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Stadium The Saprissa – The Monster’s Cave

Many years before the joyful scenes witnessed at the inauguration of the stadium that was named after him, Ricardo Saprissa Ayma never concealed his misgivings about building the “colossus” in San Juan de Tibas in the province of San Jose, Costa Rica. The revered co-founder and president of Costa Rican capital San Jose’s top club Deportivo Saprissa between 1948 and 1981 considered it madness to attempt to build a stadium for the club without local or central government backing. “The national stadium is enough. Why contemplate moving to another ground?” was how Saprissa, born in El Salvador to Spanish parents, saw it – he was worried that the costs would escalate and that the project would end up a complete failure. As the official opening scheduled for Sunday, 27 August 1972 approached, however, Saprissa – once of Spanish club Espanyol – underwent a change of heart and threw himself into the project wholeheartedly with six months to go before the inauguration.
The construction of what is known today as the “monster’s cave” or the “colossus of Tibas” cost 15 million Costa Rican colons. The money was raised through the work of the stadium committee, the sale of 25-year leases on VIP boxes and the board’s tenacious efforts and pragmatism.
The idea of laying a training pitch, from which the stadium project emerged, first came to light between 1955 and 1956, but was not well received by the fans, who were reluctant to donate funds for the purchase of land in the district of Lujan in San Jose.