The Latino Stadium under restoration/ Image: Adriana Rodríguez Vives
Today, it would not be wise to walk into the Latino Stadium. For those who keep in mind the image of that colossal center in the municipality of Cerro with the impeccable green grass and blue grandstands, I would suggest them not to stop by there until the current restoration works are over, otherwise they may be shocked.
Right now the stadiumhas nothing to do with the Latino. There is technical equipment everywhere, walls have been torn down, the fields are no longer green, and there are wholes everywhere. All that is the result of the current works carried out for the maintenance and restoration of that huge facility.
For the next National Baseball Series, the Latino will have entirely new sanitary furniture; the inner diamond square will exhibit its Sunday best after total fitting-out and the bullpens will be in a different position, very similar to modern standards used in the Great Leagues stadiums.
These are broadly the main changes that will be developed in this sanctuary of Cuban baseball, which will still have a huge gap in the left side of the roof because its deterioration is such that some structures will have to be taken down and repaired and then replaced.
This task demands time and utmost care considering the danger such actions imply; therefore, there is not a specific date for the restoration of the roof to be over, as stated by investors.
The rest of the projects are expected to be over in time, though their executioners reaffirm they are working against the clock. They had planned to finish the works by the beginnings of October and now the organizers of the National Series moved forward the opening date of that event for September 21, reason more than enough to start running slowly but surely.
Of all the changes, the fitting-out of the field is almost done, thanks to the hard work by the Forest brigade from Havana, which has made its best so that the infield is impeccable with each of the layers traditionally used: tarmac, stone, gravel and sand with clay.
The brigade will continue working on the security area around the whole stadium, used at present for the movement of materials without damaging the grass of the gardens.
Then, the group will start assembling the bullpensonce their construction stage is over. This is the biggest concern of investors taking into account the complexity of the works, which include demolition and building walls, among other tasks.
“Now the bullpens of both teams will be placed at the back of dogouts, on top of the former batting cages, which will be eliminated. They will be placed in the area the audience used to have in the right and left stage boxes to thesides of the stadium. This structure is quite new in Cuba, thus we are taking about two meters from the foul area, which favors the offensive”, explained Eduardo Delgado, director of the stadium.
This is quite an ambitious project that demands devotion, resources and professionalism in view that any mistake would delay the works and would force Industriales (the team of the capital) to play local matches somewhere else. For the sake of national baseball, let’s hope it is finished on time.
Leave a Reply