Auditorio Juan Pachín Vicéns
|Location||Ponce, Puerto Rico|
|Owner||Municipality of Ponce|
|Operator||Municipality of Ponce|
|Opened||12 May 1972|
|Leonas de Ponce (LVSF)|
The Auditorio Juan Pachín Vicéns (English: Juan Pachín Vicens Auditorium), formerly, Coliseo Juan Pachín Vicéns (English: Juan Pachin Vicens Coliseum), is a sports venue in the city of Ponce, Puerto Rico. The auditorium opened on May 12, 1972 and is named after basketball player Juan "Pachín" Vicéns (1934–2007), though it was first dubbed as "coliseum", not "auditorium".
The auditorium has been remodeled several times. Its original seating capacity was 7,786 seats. It was remodeled in the mid-90s to add more seating space, and in 2001 the auditorium was again renovated to include an air conditioning system, new scoreboards, new sound system, an acoustics improvement project, and an increase to its seating capacity to more than 11,000 spectators. It has three seating levels. The auditorium served as one of the sport venues for the 1993 Central American and Caribbean Games.
The auditorium is the official venue of the local basketball team the Ponce Lions, and also hosts musical concerts, circuses, conventions, and organization meetings.
In addition to serving as an important sports venue, several non-sports historical events have taken place there. The tumultuous General Assembly of the then-ruling New Progressive Party held there in 1983 led to the creation of a splinter party, the Puerto Rico Renewal Party, by then San Juan mayor Hernán Padilla and the defeat of Governor Carlos Romero Barceló in the 1984 gubernatorial elections.
The auditorium was the site of the wake ceremony for Juan "Pachín" Vicéns who died on February 18, 2007. Ponce mayor Rafael Cordero Santiago who died on January 17, 2004, had his wake ceremony in the auditorium as well.
In April 2011, the 2012 PPD Ponce mayoral candidate Ramón Torres Morales, criticized the incumbent opposition PNP party mayor María Meléndez for placing a plaque on the bust that former PPD mayor Churumba had erected at the entrance to the Juan Pachins Vicens auditorium to commemorate the basketball legend. The plaque bore the name of PNP mayor, María Meléndez, instead of the PPD mayor who had erected the commemorative bust, mayor Rafael Cordero Santiago, a.k.a. Churumba.
View of the Juan Pachín Vicéns Auditorium.
- Piden a Mayita dar crédito por busto de Pachín Vicéns a Rafael “Churumba” Cordero. 12 Abril 2011. El Sur a La Vista. Retrieved 15 April 2011.