Juan Ramón Loubriel Stadium

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Juan Ramón Loubriel Stadium
JRL
La Islandera
Estadio Juan Ramón Loubriel Noche.jpg
Front view of the stadium
Full nameJuan Ramón Loubriel Stadium
AddressRoute 2, intersection with Route 5
LocationCerro Gordo, Bayamón, Puerto Rico
Coordinates18°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)
OwnerMunicipio de Bayamón
OperatorMunicipio de Bayamón
Capacity22,000
Record attendance12,993 – Puerto Rico Islanders vs. LA Galaxy
(August 4, 2010)
Field size105 × 68 m
SurfaceGrass
Construction
Broke ground1972
Built1973
Opened1974
Renovated2003, 2012
Construction costUnknown
ArchitectThomas Marvel[1]
Tenants
Puerto Rico men's national football team
Puerto Rico women's national football team
Vaqueros de Bayamón (PRBL) (1974–2003)
Cangrejeros de Santurce (PRBL) (late 80s)
Puerto Rico Islanders (NASL) (2004–2012)
Puerto Rico FC (NASL) (2016–2017)
Bayamón FC (2019-)

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 former home of the Puerto Rico Islanders of the North American Soccer League and current home of the Bayamón FC of the Liga Puerto Rico. The stadium can seat up to 22,000 people. It has easy access the metro station known as "Deportivo Station."

History[edit]

Built in 1973 as a baseball stadium with a capacity of 12,500, it was home to the Vaqueros de Bayamón until 2003 when the team became defunct.

La Meca of Puerto Rican Football[edit]

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 became home of the Puerto Rico Islanders. 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.

Another name that has been used for the stadium is "La Islandera" since it was the home of the Islanders.[2]

It 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.

Renovation in 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 million.[4]

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

A new team, a new home (2015-2017)[edit]

In 2015, it was announced home to Puerto Rico FC of the North American Soccer League. The team played in the 2016 North American Soccer League season of Fall season.

Hurricane damage to the stadium (2017)[edit]

On September 22, 2017, the stadium was severely damaged by Hurricane Maria, which led to cancellations of the games and forced Puerto Rico FC to play the next same matches in neutral venues.

2018-present[edit]

The first match played after Hurricane María was a friendly match between Puerto Rico women's national football team and Argentina on September 2, 2018.[5]

On November 19, 2019, it was announced that Bayamón FC will be using the stadium for its home matches of the Liga Puerto Rico.

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.

In September 26, 1992 the heavy metal band Iron Maiden played on their Fear of the Dark Tour. First time Iron Maiden visit Puerto Rico.

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

American pop-singer Michael Jackson planned to perform here in November 1993 as part of his Dangerous World Tour, but concert was cancelled due to Jackson’s illness

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

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Juan Ramón Loubriel: deportista y educador". DialogoUPR.com. Retrieved November 5, 2016.
  2. ^ "Estadio Juan Ramón Loubriel - Bayamón, Puerto Rico" (in Spanish). Puerto Rico Islanders. 2008-08-23. Retrieved 2008-08-26.
  3. ^ "First Stage of Renovations for Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium Close to Complete". IM Soccer News. July 26, 2012. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  4. ^ "Remodelacion millonaria - Bayamón, Puerto Rico" (in Spanish). The sport press. 2012-02-04. Retrieved 2012-02-07.
  5. ^ http://femenino.elhuracanazulpr.com/2018/09/puerto-rico-empata-ante-argentina.html