PostHeaderIcon We introduce Arena das Dumas in Natal for USA versus Ghana

We had the pleasure of seeing Ghana versus USA in Natal at Arena das Dumas. I say pleasure because we realized we missed the Ghana fans since meeting them in South Africa.

Us with Ghana fans

Notice the two he is holding up. That was not a peace sign.  It was the score they were predicitng to win by.

The stadium was much like Arena Pernambuco in size, layout and look.  We had a much easier time getting to parking and a decent walk to the stadium. While there was still no signage, we read up on the websites and mapped everything out. We chose the college to park for free and it was the best choice for many reasons.

270 view of Arena das Dumas for Ghana versus USA

The simple reason was the one turn walk to the stadium with plenty of food stands and crowds along the way. This led us to a buffet with some awesome food (never mind Carl didn’t remind me not to eat the salad until I had eaten it). We sat along the roadway where everyone was walking, partying and taking so many pictures. We found out this placed us on the wrong side of the stadium for our designated entrance, we took our time walking around it.

The best reason we found for parking at the college is that is where the Ghana fan buses parked. Fan groups get designated sections at games and they come fully dressed up, bring lots of drums and noise and are there to celebrate.  We quickly remembered the South Africa games we sat with or next to their sections. Amazing energy, total friendliness and the desire to talk to you constantly.  Carl was like a superstar to them and took at least 50 pictures with Ghana fans.

The stadium itself had two entrances. A south and north. Our ticket said north but we were able to get in the south. That is where it stopped being the same as Arena Pernambuco. Once inside the security ring you could walk freely around the stadium but to enter the stadium proper you had to use a designated and secured gate per your ticket.  Secured means fences, turnstiles and staffed. We entered near the J-K gates and had to get to P all the way around the other side. They would not let us enter the stadium and walk around inside t get to our gate.  The dumb thing was we could enter at our gate and then walk around. It might have been traffic flow control because it was all stairs.

USA is an interesting group.  Loud, often drunk and have terrible chants.  Of course, we were cheering both teams along because we are there for a great game.  the noise when the USA scored within the first minute was amazing but nothing like the sound from the Ghana goal.  The USA fans have two chants that come and go.  One is the original U-S-A.  The other is “I believe we can win“ (both equally shit – Carl) which is not very hopeful for the team.

Ghana on the other hand.  Wow.  Constant drums, music, chants and dancing. Both sides had lots of costumes and outfits but Ghana goes all in. We actually wanted to move sections down near their fan group to get away from some rowdy USA drunks throwing beers and other dumb stuff.

Ghana flag waves proud at the game

After the game the fans spilled out and the street party continued.  We took more pictures, Carl ran along the Natal police and gave them all high fives and I was a bit shocked by an event.  While walking back to the parking someone behind me yelled “IdoNotes and sleep”. Which is my online name and website.  Being in Brazil and having someone recognize you was quite the shock.  Or stalk.  We figure out it was just a shock.

See the Flickr pics for more inside and outside the stadium.

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