Estadio Alejandro Morera Soto
The stadium, seen from the west stand, before a CONCACAF Champions League match
|Full name||Alejandro Morera Soto|
|Former names||Alejandro Morera Soto Scotiabank|
|Location||Alajuela, Costa Rica|
|Field size||105 m × 74 m (115 yd × 81 yd)|
|Opened||January 18, 1942|
The Estadio Alejandro Morera Soto is a football stadium in El Llano neighborhood of Alajuela, Costa Rica which is the home of Liga Deportiva Alajuelense. It also serves as the home ground of Carmelita, who rent the stadium from Alajuelense.
The project to find a proper site for a permanent home started in 1938 when the director of the club, Carlos Bolaños, proposed that the club should purchase its own land. The land was purchased in 1940, but the site would not be soccer-ready until 1942, when Alajuelense played its first match at the site. The first game was played on January 18, 1942 when Liga Deportiva Alajuelense played Club Sport Cartagines. The Estadio Alejandro Morera Soto is known as the Cathedral of Costa Rican Soccer.
On September 27, 1949, a professor from a local high school named Armando Morux Sancho started what was called "La marcha del ladrillo" (The Brick's March) in which every student would donate a brick to help building the concrete walls of the stadium and start building the concrete stands. The first stands that were built were the ones located in north, west an east around the pitch.
On July 20, 1966, due to a motion by the Municipality of Alajuela, the stadium was renamed to honor the great Alajuelense and Barcelona player Alejandro Morera Soto. On March 19, 1970 the stadium saw its first night game when Alajuelense faced Honduras Club team Motagua, beating them 4-1.
In 1979, the enlargement of the stadium was initiated with the project of building a second stand on top of the first already built and add an additional stand over the dressing and conference room (south) and also, add roof to the stand located on east and the one located on south after was finished. The project was fully completed in 1984. The stadium was re-inaugurated that year along with the new illumination, which was at the moment, in the top illuminations systems.
Costa Rican football started getting more attention by the international press after the national team participated to the World Cup in 1990 and with footballers playing abroad. The club decided to build a royal box in the top of the west stand, which would have a two-floor royal box with TVs, carpet, bathrooms, elevator and air conditioner. The royal box was finished in 1999 and is the only team in Costa Rica with such an amenity.
In 2002, the illumination system was upgraded, being the stadium with the best illumination in the country.
Until 2005, the Morera Soto's grass was known as the best natural one in Central America, but a combination of fungus and hurricanes affected the grass and it never fully recovered. By the end of 2008, the management of the team decided to install a fifth-generation synthetic grass, in order to have the field always ready for games no matter the weather, also have the availability to rent the venue for music concerts and/or special events and have the possibility for the younger divisions to train in the same field. The last game the team played on the natural turf was the first game of the 2008 winter's final, beating their archrival Deportivo Saprissa 2–0 on December 17, 2008.
In 2009, the club installed a synthetic turf called Xtreme Turf from ACT Global Sports. This football turf has achieved FIFA two-star certification for approval for top international matches. This is the only FIFA two-star installation currently in Central America. After a long delay, the field was ready to be used by July 18, 2009. The field's re-opening game was held against Caracas FC from Venezuela; the game ended up with a tie 1–1.
On July 3, 2011, the stadium name was changed from "Estadio Alejandro Morera Soto" to "Estadio Alejandro Morera Soto Scotiabank", due to a newly acquired sponsor from Scotiabank to the team.
The stadium is not only home to Liga Deportiva Alajuelense, but it is also shares itself along with Estadio Ricardo Saprissa Aymá and Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica as the home of the Costa Rican National team.
It is also the host stadium of the 2010 CONCACAF Women's U-17 Championship.
During the 2014 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup, held in Costa Rica, the Stadium became one of the four locations used for this tournament. During the first round, it was used for the Mexico-Colombia, Nigeria-China, Mexico-China, Nigeria-Colombia, Venezuela-Italy, and North Korea-Germany games. It ranked as first in terms of attendance on games where Costa Rica itself (the local team) did not participate (5,683 people watched the last two games).
One of the main concerts the stadium received was Elton John during his tour "Made in England" in November 1995. The also British Iron Maiden played in this stadium in 2009. Also, Korn and P.O.D. offered a joint concert at the stadium in 2010.
- Arias Sánchez, Eliécer; Jiménez Rojas, Leonel. "Carmelita tendrá su nuevo estadio.". Sensación Deportiva. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
- synthetic turf
- Goldberg, David (2011). "Estadio manudo ahora se llama Alejandro Morera Soto Scotiabank". La Nación. Retrieved 2011-08-03.
- "Korn y P. O. D. descargaron su rock en Alajuela". La Nación. 2010. Retrieved 2011-08-03.
- Molina, Melvin (2010). "Locura por la WWE se desató en el Alejandro Morera Soto". La Nación. Retrieved 2011-08-03.
- Flores, Gabriela (2011). "La WWE derrochó adrenalina en la Liga". La Nación. Retrieved 2011-08-03.
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