Santo Domingo Tourists Move to New Digs

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Updated: March 11, 2017

In 2017, the Dominican Republic was rocked by protests when it was discovered construction firms were funneling millions of dollars in bribes to local officials to have contracts approved. Now it appears, some circumvented building codes as well.

Last fall, hurricane force winds damaged Estadio Nacional, the ambitious 33,000-seat stadium built less than 10 years ago in downtown Santo Domingo. This month it was revealed the stadium couldn’t be salvaged after inspectors uncovered flaws in its foundation that violated code.

“The idea that a stadium that size was even sustainable in the Dominican Republic was always a head-scratcher,” said Vinnie Castillo, leader of the minority Dominican Workers Party. “It did allow employment of a lot of people but too much of the public funds used to build it went into the pockets of foreign contractors.”

The announcement means that the Santo Domingo Tourists, the AAA affiliate of the San Juan Coqui, will play its games for the foreseeable future at Estadio Quisqueya, the 70-year old stadium that lately has only been used for concerts. Originally named Estadio Trujillo after former dictator Rafael Trujillo, the park’s named was changed in 2015 to honor Juan Marichal, who once pitched there. It’s official name is Estadio Quisqueya Juan Marichal. Ironically, it was Trujillo’s son who initially discovered Marichal, drafting the star pitcher so he could pitch for the country’s air force team.

Estadio Quisqueya

Estadio Quisqueya seats 11,379, which is closer to what the Tourists generally draw. According to Tourist spokespeople, the team is pleased to be moving to the more historic and intimate park.

“Everything about Estadio Nacional always seemed to be a boondoggle,” said one, who preferred to remain anonymous.

The move will also certainly be celebrated by San Juan’s left-handed hitting prospects. Although the distances down the foul lines aren’t much different, Estadio Nacional featured 18-foot walls in right field with only 10-foot ones in left. In Estadio Quisqueya the walls are all 10 feet except in dead center where they stretch to 14 feet.