It’s late April, and the Super Bowl is only a day away.
Welcome to Costa Rica. This point in the middle of the offseason for big-time football in the United States means it’s time for Super Bowl VI for the American Football Premier League of Costa Rica.
Again the Toros will face the Bulldogs in the championship where they have met the four previous years. In the six-team league, the top-ranked Toros are undefeated and are responsible for both of the Bulldogs’ losses this season. However, the recent loss of quarterback Scott Doherty to the European football season may prevent the Toros from a second straight league title. In their last meeting, the Toros edged the Bulldogs 20-18.
According to Ms. Elle of the American Football in Costa RicaWeb site, the league’s rosters are made up predominantly of Costa Rican natives.
She added that the league has created high school flag football teams and youth programs to promote the sport to up-and-coming athletes in the region. The Bulldogs have a partnership with Universidad Latina.
Alejandro Castro, the first year general manager for the Bulldogs, said most people would be surprised at how much support and enthusiasm surrounds the topic of American football in the country. He said most rosters have around 50 men, but near the end of the season injuries and real world responsibilities usually draw some players away.
This year the league has been entirely funded through the $40 player registration fees and admission tickets. In past years revenue was bolstered with additional help from the Instituto Costarricense del Deporte y Recreación.
The Super Bowl kicks off Saturday at 3 p.m. and will be played at Estadio Pipilo Umaña in Moravia. Admission costs 2,000 colons. The following two Saturdays will also be centered around football as a May 3 game will match Costa Rica’s all stars against a North American semi-pro team. On May 10 the American Football Federation of Costa Rica, which is distinct from the league, is arranging a game with the national football team of Costa Rica.