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First Stage of Renovations for Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium Close to Complete

2012 July 26

The newly planted grass at Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium, that was treated with hormones, will soon have the cleats of the World Champions testing its durability.

If all goes according to plan the Puerto Rico Islanders will finally be back in their home venue of Estadio Juan Ramón Loubriel for their August 18th match when they host the Fort Lauderdale Strikers.

The Islanders have not had use of the stadium all season and have been playing all home games at Bayamon Soccer Complex, which is about 3 miles from Juan Ramón Loubriel and only seats 1,000. The small venue with seating on one end of the soccer field has clearly hurt attendance. The Islanders have the lowest attendance this year in the NASL with an average of 1,260 fans per game.

The renovations to the stadium have been made to upgrade a stadium created for baseball to be soccer specific. It will have a much larger capacity and a much improved field to deal with the heavy rainfalls that are typical of the island nation.

The goal of the project was to have the field ready for the August 15th National Team game between World Cup and European Cup Champions, Spain and Puerto Rico, which will be played in the newly renovated venue.

“We have invested nearly $3 million to convert the stadium into a real soccer field, and we have done in just over four months,” said Bayamón mayor Ramón Luis Rivera, Jr., to newspaper Primera Hora.

Four feet of soil was removed in order to prepare the pitch for the proper drainage.

The architect for the renovations, Elyam Rodriguez, says they are about 85% complete with the renovations that should be completed by August 1st.

According to Primera Hora, that list includes the complete renovation of the playing field which started by removing 4′ of soil to put down the proper base for drainage and expansion of the field for larger FIFA dimensions.

“The soil has been the hardest part,” said Rivera. “It required six months and we began to plant this area, just two days before the month of May.”

Because of the shortened time frame, Rivera says they had to call in agronomists who even treated the grass with hormones beside fertilizers. “But it’s done,” said the mayor. “The grass is getting cut every two days and the ground was enabled from north to south so the sun does not bother the players.”

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.

The Islanders will be hosting the LA Galaxy on September 19th and Isidro Metapán on September 27th in CONCACAF Champions League play after qualifying as the 3rd team in the CFU.

More photos of the renovations can be found here.

11 Responses
  1. Intru permalink
    July 26, 2012

    its not bathrooms in the vip building, it bathroom across the stadium and the vip building was completely remove to accommodate the bigger field dimensions.

  2. kevthegerman permalink
    July 26, 2012

    Congrats to the Islanders, can’t wait for Scorpions Stadium to be done next year!!

  3. ERic permalink
    July 26, 2012

    Disappointed. What’s the CCL without the mud pit of JRL?;)

    Seriously, looking forward to the Islanders having a nice, improved stadium. Here’s hoping the fans respond well to it.

  4. July 26, 2012

    how many will it seat?

  5. Craig permalink
    July 26, 2012

    How in the blazes did Puerto Rico get SPAIN in for a friendly? Canada, please take note!!

  6. yankiboy permalink
    July 27, 2012

    @Craig: To answer your question, Bro-

    It took an awful LOT of money (I’m sure that one was a given), a significant portion that came from government funds. It also required LOT of hard work by the FPF President, Sr. Eric Labrador, the promotor, Sra. Maritza Casiano, the mayor of Bayamon, the Honorable Sr. Ramon Luis Rivera, Jr. A lot of others worked very hard to make the match that many of us thought to be impossibility a reality.

    The match is also being promoted as a charity match with proceeds going to help those who suffer from autism.

  7. yankiboy permalink
    July 27, 2012

    Sweet article! Thanks for making the time to write about my personal favorite stadium in the world!

    Best coverage that I have read on the subject written by someone who does not actually live in Puerto Rico.

    I’m really looking forward to seeing the newly renovated JRL in person in about three weeks. I’m actually a lot more excited about that the friendly with Spain.

  8. Strikers Return permalink
    July 27, 2012

    @yankiboy – You’re going down to see the team you love to hate christen the newly refurbished JRL by handing the Islanders a loss on the 18th?!? LOL

  9. yankiboy permalink
    July 27, 2012

    @SR: You’re joking but I am being dead serious when I tell you that I had already planned to be down in PR for the Islanders-Strikers match.

    It is most likely the ONLY home game that I will be able to attend this season and it is no coincidence that I will be in Puerto Rico during that week. THAT date was marked on my calendar as one of the target dates to be in PR. The scheduling with the Spain friendly was just crazy luck. We had already made our travel arrangements about weeks before that Spain match started to come together.

    FYI: Now I am starting to hate the Rowdies, too after they took it to us last Saturday.

    Maybe it’s a “Sunshine State” thing.

  10. Strikers Return permalink
    July 27, 2012

    @yankiboy – Well enjoy the trip, if not the game results! LOL You’re seeing the friendly as well? That should be fun. And feel free to hate on the Rowdies ALL day long, and twice on Sundays. They fully deserve it! LOL

  11. Soccer Boy permalink
    July 27, 2012

    This is a great article in good news for the Islanders. I have heard IMS discuss their attendance woes due to playing at their current location. It should be a positive to have a nice playing surface and glad they put in grass and not turf. Watching teams play in PR the last few years has been terrible given the poor surface.

    Thank you for the update IMS.

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