|Former names||Ottawa Baseball Stadium (2008-2015)|
Ottawa Rapidz Stadium (2008)
Lynx Stadium (2003-2007)
JetForm Park (1993-2002)
|Location||300 Coventry Rd |
Ottawa, ON K1K 4P5
|Owner||City of Ottawa|
|Field size||Left Field - 325 ft (99 m) |
Centre Field - 404 ft (123 m)
Right Field - 325 ft (99 m)
Alleys - 380 ft (120 m)
|Opened||17 April 1993|
|Construction cost||CA$17 million|
|Ottawa Lynx (IL) (1993-2007)|
Ottawa Rapidz (Can-Am League) (2008)
Ottawa Fat Cats (IBL) (2010-2012)
Ottawa Champions (Can-Am League) (2015-present)
Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton Park (formerly JetForm Park, Lynx Stadium, and Ottawa Baseball Stadium), also known as RCGT Park 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 has been used for minor-league professional baseball and music concerts since 1993.
The stadium was built to house the Ottawa Lynx of the International League and opened prior to the 1993 season. In its first season, the Lynx sold out 43 games and set an International League attendance record by averaging 9,772 fans per game. However, annual attendance steadily declined from there, except for a modest increase in 2001. By 2006, Ottawa had the lowest average attendance in the league. The Lynx relocated after the 2007 season.
After the departure of the Lynx, the City of Ottawa considered other proposals for the site but kept the stadium as a baseball facility for the following season. Among the proposals rejected by the city in 2007 were:
A new team, the Ottawa Rapidz of the Can-Am League, was established in December 2007 and began to play in 2008. Despite attracting higher attendance than the Lynx in its final season, the Rapidz declared bankruptcy on September 29, 2009. A new team, the Voyageurs, was announced by the Can-Am league for the 2009 season. However, the league was faced with a lack of prospective owners for the team and with declining economic conditions and disbanded the Voyageurs in March 2009.
The stadium remained unused in 2009 except for a late-August series of community baseball games sponsored by Ottawa city councillor Bob Monette. Earlier, following the demise of the Voyageurs, Monette had suggested that the stadium be dismantled and the land sold to generate funds which could be applied to a new sports venue.
In August 2009, area businessmen Dave Butler and Duncan MacDonald presented a proposal which would renovate the existing stadium facility for activities throughout the year, including use as a venue for Winterlude.
In January 2010, the Intercounty Baseball League voted 6-2 in favour of presenting the Ottawa Stadium Group with an expansion franchise that would play at the Ottawa Baseball Stadium On March 10, 2010, the IBL confirmed that the application for an IBL expansion franchise had been accepted. The new team, the Ottawa Fat Cats, played from 2010 through 2012.
After spending two years negotiating with various ownership groups to bring a double-A baseball franchise to Ottawa, including a prospective deal with Mandalay Baseball which required the city to invest $40 million in stadium renovations, the city signed a ten-year lease with the Can-Am League to field a team in 2015, named the Ottawa Champions.
Ottawa company JetForm first bought the naming rights to the Stadium. The name was changed to simply "Lynx Stadium" after the 2002 season when JetForm changed its name to Accelio. Accelio was in turn bought by Adobe Systems. For the 2008 season, the Rapidz marketed the stadium as "Rapidz Stadium".
The stadium is in the 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 games can easily be seen from the street while driving or walking. There is less than 50 feet (15 m) of buffer between the stadium wall and the road, so flying balls can occasionally pose a hazard to passing cars.
Concerts have been held at the stadium on rare occasions: