Ottawa Stadium - Ottawa Titans
Photos by Paul Baker, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.29
300 Coventry Rd
Ottawa, ON K1K 4P5
Year Opened: 1993
Ottawa Titans Baseball
In 1991 then-Ottawa 67s owner Howard Darwin was awarded an expansion franchise in the AAA International League. Lynx Stadium was completed in under two years of $17 million Canadian. It soon became the hottest spot in the IL, as the Lynx averaged 9,772 fans per game in their inaugural 1993 season, setting a league record. Unfortunately, from there attendance started on a steady decline, to the point where the Lynx were last in the IL in attendance in 2006. After the 2007 season, the team moved to Allentown, PA, and became the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs.
Despite many plans over the years to redesign the facility for other purposes or to demolish the venue, Ottawa Stadium has persevered through many teams, many leagues, many names and many levels of organized baseball. After the Can-Am League’s Ottawa Champions were mysteriously left out of the league’s 2019 merger with the Frontier League, an expansion team was awarded to Canada’s capital city in the form of the Titans, who were to begin play in 2021.
Unfortunately, due to the prolonged closure of the US-Canada border as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Titans did not compete in the 2021 season. The team qualified for the Frontier League playoffs in their inaugural 2022 season, advancing to the divisional round before losing to the Quebec Capitales.
Food & Beverage 4
The stadium has a decent selection of concessions for a park that doesn’t usually attract large crowds.
There are four permanent stands scattered along the concourse underneath the grandstand, each with a different theme and menu. Stands feature standard ballpark fare (Cappy’s Kitchen), Mexican food (Mr. Senor), Gabriel Pizza, and ice cream/donuts (Lois ‘n Frima’s)The prices and quality of the food served here are decent. Concession stands feature a specialty food item every homestand.
Coca-Cola products are featured at the ballpark. A good selection of beer is also available, including craft brews from Beau’s and Stray Dog Breweries. For the best selection, head down to the Hop Yard at the top of the left field berm.
For those looking for a food challenge during a Titans game, order the Titanic Sandwich, which consists of an entire loaf of garlic bread, four cheeseburger patties, two hot dogs, cheese crumbs, 4 chicken fingers, crispy onions, and spicy ketchup.
Many minor league teams feature a decidedly over-the-top game day atmosphere, with wacky shenanigans held throughout the game designed to attract casual fans and keep the younger fans in attendance occupied. While the shenanigans in Ottawa are a bit more laid-back than in other indy ballparks, there’s enough going on to keep everyone entertained and properly distracted.
Assorted contests and promotions are going on throughout the game, including interns dancing on dugouts, an emcee who coordinates all activities, and a mascot who roams the ballpark interacting with fans and participating in the goings on. Kids roam the berm in left field to release any pent-up energy, and a bouncy castle on the concourse serves a similar purpose. PA announcements are made in both English and French, a fitting touch in Canada’s capital city. A small scoreboard in right field displays basic game information.
With all this activity going on, you may expect a higher score. The sheer size of the stadium is a negative, as a 10,000-seat ballpark tends to swallow up any noise created by 1,500 or so fans. On the plus side, there’s plenty of room to roam and spread out throughout the game.
There are a pair of hotels (a Hampton Inn and a Courtyard by Marriot) directly across the parking lot from the ballpark, but fans looking for places to go before or after a game will be disappointed with the lack of eateries near the ballpark.
Fans visiting the area will, however, be more than happy to hear that downtown Ottawa’s attractions, including Parliament Hill’s government buildings and the popular ByWard District are a short ten-minute drive away.
Ottawa boasts a great many locations that may be of interest to visitors to the city. Of course, the Parliament buildings are among the most popular destinations. In addition, Canada’s capital city boasts several museums, including the Canadian Museum of Nature, Canadian War Museum, Canada Aviation and Space Museum, and Royal Canadian Mint. Rideau Canal is still worth checking out, even in the summer months.
Visitors to Ottawa looking for other sporting options can check out the CFL’s RedBlacks at TD Place Stadium. Of course, the Senators play at Canadian Tire Centre and the 67’s play at TD Place Arena, but the hockey and baseball seasons do not overlap.
For the 2023 season, the Titans are averaging just over 1,300 fans per game, a slight increase over their inaugural season. This places Ottawa 12th in the 15-team Frontier League. Stadium Journey visited Ottawa Stadium on a muggy Sunday afternoon with a crowd of about 1,500 in attendance.
The crowd at a Titans game is pretty typical of what you’ll find across the continent in the minor leagues. It’s a family-friendly event, so you’ll be sure to find many children and families mixed in with the local die-hard baseball fans. Watching the younger fans race around the ballpark chasing foul balls is a highlight here. The crowd here is laid-back. This isn’t a place where you’ll find a rowdy game day atmosphere, although the crowd did seem to energize when the Quebec manager was tossed for arguing a call.
Situated about 10 minutes from downtown Ottawa, the ballpark is located right off Canadian Highway 417, known as the Queensway as it moves through Canada’s capital. The ballpark is easily accessed by exit 117. A couple of turns will put you in one of the two large lots adjacent to the ballpark. All transactions are paperless, so make sure you visit the kiosk to pay your fee.
Ottawa Stadium has a standard late 80s-early 90s design with a single seating bowl that stretches from shallow left field around to shallow right field. There’s a berm at the end of left-field seats. All seats are faded blue metal stadium seats. There’s a walkway about halfway up the seating bowl, but since the upper seats are raised a bit, there’s no issue with obstruction. Speaking of obstructions, nets stretch from the end of one dugout around to the other. For a net-free view, pick a seat further down the seating bowl.
The concourse is located underneath the grandstand, with all concessions and washrooms located here. With the smaller crowds at Titans games, getting around is no issue. The washrooms are a bit dated but clean and large enough for a typical Titans crowd. As mentioned elsewhere, there is plenty of room to move around.
Return on Investment 4
All tickets are sold as reserved seats, priced at $15 for “Club” seats (sections behind home plate) and $11 for “On Deck” seating (sections further down the line). Purchasing tickets at the box office on game day increases all prices by three dollars. With the large capacity of Ottawa Stadium and the smallish crowds present, you can roam about the park as you wish. Parking is available in the large lots adjacent to the ballpark for seven dollars. Concession prices are reasonable, making a Titans game an affordable entertainment option for local baseball fans.
All lineup announcements are made in English and French. That's worth an extra point.
A second extra point is awarded for "The Switch Hitter," a sculpture located by the front entrance of the stadium. Visible from the highway, Russell Yuristy's sculpture stands six metres tall, reminding everyone that this is a hitter's ballpark.
While Ottawa Stadium's glory days may be behind it, the ballpark remains a functional facility that fits the Frontier League well. While it may be too large for the needs of the Titans, it’s great to see baseball continue in Canada’s capital after years of uncertainty.