The Arena México today stands just below the old Arena Modelo. Lucha Libre fights began there in 1933. So successful were they that then newly-formed Empresa Mexicana de Lucha Libre (Mexican Lucha Libre Company) bought the old boxing arena and rechristened it the Arena México.
With the 1943 opening of the Arena Coliseo in the La Lagunilla neighborhood of the City center, the old Arena México was used as a wrestling school and training center. It had a capacity for just 4,500 spectators. By 1954, Lucha Libre had outgrown even the 13-year-old Coliseo. They then demolished the old arena building in Doctores and bought up the surrounding land.
The new arena opened in 1956 with a match between the Blue Demon and Rolando Vera versus El Santo and Médico Asesino. Now with a capacity for 16,500 spectators, the first show sold out. Today, the Coliseo and the Arena México are the most important Lucha Libre venues in the City and arguably, in the whole country. The Arena México is the largest arena built specifically for professional wrestling in the world.
The arena has also seen it’s share of boxing matches. In 1968, the arena hosted all of the matches for the Summer Olympics. Several World Title boxing matches have also been decided here. Lucha Libre wrestling was hugely important entertainment in the decades when television was still expensive. Today it continues as a classic tradition and as a tribute to the mid-2oth century when so much of modern Mexico City seems to have really come of age.
Lucha Libre events take place Tuesdays, Friday, and Sundays throughout the year. Tickets can range from $100 in the general audience to $200 for rows 1 through 5. Check the CMLL website for current matches or purchase tickets from Ticketmaster, or at Liverpool or a number of other venues in the city.