Prepare your vuvuzelas, singing voices, and livers, South Florida. El Clásico week has arrived. Beginning Wednesday, a Super Bowl-like tsunami of soccer events is scheduled in anticipation of the superstar-studded matchup between Real Madrid and Barcelona taking place Saturday, July 29, at Hard Rock Stadium.
Everything from concerts, parties, soccer matches, and other festivities are planned throughout the week all over Miami-Dade. El Clásico is always a big deal, but add in the fact this is the first time the two teams have played each other in North America, and what is expected is a massive four-day celebration that can only be compared to the NFL's final game.
Wondering how to be a part of the action? Where to go to meet the stars of both teams? What to do if you can't afford a ticket? We've got you covered.
Juventus vs. Paris Saint-Germain
With any heavyweight fight comes an undercard bout, and El Clásico has a doozy on the docket. Juventus, an Italian soccer club that recently made the finals of the Champions League, will take on Paris Saint-Germain, a dominant French team that is rumored to be in the market to sign Brazilian forward and Barcelona star Neymar for a record sum of money. Five-time Grammy-winning recording artist CeeLo Green is set to sing the National Anthem, and Flo Rida is scheduled to be the halftime entertainment. 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 26, at Hard Rock Stadium, 347 Don Shula Dr., Miami Gardens; 305-943-8000; hardrockstadium.com. Tickets cost $45 to $220 via ticketmaster.com.
After the Juventus-PSG game, you can join Flo Rida at Wall Lounge at the W South Beach, where he'll perform at an afterparty hosted by Moët Hennessy. Doors open at 11 p.m. Wednesday, July 26, at Wall Lounge, 2201 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-938-3130; wallmiami.com. Tickets cost $50 via tableist.com.
El Clásico week isn't only about parties and soccer. Combate Clásico is a ten-bout mixed martial arts card happening Thursday, July 27, at Mana Wynwood. Like the big game, the headliner features two fighters from opposite sides of Spain: Tommy “The Spaniard” Aaron (4-2) of Barcelona and Javier Fuentes (9-4) of Madrid. If you can't make it to the fights, Combate Clásico will stream live on ESPN3 and the ESPN app. 7 p.m. Thursday, July 27, at Mana Wynwood, 318 NW 23rd St., Miami; 305-573-0371; manawynwood.com. Tickets cost $75 to $350 via ticketon.com.
Official ICC El Clásico Miami Launch Party
Lil Wayne, a soccer hooligan? It's happening when he performs at Ora nightclub's El Clasico event. 11 p.m. Thursday, July 27, at Ora, 2000 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-912-1010; oranightclub.com.
Casa Clásico Fan Festival
Bayfront Park will turn into Casa Clásico for a free fan fest. Casa Clásico will offer appearances by many of the stars who will play in the International Cup, live music, games, giveaways, and, on Saturday night, an El Clásico Miami watch party. Within Casa Clásico will be an area dedicated to spotlighting Miami artists. A beer garden with local breweries will be available. The entire Barcelona team will be at the site at noon on Friday. Real Madrid is also tentatively scheduled to make an appearance sometime during the festival; date and time have not yet been announced. 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, July 28, and Saturday, July 29, at Bayfront Park, 301 Biscayne Blvd, Miami; elclasico.internationalchampionscup.com. Admission is free.
Can't afford tickets to the big game? You can still catch the stars in action: Tickets to the two teams' practices are also on sale. 6 p.m. Friday, July 28, at Hard Rock Stadium, 347 Don Shula Dr., Miami Gardens; hardrockstadium.com. Tickets cost $20 to $30 via ticketmaster.com.
El Clásico Miami Party
As the game nears, the parties get more serious. The official El Clásico Miami party will take place Friday night at Story, which has booked Drake to kick off the weekend. 11 p.m. Saturday, July 29, at Story, 136 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-479-4426; storymiami.com. Tickets cost $80 via tixr.com.
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El Clásico: FC Barcelona vs. Real Madrid
Saturday at 7:30 p.m., the soccer world will turn its attention to Hard Rock Stadium, where two of the premier teams in the sport will compete in an exhibition of one of the the greatest rivalries in the history of soccer. It's not only rare for these two teams to play each other outside of Spain, but also unheard-of — as in, it's happened only one other time, back in the '60s. Barca-Real is a Super Bowl every time it takes place. It's that big. ESPN is sending an amazing amount of resources to Miami for this event. ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes will all broadcast the game, and 25 on-air personalities are scheduled to work the game. SportsCenter will also broadcast live from Miami. When the game begins, Ronaldo and Lionel Messi will be the show, but between the whistles, Latin Grammy winner Marc Anthony will perform during the halftime show. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 29, at Hard Rock Stadium, 347 Don Shula Dr., Miami Gardens; hardrockstadium.com. Tickets cost $245 to $4,500 via ticketmaster.com.
CityPlace Doral Watch Party
You can cheer your team from CityPlace Doral, which will host an El Clásico watch party during the match. This event will be hosted by ESPN Deportes, Exitos 107.1 FM, and Actualidad 1040 AM personalities, and there'll be live music, giveaways, and shopping and dining discounts. 5 p.m. Saturday, July 29, at CityPlace Doral, 8300 NW 36th St., Doral; cityplacedoral.com.
El Clásico Miami Afterparty
To wrap up the weekend, the official El Clásico Miami Afterparty will take place following the La Liga match Saturday. Players and VIPs all will be in attendance to celebrate a successful weekend, and DJ Khaled will perform. Doors open at 11 p.m. Saturday, July 29, at Rockwell, 743 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 305-793-3882; rockwellmiami.com.