Based in Guayaquil, Ecuador, Club Sport Emelec is a sports club which has the highest total number of Ecuadorian championship wins, when all sports are covered including swimming, basketball, boxing, chess, judo etc. Barcelona SC, their main rival has beaten them when only success in the field of football is taken into account.
Founded in 1929, the club was originally created by employess of Empresa Electrica del Ecuador, an electric company based in Guayaquil. With George Capwell as the Director, the club was initially only promoting baseball and boxing. It was only during the 1947 Copa America that the club got involved into football, and in 1957, Emelec became the first champions of Ecuador. Known as Campeonato Sudamericano de Futbol, the Emelec team then consisted of some famous players such as Carlos Alberto Raffo, Cipriano Yu Lee, Suarez-Rizzo, Cruz Avila and many others. Eduardo ‘Tano’ Spandre was the team coach during this period.
The championship wins of the club were in 1957, 1961, 1965, 1972, 1979, 1988, 1993, 1994, 2001 and 2002. They also ended in the runner-up position nine times in this division. In 1995, Emelec also managed to enter the semi-finals of the Copa Libertadores, but were defeated by Gremio, from Brazil, also the champions of that year. Later in 2001, Emelec entered the finals of the Copa Merconorte, playing against Millonarios, from Colombia, and played two matches against them. During the first final match, the scored tied to 1-1, and was held in Colombia, while the second final match held in Ecuador tied to 1-1 again. This resulted in a penalty shootout, where the Millonarios team emerged as winners. Emelec could only manage one goal from the four penalty kicks offered, thus losing out from becoming the first Ecuadorian team to win an international title.
The home stadium of the team was constructed in 1942-43, and was named George Capwell Stadium after its founder. The inaugural match was a baseball match between Emelec and Oriente. The first football match was soon held here, which Emelec won, against already established teams from Manta and Bahia. The 1947 Copa America was also held at this stadium, but the stadium had to be shut down after it was termed obsolete. In 1991, the George Capwell Stadium was reopened, and became the home stadium of Emelec once again. Today the stadium has been upgraded to meet all standards and has a seating capacity of 20,000.