The first championship in the Frontier League has barely been celebrated when the Capitals are already on the drawing board to undertake a makeover at Stade Canac. Even the option of a new home elsewhere in Quebec is not ruled out.
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“The stadium needs love, it will be 85 years old,” said team president Michel Laplante, during a very positive season review.
According to him, two meetings with the City of Quebec have been organized in recent months and a plan has been established to stagger major work until 2027.
“It’s obvious that we want shorter deadlines”, indicated Laplante, while specifying “that we have the impression of really having a favorable listening at the level of the City”.
Photo Stevens LeBlanc
Everything that has been analyzed with regard to the foundations of the stadium would be “very positive”, but what is around it would be to work, according to the organization established at the stadium since 1999. Two out of five sections of bleachers must always be renovated.
Several other works would be necessary, among other things to provide a better reception structure and a more efficient kitchen in order to improve the offer of food concessions. The lighting and the sound system would also need to be reviewed, to name just a few improvements that the Capitals have in mind.
According to Laplante, the option of a brand new stadium on another site should not be completely ruled out, if the cost of the work to be undertaken at Stade Canac becomes too expensive.
“Everything must be evaluated”, he stated, taking care to specify that such a decision could not come from the Capitals, but from the City.
“We love where we are. It is a dream location. You just have to consider everything. Maybe the costs of the works have increased so much that a new stadium is the option. What I know is that today, the plan of the city is rather to repair, “added the man-orchestra of baseball in Quebec.
The latter had fun comparing the situation of the Capitals to that of the big ones. The Boston Red Sox opted to make something new at Fenway Park, while the New York Yankees opted for a new stadium.
“We are talking about two opposite directions and in the end, both were right because both are going very well,” he smiled.
Even when it comes to the massive turnout of minor baseball youth who benefit from the dome, the Capitals see that new investment is needed.
Some 2,400 to 2,800 people a week come to the dome, the structure of which will be erected in mid-October.
“Les Capitales, ultimately, is only 15% of the stadium’s occupancy rate,” recalled Laplante.
“If we want to continue to have professional baseball here for several years, minor baseball in the city must continue to progress and be made a joint project with the city.”
A championship, individual records and attendance records. Difficult to dream of better for the Capitals.
Although the organization had already celebrated seven championships between 2006 and 2017 in the Can-Am League, this first title in the Frontier League represents the pinnacle, in the eyes of manager Patrick Scalabrini.
“I have no choice but to say that this is the best year. It’s the championship, but also the return after the years of COVID, several individual records for the players, a high quality show with the incredible atmosphere at the stadium… We had everything at the same time”, blew the one who plans a different roster next year to comply with restrictive veterans regulations in the Frontier.
Photo Stevens LeBlanc
Nevertheless, Scalabrini expects the successes of the Capitals to further increase its power of attraction with players everywhere.
“It was our first year in the Frontier and we showed how serious we were. All eyes were on us in the playoffs. Players who came here experienced a unique atmosphere. I dare to believe that it will help me,” he noted.
General manager Charles Demers recalled that more than 150,000 spectators showed up at the stadium throughout the season, a record for the concession.
No less than 24,000 people attended the terrace, another resounding success.
“After two years of much quieter operations (with health restrictions), we had questions, but people answered the call,” he rejoiced.
The team has benefited from a hundred corporate partners, including several who have already renewed their agreement for 2023.
“We will analyze all the figures in the coming days,” added Demers, as to the possibility that the Capitals also had their most profitable year financially.
“We have always had the support of our owners. They always said that the Capitals were going to stay in Quebec. It is certain that there, we are more in the saddle than ever.
After the short festivities, it’s already time to get back to work, assures Michel Laplante.
“We’re going to get back to work yesterday!” he joked. The celebrations lasted a few hours, but if our supporters imagine that we are going to the Bahamas, it is not really that.
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