Arecibo has two professional sports franchises, the Lobos de Arecibo in baseball and the Capitanes de Arecibo in BSN basketball. The Lobos won the 1983 national baseball championship and the 1983 Caribbean World Series, the only time the franchise won both titles. At that time, they had MLB prospect Dickie Thon, then also of the Houston Astros, on their roster. Thon then suffered a life-threatening and career-affecting eye injury during an Astros game in 1984. The Lobos won a championship again in 1996.
The Capitanes won their first ever championship in 1959. After that, the Capitanes have not had much luck in their basketball tournaments, but in 2002, they started to turn things around, reaching the semifinals. However, they lost the series to the Vaqueros by losing four straight games, after having a 3-0 game lead in the series. The Capitanes won the National Superior Basketball championship on 2005 beating the Vaqueros of Bayamón in four games. This was the first championship in 46 years. In 2007 they got to the finals, losing in the overtime on the seventh game of the series against Los Cangrejos de Santurce. In 2008 Arecibo won the tournament championship again, against the Gigantes of Carolina. In 2010, they won again against Los Vaqueros of Bayamon.
Arecibo's main shopping mall is Plaza del Atlantico as well as the one situated in the neighboring town of Hatillo, Plaza del Norte.
Arecibo is home to Fortune 500 corporations such as Merck, General Electric. Other important companies are Thermo King Corporation, Eaton, Los Cidrines, Expressway Eco Printing, and Arecibo Tropical Flag.
The municipality of Arecibo is 60.24% white (of European descent), 26.23% mixed (multi-racial, including European, African and Native American, as individuals self-identify), 9.7% black (African-Puerto Rican descent), and 3.8% Asian (south Asian or east Asian). The majority of the population is mostly of Spanish descent, but there has been intermmarriage with more recent groups from other parts of Europe. with some having Middle Eastern, French, Italian, American or of other descent. People who are multi-racial may also have ancestors more than one of the European groups, and among more than one African nation as well. Ethnic Asians are mostly from India and China.
All municipalities in Puerto Rico are administered by a mayor, elected every four years. The current mayor of Arecibo is Carlos Molina, of the New Progressive Party (PNP). He was elected at the 2012 general elections.
The city belongs to the Puerto Rico Senatorial district III, which is represented by two Senators. In 2008, José Emilio González and Angel Martínez were elected as District Senators.
The flag of Arecibo derives its composition and colors from the coat of arms of the city. It is divided vertically in two equal parts. The left side is blue having a belt that stands for "Captain Correa", a local military hero from Spanish times. The right side is made up of blue and yellow diamonds alternating in a checkerboard pattern referring to the coat of arms of Felipe de Beaumont y Navarra governor of Puerto Rico (1614–1620) and founder of the city. The crown represents The Cacique (chieftain) Arasibo (Fransico Jamaica Arasibo). The turtles represent the ancientness of the city (the third city of Puerto Rico) also because of the indigenous people of the region and that the hunting of turtles was a source of wealth. The towers were a form to describe the population of a settlement. Three towers represent a municipality, four towers represent a village, and five towers represent a city.
The shield is divided by diagonal lines in golden and blue rhombuses with a blue stripe in the superior part, in which resides an opened five-point crown and which is adorned with drawings characterizing the art of the Taínos. The people of Arecibo also honored Captain Antonio de los Reyes Correa by including a gold colored belt in their coat of arms with the words "Muy Leal", which means "Very Faithful", in representation of Correa. This combination of symbols represents the Indian Cacique (Chieftain) from whom the population's name derives, the governor that erected the town and the hero Captain Correa who defended the town from a British invasion.
Arecibo has a small noncommercial airport, named Antonio (Nery) Juarbe Pol Airport, which currently has no commercial airline flights.
PR-22 (unsigned Interstate PR-2) passes through the city, but bypasses downtown. Downtown can be accessed via PR-2, PR-10 and PR-129.
Arecibo is home to several public and private schools distributed through several regions. Public education is handled by the State Department of Education.
There are also several colleges and universities located in the city. Some of them are:
It also has several other technical institutions like the National College of Business and Technology and the ICPR Junior College.
The following is a list of notable people from Arecibo:
Due to space limitations it is almost impossible to list all of the people of Arecibo who have distinguished themselves, and therefore a category has been created to this effect: