yourself down to the stadium and buy a ticket on the day. Expect to pay around 5 CUC for entry.
It pays to check the schedule on the morning of the game because it is subject to change at the last minute, which is something you’ll soon get used to in Cuba. Once you are inside expect to see top quality players, most of whom are hoping to be the next names to join the long list of Cuban players that have moved to play in Major League Baseball in the United States.
Cerro is a short cab ride from Vedado and Old Havana, where most tourists stay. The more adventurous can try and navigate the local bus system, or hop in a shared taxi called a maquina which run on fixed routes all over the city.