Juan Ramón Loubriel Stadium

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Juan Ramón Loubriel Stadium
"La Meca"
"JLR"
Orangestarsultra.jpg
Interior of the stadium.
Location Route 2, intersection with Route 5, Bayamón, Puerto Rico
Coordinates 18°23′36″N 66°09′03″W / 18.393425°N 66.15085°W / 18.393425; -66.15085 (Juan Ramón Loubriel)Coordinates: 18°23′36″N 66°09′03″W / 18.393425°N 66.15085°W / 18.393425; -66.15085 (Juan Ramón Loubriel)
Built 1973
Opened 1974
Renovated 2003, 2012
Owner Bayamón
Operator Bayamón
Surface Grass
Capacity 22,000
Tenants
Puerto Rico F.C.(2014-Present)
Puerto Rico National Football Team
Puerto Rico Islanders (2004-2010)
Bayamon FC (2009-2011)
Cangrejeros de Santurce (late 80s)
Vaqueros de Bayamon (1974-2003)
Sevilla Bayamón FC (2008-2009)

Juan Ramón Loubriel Stadium (Spanish: Estadio Juan Ramón Loubriel) is a soccer-specific stadium located in Bayamón, Puerto Rico. It is best known as the home of the Bayamon FC of the Liga Nacional de Fútbol de Puerto Rico. The stadium can seat up to 22,000 people, and has easy access the metro station (known as "Deportivo Station").

History[edit]

Created in 1973 as a baseball stadium with a capacity of 12,500, it was home to the "Vaqueros de Bayamón" up until 2003 when the team became defunct. In 2003 with the Vaqueros folding, the stadium seemed doomed to be relegated to a youth stadium or to demolition, but late that same year the stadium was reborn and was to be home for another professional club. However, this time it would be as an association football stadium. It had been chosen by the Puerto Rico Islanders as their new home. Its "L" shaped stands were not suited for the sport and it originally had an awkward feel to it since the stand behind the goal angles away from the pitch. This has led most of the fans to prefer to sit in the part of the stands that run parallel to the pitch.

Was home to Bayamon FC, a professional football team in the Puerto Rico Soccer League now playing in the Bayamon Soccer Complex, And Sevilla Bayamon FC, now called Sevilla-FC Juncos, they moved to Juncos.

It has also played host to the CFU Club Championship Group C in 2006, where the Islanders played but lost to Trinidad and Tobago, W Connection 0-1 and the Puerto Rico MLS-USL Challenge in 2007, and two 2010 World Cup qualifying matches against the Dominican Republic and Honduras.

Events[edit]

The first boxing bout between Alfredo Escalera and Alexis Argüello dubbed The Bloody Battle of Bayamon, took place at the stadium on January 28, 1978.

The popstar Madonna performed a sold out concert at the stadium on October 26, 1993 during The Girlie Show World Tour.

The rock band Aerosmith performed in here on January 28, 1994 during their Get a Grip Tour.

La Meca of Puerto Rican Football[edit]

Over the period that it has hosted the sport of soccer it has created an atmosphere that is unique to the stadium and the Islanders.

It has played host to the resurgence of association football in Puerto Rico and has been given the nickname "La Meca" because it has been a key player in the sport's rise to popularity in the island.[1] It is also called "JRL" by fans as an abbreviation of its official name. Another name that has been used for the stadium is "La Islandera" since it is the home of the Islanders.[2]

Renovation 2012[edit]

The renovations to the stadium have been made to upgrade a stadium created for baseball to be soccer specific. The stadium will also have new dressing rooms and bathrooms and the replacement of some seating. There will also be some temporary bleachers until the addition for new seating is completed later. Lighting has also been adjusted to be more uniform across the field.[3]

The remodeling of the stadium will be done in several stages, with a total cost of $7,000,000.[4]

A view of the stadium in 2012 after the first phase of renovation.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Reconocen pioneros Islanders" (in Spanish). Municipality of San Juan. 2006-06-19. Retrieved 2009-05-02. [dead link]
  2. ^ "Estadio Juan Ramón Loubriel - Bayamón, Puerto Rico" (in Spanish). Puerto Rico Islanders. 2008-08-23. Retrieved 2008-08-26. 
  3. ^ http://www.insidemnsoccer.com/2012/07/26/first-stage-of-renovations-for-juan-ramon-loubriel-stadium-close-to-complete/
  4. ^ "Remodelacion millonaria - Bayamón, Puerto Rico" (in Spanish). The sport press. 2012-02-04. Retrieved 2012-02-07.