An inside look at Ottawa Stadium

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As you all know, the new Can-Am League squad coming to Ottawa was announced this past Monday as the Ottawa Champions. New team president Dave Gourlay has reassured that the team’s home, Ottawa Stadium, will be brought up to the standards of professional baseball.

In the mean time, the stadium is waiting for noticeable work to start. Given that, I figured that I would venture down to the ball park and take some pictures, to give everyone a gauge. We aren’t sure what exactly will be done during renovations, but they may become more noticeable thanks to these shots.

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An NCBL game was ongoing at the time that these pictures were taken – the Knights took on the Orioles in a Tier 3 match-up. It is nice to see community involvement at the stadium while we await the arrival of the Champions. Great seats still available!

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To the left of the stadium’s entrance we see a good portion of the parking lot cut off due to construction of the pedestrian bridge and the widening of Highway 417. As of now, it looks like a considerable amount of parking will be lost on the right field side.

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Here is another shot of the pedestrian bridge. I’m not sure what their plan is in terms of where it will be landing, but it seems like it could be connecting directly to the stadium. I wouldn’t be surprised to see two exits – one to the parking lot and the other to the ballpark.

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A few years earlier, this now empty concourse was filled with fans waiting for hot dogs and other various snacks. With some minor adjustments, it could do so again easily.

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Does this area look familiar? It should. This is the former merchandise shop at the stadium which seems to have now doubled as a storage room since the city took the building back from OSG. You can even see the Tax Man shopping cart in the middle of the room.

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The former lawn area on the left field side of the ballpark hasn’t actually changed that much from the days of the Fat Cats. I’ve always said that this area has potential for something very nice, such as an outdoor restaurant.

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However, the lawn is not the only area where you’ll find picnic tables at the moment. They have been placed all over the ballpark.

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The content of these signs has been a constant at the ballpark for years. If I recall correctly, the very same advertisements were up 7 years ago with the Lynx in town.

The old branding of the Rogers TV portion would back that up. I’d personally like to see not only new ads with the new team, but new stadium signage altogether. The current displays are old and rusty – one out toward the edge of the right field concourse was actually shaking in the wind.

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One area where I was impressed was the lack of the “Lynx” name still around the stadium. The only place where I could find it was on the parking gate entrances, and on this directory which displays “Lynx clubhouse” in the top left corner.

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And of course, what would a nearly-abandoned baseball park be without vegetation and weeds growing?

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There was no shortage of them either.

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I will leave off for today with a shot of what could be the most recognizable part of this ballpark – the scoreboard. It was the first and only scoreboard Ottawa Stadium has ever seen, but this is most likely one of the last shots you’ll ever see of it. The Champions will invest a considerable amount in a new board for their inaugural season.

$750,000 has been pledged toward the upgrading of this park. Soon, we will see all of it come to fruition. Consider this the final look at a version of Ottawa Stadium which has gone virtually untouched for 21 years.

Hopefully, most of the areas in dire need of replenishment will get just that.

    • Dean
    • August 1st, 2014

    Any idea as to what upgrades will be done to the ballpark?

    For myself I would expect a fresh coat of paint throughout the ballpark, suite/restroom/clubhouse upgrades, and what about a new playing surface?

    • From what I know, the bathrooms and plumbing system will be re-done, along with clubhouses. Also certain that a new playing field will go in as well as a million dollar+ scoreboard. I personally hope they do something with the outfield wall as well, which is apparently rock hard. I’m not expecting much more than that, maybe some refreshing with the luxury boxes (paint, etc) and upgrades to the patio on the 3rd base side.. but structurally the place is sound as far as I know and with some routine maintenance it could easily be the best ballpark in the Can-Am League.

    • June Chenier
    • May 24th, 2015

    I was a little disappointed that being the person who entered “The Champions” as my pick for the teams name and was chosen, that my name wasn’t mentioned in the newspaper when the title the Champions was chosen, at the first game, nor was it mentioned anywhere in the 2015 Inaugural program.
    Most people seem to like the name but I feel a little left out of the celebration as when I went to the inaugural bbq and introduced myself, no one introduced me to the players or seemed to acknowledge me.
    They did give me seasons tickets, which was the prize fir winning the contest, but I thought they might be more excited about it as I was.
    Maybe a hat or T-shirt would have been a nice touch or even to just be introduced to the players and acknowledged.
    Well I’m excited and went to the first Game with my family. We cheered loud. I got my picture taken with the mascots. I looked around the stadium. I was proud of my team lol.
    I’m hoping someday that I can get my Inaugural program autographed by the players for a keepsake. Something I can tell my grandkids about.
    Hoping I can make it to a lot of their games but I am fighting a battle with cancer right now also.
    Best Wishes to The Champions on a great season!

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