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Jarry Park - It's Baseball History

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  • Jarry Park - It's Baseball History

    Does anyone know the history of Jarry Park (as a baseball stadium.) Was it built expressly for the Expos? Did it already exist as a baseball field and then was renovated for the Expos temporary use? How much did it cost back then to build it, and what that might be in todays dollars? I'd be curious to hear all of this, as it relates to the difficulty Canadian cities have today in getting any kind of funding to either build or renovate existing stadia for potential use by Canadian Football League teams. Or for that matter, the fact that the Expos were never able to get a park for baseball only built to get them out of the Big "Owe", like the very fine proposed Labatt Park I have seen in diagrams and plans. Had that been built, perhaps the Expos would still be in Montreal today.

  • #2
    Jarry Park had a previously existing 3,000 seat baseball facility that was expanded for the Expos. It was a last moment replacement for putting a dome over the Autostade, and intended as a temporary home. It was a fairly rudimentary venue which I presume kept costs down. Note though 1968 was a significantly different time with respect to the cultural, governmental, and financial environment, so I'm not sure the situation then will give much insight into today's realities.

    See http://www.exposhistoricalsociety.or...jarrypark.html ; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montreal_Expos ; http://archives.cbc.ca/sports/baseball/topics/611/ (listen to "Les Expos sont là!").

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    • #3
      Originally posted by tinseltown View Post
      Jarry Park had a previously existing 3,000 seat baseball facility that was expanded for the Expos. It was a last moment replacement for putting a dome over the Autostade, and intended as a temporary home. It was a fairly rudimentary venue which I presume kept costs down. Note though 1968 was a significantly different time with respect to the cultural, governmental, and financial environment, so I'm not sure the situation then will give much insight into today's realities.

      See http://www.exposhistoricalsociety.or...jarrypark.html ; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montreal_Expos ; http://archives.cbc.ca/sports/baseball/topics/611/ (listen to "Les Expos sont là!").
      Thanx for the links... Both of them were interesting. I know you cant compare much of anything from 1967-68 days to today. What I was looking for, was the time it took to build Jarry Park & what it cost. (I'd still like to know that figure.) Between getting the team in 1967, & Opening Day in 1969 the Expos converted a 3,000 seat amateur baseball field into a 28,456 (1969) baseball stadium with an increase to 30,000 (1971). (Capacity info per the first link.) Seems to me that they did that very quickly & probably at minimal cost. The only thing they skipped that I personally would deem essential was a roof over at least parts of the stands.

      Sure, a lot of what goes into a modern day double or triple decked "retro" park is missing, the luxury boxes, restaurants & attractions, etc. But, to me its all about the *game on the field* & for that, Jarry Park seems pretty close to being just fine. Looks like all the seats are close to the field. Sit in the upper deck at Angel Stadium & you feel like you are watching the game from the Goodyear blimp.

      If the Expos had stayed there, & put a little more money into what they already had; they might have been able to stay in the city, who knows? From the pictures & diagram on the first link it appears there was room in places to add a lot more seats, especially had they moved the scoreboard back & raised it up higher on poles. They could have easily added a whole extra section of outfield stands, just like the one in left field. Luxury boxes could have been added in the same manner the Green Bay Packers added them at Lambeau Field, above & behind the stands running down the baselines, & behind home plate.

      They had a functional park for what I would think probably was the least amount of money expended by far, since the modern era of stadium construction began in 1953 with the opening of Milwaukee's County Stadium. Its really illustrative of how much you can do with very little money by thinking creatively.

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