With more than 3.5 billion fans worldwide, today, soccer holds the title of the world’s most popular sport. Out of the 193 UN member states, 191 nations have at least one soccer team, more than any other sport. A dynamic and highly-skilled sport, it is easy to see why soccer or “football” has such a large fan base. Jorge Hank Rhon, a former Tijuana Mayor and CEO of Grupo Caliente, has long been a fan of soccer and has spent his career working towards owning a soccer club and building stadium within his hometown of Tijuana. Jorge Hank Rhon has since seen this dream realized, with Estadio Caliente being built 2007 and the football club Dorados de Sinaloa being purchased in 2018.
Dorados de Sinaloa
In 2018, Jorge Hank Rhon acquired the football club Dorados de Sinaloa, otherwise known as Dorados and El Gran Pez. Founded in 2003, Dorados de Sinaloa gained national recognition for being the youngest franchise to play in the Primera Division de Mexico after joining the division for the first time for the Aperture 2004 tournament. Today, Dorados plays in the second tier of the Mexican league, Lisa de Expansion MX. Since 2003, Dorados de Sinaloa has held a rivalry with Club Leon, a professional football club based in Leon, Guanajuato. In Dorados’s second Primera Division A tournament, the team lost a final match to Club Leon. However, when the two teams played a promotion game to Primera Division de Mexico, Dorados won the game. To date, Dorados and Leon’s rivalry continues as the teams have played a total of four finals, with each team winning two.
The Estadio Caliente project first broke ground in 2007 and was led by head architect Hector Troncoso-Parraga. According to the Mexican Federation of Association Football, all First Division soccer teams must have a home stadium with more than 15,000 seat capacity. For this reason, while building Estadio Caliente, stadium owner Jorge Hank Rhon insisted on the stadium’s final capacity being over 30,000 seats. When EstadioCaliente’s original capacity of 13,333 seats was increased, Club Tijuana became qualified for promotion to the Primera Division de Mexico. As of 2018, the stadium is still under construction. However, in 2009, the stadium hosted the eight-team CONCACAF Men’s Under-17 Championship. In addition to the CONCACAF championship, the stadium has hosted boxing matches as well as musical concerts featuring Shakira, Luis Migel, Guns N’ Roses, and Alejandro Sanz.