Images of the construction site at Juan Ramón Loubriel Stadium in Bayamón Puerto Rico.
(Images courtesy of Hura @ hiapr.org & Ronaldo @ futbolpr)
The current home of the two time Caribbean Football Union Champs (2010, 2011), and USSF Division 2 Champs (2010) Puerto Rico Islanders FC of the North American Soccer League. The stadium was inaugurated in 1974 as a baseball stadium but after renovations in 2003 it was converted to a Soccer Specific Stadium.
The pitch at “La Islandera” has seen matches played between the Islanders and great clubs such as Cruz Azul, Toluca, Santos Laguna, Saprissa, LA Galaxy, Columbus Crew, Toronto FC, Isidro Metapán, Olimpia, FAS, Municipal, Tauro, Marathon, and many other Caribbean, MLS, NASL and USL teams. The Puerto Rico National team has played WC Qualifiers at JRL against the eventual 2010 participant Honduras, the national teams of the Dominican Republic, Canada, St Kitts, and St Lucia. During last season, even the great Pelé returned to the stadium to give clinics during a promotional visit to the Island. His NY Cosmos visited JRL Stadium in 1975 for a friendly match against the PRMNT.
Details are scant, but from a recent newspaper article, the mayor of Bayamón has mentioned a max capacity of 24 thousand, but also renovations will bring the dreaded change to artificial turf. These improvements will cement JRL status as the Mecca of Soccer in Puerto Rico for many decades to come, and who knows, maybe someday we’ll see the Islanders move up to first division thanks in part to having this great stadium.
One can dream…