Last updateFri, 22 May 2020 12pm

Bullfighting season begins, but it’s not for everyone

The 2019 winter/spring professional bullfighting season began at Guadalajara’s Plaza de Toros Nuevo Progreso last Sunday and will continue for three consecutive Sundays through March 3.

The bullfights all start at 4:30 p.m.  and tickets can be purchased at the gate.  

While the spectacle is certainly not for everyone, la corrida is still a popular pastime for many Mexicans. Its supporters say bullfighting is a deeply ingrained part of the national culture, and more of a ritual involving style, technique and courage than a competitive sport. Aficionados generally view the bull as a worthy adversary not a sacrificial victim.  In addition, the bullfighting industry claims that some protected species will disappear if bullfighting is abolished.

The anti-bullfighting movement, however, is growing in Mexico. Four states currently ban bullfighting: Sonora, Guerrero, Coahuila and Veracruz. Baja California currently prohibits children from attending bullfights.  Protests by activists are now held regularly outside of bull rings prior to fights. 

According to the International Humane Society, approximately 250,000 bulls are killed in bullfights each year. “The animals are stabbed multiple times before suffering slow, agonizing deaths in front of an audience, including children,” the organization says.  “Bullfights are not ‘fair fights’ between a bull and a matador, but highly staged forms of animal cruelty, sanctioned and subsidized by governments. These outdated spectacles perpetuate the idea that injuring and killing an animal for amusement is acceptable.”

Those with no qualms about the unsavouriness of the spectacle will be able to see some of the top names in the genre during Guadalajara’s February/March season.

The stars on Sunday, February 17 are Antonio Ferrera, Octavio Garcia “El Payo” and Diego Silvetti.  February 24: Arturo Macias, Joaquin Galdos and Leo Valadez. March 3: Enrique Ponce, Alfredo Rio “ElConde” and Joselito Adame.

Ticket prices are from 150-1,200 pesos (for a ringside seat). Half price for senior citizens with ID. 

The Plaza de Toros Nuevo Progreso is located on the corner of Calzada Independencia Norte and Monte Pireno, across from the Estadio Jalisco.

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