George Lewis Capwell – The Stadium.
Even though the sports club was already started as early as 1926, it would be quite a few years before they were lucky enough to get their own stadium to play at. No one knew that the Emelec team would become as successful as what it did. It started as employees that requested from one of their co-workers to include soccer in his sports club that he started for his company. It was only in 1933, when they won their first league, that everyone started taking the team seriously.
The George Lewis Capwell stadium has a field size of 105 meters by 68 meters and can seat about 40020 people. The seating includes 395 presidential seats and 8000 business seats that are scattered in about 350 boxes. It is quite an impressive stadium, but this was not always the case. The final renovations were started in 2016 and took roughly a year to complete.
In The Beginning
The original plan for the stadium was not for it to be a soccer field, but a diamond shaped baseball field. Capwell loved baseball above all other sports and because he not only started the sports club but also funded the stadium, he could have pretty much what he wanted. But Guayaquil started to show a growing interest in the game of soccer and it soon became pretty clear that the stadium had to be a soccer stadium that could possibly cater to other sports, instead of the other way around.
The planning phase of the stadium started its long process in September of 1940. It is at this time that the council of Guayaquil approved the loan of 4 square street blocks for the construction of the stadium. It would take 2 years for the council to finally decide that they are going to donate the land instead of loaning it. A month later the Ecuadorian republic decided to approve all the plans for the construction of the stadium.
First Stone To First Renovation
No one in Ecuador would have though that the 24th of June 1943 would become the important date that is. It was then that the first stone for the stadium was cemented down. It would take over two years for the stadium to be ready. On the 2nd of October 1945, the stadium hosted its very first game. The game that was being played, was however not soccer. It was a baseball match. None the less, it was a hugely successful game for the home team.
It would be less than two months later on the 2nd of December that the stadium opened for its first ever soccer match. It was the home team, Emelec playing against Manta Bahia. Emelec won the match and some say that this win was what sparked the winning streak of the team that would go on to become the national team of Ecuador.
Unfortunately, years later in 1959, the El Estadio Modelo opened its doors. This was a newer, bigger, better stadium. The Capwell stadium lost its appeal and started to go down due to the lack maintenance. This is ultimately what lead to its first renovation in 1991. Since then, the stadium has had three other renovations and it’s as cutting edge as the slots Argentina offers. It has been a long process to get it to be the great stadium that it still is for the Emelec team.
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