San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Rica's Tropic Bowl brings American football down south

In a country where the three most popular pastimes are fútbol, watching fútbol, and arguing about fútbol, Saturday brings another venture into the sport’s pigskin-laced counterpart from the north.

The sixth annual Tropic Bowl, Costa Rica’s biggest American football event, returns Saturday with a full day of action planned at Ernesto Rohrmoser Stadium in the Pavas district of San José.

Football kicks off at noon with a training session for youth and female athletes. Then, at 2 p.m., the Costa Rican women’s all-star team, which consists of the Pérez Zeledón Angels and the Olympian Goddesses of San José, will play against the Vikingas of Honduras.

Despite historic struggles to get women’s American football popularized in Central America, both rosters are expected to have more than two dozen players each.

The Costa Rican women’s American football all-star team will face the Vikingas of Honduras on Saturday.

Robert Isenberg/The Tico Times

The main event at 5 p.m. features the Costa Rican All-Stars against the North East All-Stars, whose players are based out of a semi-pro football league in the United States. In last year’s game, the Boston, Massachusetts-based North East All-Stars beat the Tico side 18-0.

Athletes Without Borders, a nonprofit organization dedicated to offering healthy lifestyle alternatives to young people coming from marginalized backgrounds, is again sponsoring the Tropic Bowl.

Contact Michael Krumholtz at

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