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  • Steve Ohnsman

Estadio Yldefonso Sola Morales - Criollos de Caguas


Photos by Gail, Dan, and Steve Ohnsman, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.14

Estadio Yldefonso Sola Morales

36-50 Calle Jupiter

Caguas, Puerto Rico 00725


Year Opened: 1974 Capacity: 10,000

 

Estadio Yldefonso Sola Morales

Some people claim “baseball is life.” In Puerto Rico, that phrase is still true.  Named after a state senator,  Estadio Yldefonso Sola Morales is located in a residential area one-half mile south of the center of Caguas (pronounced caw-gwas) and opened in 1974.  In 2017, Hurricane Maria decimated Puerto Rico, dumping 35.9 inches on Caguas. This interview with Pudge Rodriguez tells the poignant story: CAGUAS CRIOLLOS BASEBALL STADIUM | Good All Over. 

Reggaeton music duo, Wisin & Yandel, purchased the Puerto Rican Baseball League team, the Criollos de Caguas, in 2022.  $2.8 million of FEMA funds led to a complete renovation of the stadium and field, including artificial turf, new lights/seats/restrooms.  The new owners had the artificial turf replaced with natural grass.

 

In the Caguas area, the word “Criollos” typically translates to “locals” or “natives.”


Food & Beverage 4

Traditional “criollo” food is offered in several food stands:  assorted styles of fried chicken, empanadas, and fried dough.  Hot dogs have traditional toppings but are finished with potato sticks on top.   Ice cold Michelob Ultra beer is (sadly) the only beer offered at $4, and $5 Pina coladas are very popular.  Coke products are sold at this venue. In most cases, food prices are not posted.




Atmosphere 4

We attended the league final championship series which likely affected the experience.  Most seats are plastic with comfortable backs, without cupholders, all located under a roof. Down the right field line, the last section has gray folding chairs.  The outfield background views are beautiful with gorgeous sunsets painting the skies in the evenings.


All announcements are in rapid, loud Spanish. The music is loud. The fans all bring noise-making instruments and use them to the fullest!


The mascot is very popular. He roars around on a golf cart and entertains the crowd between innings.



The scoreboard is a bit disappointing as it only shows the line score and the at bat player's name and photo.


Neighborhood 3

Set in a mostly residential area with very good street lighting, there are a few alternatives for a drink or a meal.


Popular restaurants within walking distance include Raices for traditional meals, the Jungle Burger and Grill, Winker’s Sports Bar and Grill, and PYP Restaurant.  Located on the north side of town, the Caguas Food Park is an excellent alternative for pre-game meals. 


The Four Points Hotel and Casino by Sheraton is south of the stadium.


Fans 5

Caguas fans are passionate, loyal and VERY loud!  Music is played loudly throughout the game accompanied by fans with their bam-bams, cowbells, airhorns and whistles. 


During the championship series, the stadium was full each night and it was VIBRANT!  The fans are knowledgeable and fully engaged with each pitch.  Several songs played on the PA system elicited fan chants. 


No programs are offered – they would be very helpful to fans with limited Spanish knowledge.


Access 3

The nearest airport is located in San Juan SJU Official – Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport Puerto Rico and is a 45-minute drive to the stadium. Traffic flow before and after games can be slow; fans can park in an adjacent lot south ($4) of the stadium but we recommend getting there a little early to park on the streets. 

 

In the stadium, a relatively narrow walkway between the box seats and general admission seats can get quite crowded.  Fans stop to talk with friends, bands wander while playing their music, so it is slow going.  Updated restrooms are relatively clean but lines form later in the game. 


Security is quite efficient, though security staff do a quick body “pat down” at the gate. 


Return on Investment 5

Puerto Rico has a long history of honoring senior citizens who can purchase tickets at half-price, even for championship series!  All food and beverages are quite reasonably priced.  Attending a game, especially a league championship game, is well worth the price in this baseball-crazed island.


Extras 5

One point for the photos/descriptions of past players on the outside of the stadium and along the walkways. 



Another point goes to the passionate fans.  Reasonable ticket, parking and food/beverage prices earn a point.  The recent renovation is a big plus. Finally, the beautiful views behind the outfield fence all contribute to a great experience.


Final Thoughts

We were very fortunate to attend all four games of the 2024 league championship series. The Criollos emerged victorious in 2024, going 5-3 in the best-of-9 finals.


We arrived early so we could sit in general admission seats behind home plate.  We got to know a few local (criollo) fans and had a great time.  Due to the noise making devices, loud PA system and music, along with fan excitement, it was very loud, but certainly less than Carolina's stadium.  Half price senior tickets are a bonus. 


If you are a baseball fan who visits Puerto Rico during the Liga PR league season, be sure to head to Caguas!

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