No clue about Polo? But you want to get a grasp of REAL argentine life? Here you are: We tell you 5 reasons why the Palermo Open Final is THE event to attend in Buenos Aires. Even if you don’t know anything about this sport and aren’t Polo addict like me.
First the basics of this event: At the beginning of December the best polo players in the world fight for the Trophy of the Palermo Open in Buenos Aires. This year the team of the world’s most famous Polo Player Adolfo Cambiaso (La Dolfina) has won against the Ellerstina Polo Team – who consists (funny fact) only by members of one family: the Pierres Clan.
1. POLO IS REAL ARGENTINIAN LIFESTYLE
The Palermo Open, or in Spanish called the ‘Abierto de Palermo’, is the biggest polo event of the year. In Argentina Polo is the most popular sport. So everyone who has a name in the polo world (and beside) will be there and still, it is an event for the masses. Even when you have in mind, that Polo is a super exclusive sport: In Argentina it’s not, it is their national sports and a big part of their tradition for centuries.
So even in the stadium: In some areas there are no seat cards. So it will be exciting who you might sit next to.
2. EASY ACCESS
For European standards, you probably think you have to wear something fancy or have to be on a long waiting list to get tickets: Both isn’t true. You don’t need to be invited and feel free to wear whatever you like. Because December is high summer season with temperatures around 35 degrees. So better wear a sporty cap instead of a fascinator. And then you buy yourself a ticket (starting from 30 Dollars to 300 Dollars) and you are already a part of the polo crowd.
3. THE LOCATION
Normally stadiums are located at the outskirts, but not in Buenos Aires when it comes to their beloved Polo: The Palermo Open is played in the middle of the city with a view on the amazing skyline. The Stadium holds up to 15.000 spectators and the polo field is about 6 times the size of a football field. So you can imagine the size!
4. THE PRIZE GIVING & THE AFTER PARTY
After super exciting 8 chukkers (that is the name of the 7 minute long game period) the Opening game is over: And when the game finishes all viewers are invited to come on the polo pitch and watch the prize giving in a super relaxed situation. One can see children playing on the gras, adults trotting in wholes and grooms taking away the many horses of the players. After the prize giving everyone meets at the stands behind the polo pitch to celebrate together the victory of the players. Famous Polo players are mixing there with fans in the crowd, here are hardly any VIP areas and everyone could have a nice chat with anyone at the bar.
5. MEETING INTERNATIONAL VIPs
At the after party you meet people from all over the world: from Australia, England, United States, Africa and many more nationalities. It is THE party of the year. While walking around the stands of the different Polo teams you are not only celebrating with all spectators, but also with famous polo players like Nacho Figueras, models like Delfina Blaquier and sometimes even with Argentina’s president Mauricio Macri. Also the after party is not divided in VIP and not VIP everyone celebrates with everyone. So when you grab yourself a beer take a minute and look at you neighbor it might be your Idol.
Everything is easier in Argentina, and the Palermo Open will give you the best ‘feeling-like-a-local’-experience you can have in Buenos Aires.
Photo Credit: Matías Callejo via Asociación Argentina de Polo