There are certain things we all know Cubans love: dancing salsa, rum, and baseball! Having grown up with a Norwegian father, baseball was never big in our house and I can’t say I care for the sport. However, I am so happy that on our trip to Havana we got to experience the exciting atmosphere of a Cuban baseball game.
For tourists (aka the gringos), the tickets to the games are a bit more expensive, but one of the things the communist regime has given Cubans is cheap baseball tickets. As a result, Cubans don’t have to use much of their measly salary ($20/month on average) to enjoy the game and thus the stadium is usually packed with people.
Just like during American games, Cuban baseball stadiums have a lot of people walking around selling snacks, balloons, hats and t-shirts of the teams playing. It is designed for average Cubans, not tourists, so the currency is the peso the locals use, not CUC. When you pay with CUC, you can just round up a bit. I bought this small bag of popcorn for just $0.25!
The reason for all of the blue in the stadium is the colors of the local Havana baseball team, Industriales, who are basically the New York Yankees of Cuba. The Industriales have won the most Cuban National Series (12 times) in communist Cuba (the original Cuban professional league was banned after the revolution). Although we had to leave the game before it ended, the Industriales ended up winning!
In Cuba, even the mascots have big butts!
Cuban baseball fans can be as rowdy as any other sports fans, but with a decidedly Cuban flavor. I definitely recommend going to a game even if you don’t like baseball!
Let’s face it, a picture cannot capture the vibe, so here is a video: