#VamosAlEstadio: fans bringing about positive change

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  • #VamosAlEstadio bring kids to stadiums in Chile
  • Fans of both teams supporting their teams together
  • Children occupying spaces previously left empty to separate rival fans

The phenomenon of empty buffer zones – or security ‘cushions’ as they’re known in South America – to separate rival supporters in the same stand was the catalyst for #VamosAlEstadio (Let’sGoToTheGame), a campaign aimed at generating a positive transformation at Chilean football grounds.

Vamos al Estadio is basically an initiative we launched in 2018 with the strong conviction that it could create new fans,” explained Sebastian Moreno, president of Chile’s National Association of Professional Football (ANFP).

“To do that, we’re looking to transform those grey and empty spaces that are synonymous with potential problems and crowd control into peaceful and positive spaces shared by young boys and girls. We’ve done it for classic games, like derbies or ones with the potential for trouble, to amplify the message that football must unite us.”

The first trial was in May 2018 for the provincial clásico between San Luis Quillota and Union La Calera. Under the slogan #SomosHinchas (We’reFans), 100 young supporters from each club came together for recreational and educational activities monitored by coordinators, before watching the game together from the buffer zone.

“We want these young kids to feel that the stadium belongs to them,” said Moreno. “If we can imbue these children with football values such as respect, camaraderie and teamwork, then there will be no room for hostility. That change of mentality is achieved through them, the responsible fans of the future.”