Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Unrealized Concepts - Volume 3 - Labatt Park

Shortly after Jeffery Loria took over the Montreal Expos, plans were announced for a new ballpark in downtown Montreal. For the Expos' entire tenure in Montreal they had played in the "upgraded" Jarry Park and the cavernous Olympic Stadium. The plan called for a unique baseball only stadium. Unlike most of the new parks which opened in the late 90's, the new park would have a steel skin rather than brick.

Oddly, the announcement of the stadium came complete with the park's name Labatt Park. The park would be located within the "downtown" area of Montreal and was slated to have an incredible skyline view.

Unfortunately, the Expos were not able to get a financing deal in place and Labatt Park never came to be. The Expos were sold to MLB in a strange three team transaction where Loria came to own the Marlins and the Marlins owners bought the Red Sox.

Nationals Park

The rest was history. After a few years in Montreal under MLB control, the Expos were moved to Washington D.C. and became the Nationals. Oddly enough, in 2008 the Nationals opened their new ballpark which has a steel exterior which is very similar to the proposed Labatt Park design.

You can see these and more images of Labatt Park at StadiumPage.com.


  1. Technically the "Labatt Park" name was announced by the pre-Loria controlled Expo group, with the first (brick clad) design in 98 or 99. And then they continued to use it with the Loria groups renderings.

  2. Also cool comparison to Nationals Park.

  3. It looks like about 2/3 of Stade Olympique, with a sleek roof and far better lines. It's a refreshing change from the "cookie-cutter-retro" - i.e., let's make 'em ALL like Camden Yards? Thank goodness someone had the guts to break the trend, which was getting tiresome.
    The only trouble is that an open stadium in Montreal doesn't really work, but history has proven that major sports simply don't work...Les habitens du Montreal are into ONE sport...Les Canadians (or as the English say it, the Habs, short for "habitants", it's a French-Canadian thing). The Alouettes draw OK...their regular football stadium, Molson Field, is the smallest in the CFL. Anyway, too much rain overall and too cold in April and September. Les Expos making the post-season as they ought to have in 1994 would have proved a cold, miserable fan experience (and I've quite a few Croix de Candlestick). I really like this design but it'd look better as a new home for the Athletics...in Sacramento!