We normally take the pup for long walks to get our exercise but when we want to shed a few post-holiday pounds or strengthen muscles, we head to the stadium.
Puerto Vallarta has long been a draw for national and international competitions, from volleyball to bike riding, and expansion and notoriety promises much more to come. Though charrería, Mexican rodeo, is the official sport of Mexico, Vallartenses are involved in many other sports, as well.
Baseball was once a main attraction in Puerto Vallarta. Foreigners who worked for the plantation owners, mainly Montgomery Company, formed teams and leagues from one end of the bay to the other. In 1926, nearly a hundred years ago, the first baseball team began to defend their territory. They called themselves The Tigers (Los Tigres) and games took place in an empty lot on the south side of the river, close to Los Muertos beach where Hotel Eloisa stands today. These were important events in Puerto Vallarta as tournaments were played with teams from other cities like Mazatlán, followed by fancy dances that were organized by groups of young women.
A women’s basketball team was also very popular, founded in 1937, organized by a local boys’ school professor, Antonio Gil. They called themselves La Muñeca, The Doll, a team name that by today’s standards would most likely not be accepted. Organized sports for youth have always been very important to Puerto Vallarta.
Since the mid-sixties, gyms have sprouted up all over town and at one time body building was so popular here that a local man became internationally known. His name was Alberto Robles Viorato, locally known as Macumba and nationally as Mister México.
Canto del Sol Plaza Vallarta is well known for turning out competitive tennis competitors and has hosted tournaments and awards ceremonies throughout the decades.
Golfers love Puerto Vallarta for her variety of courses, designed by luminaries such as Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Ernie Els, Robert Trent Jones II and Tom Fazio. The IV International CANAMEX Flamingos Riviera Nayarit Cup 2016 was recently held in Puerto Vallarta.
Though seldom mentioned, Alfonso Díaz Santos organized the most beloved sport (other than charrería) in Puerto Vallarta… soccer. In 1980, the Municipal Sports Stadium that we know and love today was built by Augustin Flores Contreras, who would likely be forgotten if not for this
grand facility bearing his name. A great benefactor of Puerto Vallarta, he was responsible for the construction of several schools and many structures devoted to children, their welfare and education. The stadium has been the destination for concerts, exhibitions and events, bridging the centuries.
As we round the oval track and observe the ocean to the west, the growing village around us, and the hills to the east, we give thanks to the contributions made by those aware of the vitality of Puerto Vallarta and her inhabitants.
Que es cómo es.
Thanks to our guest blogger Adam Garcia for this article!
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