El Salvador’s sports legacy
09:51 22 de December de 2021 By Daniel Oiticica
Sports are very relevant to El Salvador and the ball is constantly on the air. With an investment close to US$115 million, the ad-honorem president of the National Sports Institute of El Salvador (INDES), Yamil Bukele, has already begun remodeling stadiums, parks, sports fields and gymnasiums throughout the country.
One of the first steps was to present the final design of the revamping of the Jorge “El Mágico González” national stadium. In October 2021, demolition works began, and the improvements will begin in February 2022, with an investment of US$22 million. The funds came from the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI), which granted financing of up to US$115 million for the Program for the Construction of Infrastructure and Rescue of Sports Venues at the National Level (PRODEPORTE).
One of El Salvador’s most important sports venues, “El Mágico” is home to all kinds of sports disciplines, such as athletics, wrestling, rowing, bodybuilding, and shooting. Such is the relevance of this venue that it was chosen for the inauguration of the Ibero-American and Caribbean Sports Games of 1935 and 2002. In addition, it has been chosen again as venue for the 2023 Games.
Some of the works planned for the refurbishment of the stadium include the total change of the athletics track with eight official lanes, the enlargement of the Olympic swimming pool area, the total renovation of the main façade and the installation of LED lighting towers for the outdoor area.
This sports remodeling plan in El Salvador also includes the Pablo Arnoldo Guzmán softball stadium. This sports venue will receive a total investment of US$2.3 million, to improve its infrastructure in preparation for the Central American and Caribbean Games San Salvador 2023.
The works will be implemented in three areas. First, within the playing ground, there will be a new demarcation of the field with appropriate measures. Then, the first level of the stadium will be remodeled, and new restrooms will be built, the dugouts will be enlarged and a gymnasium area will be built next to the basketball court. And finally, exclusive access for people with reduced mobility will be installed on the second level.
Yamil Bukele also announced that improvements will be made to the Saturnino Bengoa Ball Park. With an investment of US$2.5 million, the project will begin in March 2022 and is expected to be finished by January 2023. During those ten months, not only will the dugout area be expanded, but also the playing grounds will be leveled, and the existing grass will be replaced with Bermuda grass.
In terms of design, the façade will have a new layout following the architectural standards of the INDES brand manual and will feature a baseball mural. Other changes include the scoreboard, which will be located on the north side.
Another of INDES’ big bets is the José Adolfo Pineda National Gymnasium, which will benefit from an investment of approximately 21 million pesos. It is not only a bet on basketball, but also on volleyball, beach soccer and other disciplines. All this will happen in one of the largest sports projects in El Salvador: the Flor Blanca Sports Complex. According to current plans, the works should begin the first week of February 2022.
This legacy for sports in El Salvador will have three fundamental pillars: improvement of seats and accesses to the National Gymnasium, construction of a multifunctional stadium for beach soccer and beach volleyball, and total intervention of the infrastructure of the basketball gymnasium. Improvements will also be made to other sports venues, such as the Las Delicias National Stadium, the Palacio de los Deportes, the Ciudad Merliot Sports Complex, the Ex Polvorín Complex and the San Andrés Equestrian Complex.
Within the Ciudad Merliot Sports Complex, the investment will reach US$10 million, and one of the main works will be the third phase of the remodeling of the Hotel Polideportivo. This includes the lining of columns in the dining area, the repair of the elevator and the installation of an automatic door at the main entrance.
The projects also include the Salvadoran Swimming Federation and the Archery Federation. In the first case, the Olympic and warm-up pools will be refurbished, access gates will be installed, and the perimeter fence will be changed. Regarding the second Federation, a two-story building will be built.
Last but not least, INDES plans to invest close to US$14 million in the Ex Polvorín Sports Complex. In this specific case, there will be an almost complete remodeling of the Olympic swimming pools, the badminton gymnasium, the velodrome, the skating rink, the access areas and ramps for people with disabilities, the parking area and green areas.
The sports legacy of almost $115 million to be carried out by the National Sports Institute of El Salvador (INDES) and Yamil Bukele will be deployed across six venues throughout the country and will be completed for the 2023 Ibero-American and Caribbean Sports Games.
The new face of sport
Jorge “El Mágico González” National Stadium
US$ 22 million
– Remodeling of the athletics track with 8 lanes
– Installation of LED lighting towers
– Expansion of the Olympic swimming pool
Flor Blanca Sports Complex
US$ 21 million
– Construction of a soccer and beach volleyball stadium
– Improvement of access bridges
– Total intervention of the gymnasium infrastructure
Ex Polvorín Sports Complex
US$ 14 million
– Redesign, remodeling and expansion
Ciudad Merliot Sports Complex
US$ 10 million
– Total redesign of the Polideportivo Hotel
– Two-story building at the Archery Federation
– New lighting, cameras, and information totems