The $5 million Arena Medalla venue, which will celebrate the triumphs of Puerot Rico’s and give sports fans a place to watch events, will open its doors during the first quarter of 2020 at El Distrito entertainment center in San Juan.
Arena Medalla is already in construction and will generate about 75 direct jobs once operational. The two-level venue has more than 12,500 square feet of space to serve about 250 people, said Federico Stubbe, president of PRISA Group, developer of El Distrito and the new concept.
“Arena Medalla is a celebration of the victories of Puerto Ricans athletes and the pride we feel when we conquer the world with our talents,” said Stubbe, adding that “when a Puerto Rican athlete competes, the whole island competes with them, so the triumph of a Puerto Rican athlete is a triumph that belongs to all of us.”
“Arena Medalla represents the sports bar of the new century; conceptualized as a meeting place to celebrate the triumphs of our athletes during their local and international competitions, and the talents of our athletes throughout history,” he said.
“The space seeks to celebrate sportsmanship as an element that unites us to our friends, family and as a society. At Arena Medalla we celebrate that victorious spirit that our people enjoy and take so much pride in,” Stubbe said.
In addition to food and beverage, Arena Medalla will house a game arcade, pool tables, dartboards, ping-pong, video games and three karaoke rooms. On a central stage, there will be bands and musical performances, and an additional platform will incorporate a DJ.
Arena Medalla will feature the “most innovative” audio and video technology, as well as a 30-feet wide LED panoramic screen.
“With the technology that Arena Medalla will have, the fans will feel as if they were on the court, the park or next to the ring, while enjoying a menu designed especially for this venue. Arena Medalla is not just a place, it is an experience,” said Abelardo Ruiz, general manager of El Distrito.
The venue will also feature a menu especially created to match the sporting experience — from hot wings and grilled hamburgers, to seafood, steaks and ribs. Arena Medalla will be operated by International Hospitality Restaurants, IHR, a local operating partner headed by José “Peco” Suárez.
“Arena Medalla will feature an innovative bar in the local scene,” Ruiz added. “Two tap walls will be a main point of attraction for all those who enjoy the freshest beer. A unique bar in the brewery market will serve a variety of local beers as well as artisan cocktails.”
During news conference, Stubbe offered details of the role that Cervecera de Puerto Rico has played in the conceptualization and development of Arena Medalla.
“At El Distrito we’re completely committed to celebrating and exalting our Puerto Rican essence and the achievements of our people in an authentic way; and it has been immensely valuable to have Cervecera de Puerto Rico as a key partner in this effort,” he said.
“Like us, Cervecera believes in the value of our athletes, and the importance of celebrating the triumphs that unite us as a society. This alliance goes beyond a sponsorship agreement; together with us, they own this concept,” Stubbe said.
Cervecera de Puerto Rico’s Chief Marketing Officer Jorge Bracero said: “El Distrito represents the new face of Puerto Rico that we all yearn for, and in Arena Medalla we are ready to celebrate it. We believe in this project and we have made it ours since it is an additional way to help the economic development of Puerto Rico.”