The Puerto Rico Soccer League (PRSL) is building a new football infrastructure where basalt composites will replace those of metal. The devastating hurricane Maria that hit the island in September 2017 forced them to make this decision.
The disaster caused huge economic and social damage while the destruction and floods took great human toll. A year later, PRSL launched the PRSLSafeStadiums project focused on revitalizing football in the country and on building safe stadiums for the 2026 World Cup.
The planned stadium capacity is 3,500 to 10,000 people. The engineers decided to replace metal elements with basalt fiber-based composites: basalt-plastic rebar, composite beams reinforced with basalt fiber and basalt fiber-reinforced concrete.
Basalt composites are three times stronger and 70% more lightweight than steel rebar, when applied in construction, the carbon footprint can be reduced by 60%. In addition, the stadium infrastructure will be powered with renewables (high efficiency solar panels and power backups, vertical axis wind turbines, biomass to biofuel conversion, hydroelectrical power) and can be transformed to serve as a reliable community shelter during hurricanes and earthquakes and other natural disasters.
Artificial turf soccer fields can drain water instantly, players clinic is able to convert into Emergency Department Center to diagnose and treat patients, and a kitchen can feed thousands around the clock daily if necessary. Special disinfecting systems are designed to protect the teams and fans from contagious diseases (bacterial and viral).
We plan to design and build football infrastructure throughout Puerto Rico with the best technologies and best practices developed to resist Cat-5 hurricanes and earthquakes of magnitude 7, so that our neighbors may find safe shelter within each and every PRSLSafeStadium,
claimed Joey Serralta, chairman of LigaPro & Puerto Rico Soccer League
Basalt fiber based composites and their application are of interest all over the world: Italian researchers tested basalt mesh as an earthquake-resistant solution for buildings and structures. Basalt-fiber reinforced bioceramic domes are proposed to construct in Las Vegas (USA). Fiber-reinforced concrete for protective structures built in civil defense and emergency purposes, for fortifications and various special facilities was developed and successfully tested in the Russian Federation.