Ottawa Stadium is a baseball stadium in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada with a seating capacity of 10,332. The stadium is located in the city's east end near the interchange of Queensway and Vanier Parkway. It was the home of the Ottawa Rapidz, a franchise in the Canadian-American Association of Professional Baseball that began play at the stadium in May 2008.. The Rapidz lasted one season in Ottawa. Prior to that, it was home to Ottawa's now defunct International League team, the Ottawa Lynx from 1993 to 2007.
The stadium was opened prior to the 1993 season, when Ottawa was granted a baseball franchise. In its first season, the Ottawa Lynx sold out 43 games and set an International League attendance record by averaging 9,772 fans per game. However, the number of fans steadily declined from there, and the team didn't record another increase until 2001, and Ottawa perennially having the lowest average attendance in the league.
The name was changed to simply "Lynx Stadium" after the 2002 season when Canadian company JetForm changed its name to Accelio and was in turn bought by Adobe.
Concerts were conducted at the stadium on rare occasions:
- 19 July 1998: Stardust Picnic with Blue Rodeo, Great Big Sea, 54-40, The Waltons and Weeping Tile;
- 20 September - 21 September 2002: Molson Canadian Snowjam featuring Treble Charger, Dropkick Murphys, Gob, Swollen Members, Simple Plan, Mudmen, and Bowling For Soup;
- 5 July 2007: Nickelback, Daughtry, Puddle of Mudd
The stadium is in the popular split-level design, with a concourse running around the middle of the seating bowl. This concourse is at street level, so fans in the "lower" seats walk down, and fans in the "upper" seats walk up. All seats are blue chair-back models. Concessions, restrooms, a gift shop, and a kids' play area are located along a wider concourse (also at street level) located underneath the upper seats.
The stadium also features skyboxes and the "Upper Deck" restaurant (open to all fans) perched behind home plate. While the windows do open, there is no outdoor seating at this level. Access is by elevator from the concourse below. There are open-air picnic tables down the left-field line which are also available to all fans.
Coventry Road runs along the left-field fence, and the game can easily be seen from the street while driving or walking. There is less than of buffer between the stadium wall and the road, so flying balls can occasionally pose a hazard to passing cars.
Longtime employees of the Lynx include: Steven Bennett (Ball Boy and Head Groundskeeper), John Bryk (Equipment Manager), Lorraine Charrette (Office Administration).
Plans after 2007
The City of Ottawa decided to keep the stadium as a baseball facility. A new team, the Ottawa Rapidz
of the Can-Am League (see above) was established in December 2007 and began play in 2008 at the stadium. The Canadian national baseball program hopes to establish its headquarters at the stadium.
Rejected proposals raised for the future of the stadium included:
- Frank D'Angelo of Steelback Brewery was associated with a proposal to convert the stadium into the "Steelback Centre", a variable-use complex that could host 25 000 for concerts and 15 000 for sporting events.
- the stadium could be replaced by a casino.
- larger Ottawa Congress Centre could replace the stadium on site.
- redeveloped as conventional retail or office space.