“My grandfather was a soccer player for Real Betis in the twenties and I’ve always had in the family that passion for Real Betis,” said Jesús Parra.
Jesús is a native of Seville who moved to New York City years ago.
“I moved to New York in 2011 and the first thing was: how am I going to watch Betis games?”
Through a friend he was connected to the Real Betis Peña in New York and started to regularly meet up at a local hamburger restaurant with other Betis fans. The vibrant community has become a home away from home and provided Jesús a chance to meet people that share the same love for his beloved club.
By spending time at Black Iron Burger, the Peña’s local bar and restaurant, he’s not only met Real Betis fans, but he’s also become friends with fans of Sevilla FC, Betis’ hometown rivals. Sevilla FC fans also frequent the bar making derby days especially fun.
Friendly banter aside, the two supporters groups get along well and carry the tradition of Spanish soccer in the U.S.
“I could not ask for more than to have that sense of community in this big city,” said Jesús.