Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton Park
(formerly known as JetForm Park, Lynx Stadium and Ottawa Stadium)
Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton Park, also known as RCGT Park, was built by the municipality of Ottawa, ON in 1992-1993 to host the new AAA franchise granted to the city as a result of the expansion of the International League. The Ottawa Lynx played their first home game there in April 1993. The ballpark was known for a time as JetForm Park, after a locally-based software company which purchased naming rights, although the name stopped being used when the company was bought out by a rival in the late 1990s. It was then known as Lynx Stadium for the remainder of the team's tenure there, until 2007, and as Ottawa Stadium from 2008 to 2014. In 2015, when the Canadian-American Association created the preposterously named Ottawa Champions to play in the park, the park got a new naming deal from an accounting firm and became known as Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton Park.
The ballpark is located at the edge of the city's industrial park, near the highway that links Ottawa and Montreal, QC (in fact, motorists coming from Montreal can catch a glimpse of the playing field as they drive by). The area around the park was largely undeveloped when it opened, but since then two hotels, government offices and a residential development have appeared nearby, as well as a Canadian Tire hardware store visible behind the right field fence.
The playing field is made of natural grass and the park is overall favorable to pitchers. This is a function of being an open stadium in a cold climate, which reduces offense significantly in the cooler months of April, early May and September. When the stadium opened in 1993, Montreal-based reporters noted with envy that the seats were very close to the playing field and afforded an excellent and intimate view of the action, something which was very different from the fan experience in cavernous Stade Olympique (the Lynx were a Montreal Expos affiliate at the time).
After being home to the Lynx for all 15 seasons of the team's history, Ottawa Stadium hosted the Ottawa Rapidz of the Can-Am Association in 2008. In the gap between hosting professional teams, it served as the home for the Ottawa Fat Cats of the Intercounty Baseball League and also hosted some Can-Am Association contests while plans to bring another professional team to the Canadian capital were in the works.
Just outside the stadium, next to its parking lot, is a very large metal sculpture entitled "switch-hitter", which indeed shows a lefthanded hitter from one side, and a righty when viewed form the other direction.
|Current ballparks in Canadian-American Association|
|Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium | Provident Bank Park | Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton Park | Stade Fernand-Bédard | Stade Municipal de Québec | Yogi Berra Stadium|