When Did Olympic Stadium Open?
The building of Montreal Olympic Stadium was for the 1976 Summer Olympics. The venue was a multi-purpose facility for many Olympic games during that summer. The Big O, or Olympic Stadium, became a baseball park for the Montreal Expos in 1977 even though it was never designed for baseball.
Check out the list of the Oldest Baseball Stadiums still in the game today.
Where Was the Olympic Stadium Located?
The location of Olympic Stadium (Olympic Park) was in Montreal, Quebec, Canada The exact address of the venue was 4545 Pierre-de-Coubertin Avenue.
What Team Played at Olympic Stadium?
The Montreal Expos were a Major League Baseball team from 1977 to 2004. Montreal Expos would become the Washington Nationals after the 2004 season and move to Washington D.C.
What were the Dimensions at Olympic Stadium?
The dimensions from home plate were symmetrical from left field to right field. In left field, you were 325 feet away from home plate. The left center was 375, the center field was 404, right center 375, and right track 325. The stadium home was known as a neutral hitter and pitchers park.
What was the Capacity?
The capacity of the arena for baseball was 45,757 people. However, the original seating capacity for the venue could hold 56,040 people. Old Yankee Stadium capacity and Shea Stadium capacity both were in the equal capacity size of 55,000 seats. For events space, you could see the capacity grow when concerts and other events took place at the venue.
One memorable moment of the stadium was that the staff had to use a hacksaw to enter the arena since they could not find the master key for a game.
Overall, the Expos were pretty successful at this venue. From 1979-1983, the Expos drew above-average crowds to games. To put into perspective, the Expos drew more fans than the New York Mets and the New York Yankees during those years. The city of Montreal and the team had an incredible connection to each other.
However, there were many issues with the arena as time went by. By being a multi-purpose arena, you did not have great views for fans to watch baseball. Monster Truck Shows, Football games, and concerts made the lower seats on the field far away for baseball games. Upper decks seats were not much better by being extremely high and far away from the action.. The playing surface was hard turf, so not ideal for players playing baseball on the hard surface.
When the Expos left the arena in 2004, the Toronto Blue Jays had two spring training games at the field in 2014. The city of Montreal and the Blue Jays were able to draw close to 100,000 fans for two games of baseball. Since 2014, the Blue Jays continue to use this facility to play a few spring training games each year with large crowds from the city of Montreal.
The photo is from Getty. I do not own this picture.