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The Autostade in 1966
|Architect||Victor Prus and Maurice Desnoyers|
| Montreal Alouettes (CFL) (1968–1976)|
Montreal Olympique (NASL) (1971, 1973)
The Autostade (the English name Automotive Stadium was rarely used) was a Canadian football stadium in the Victoriatown neighbourhood of Montreal, Quebec that stood at the north-west corner of the Cité du Havre sector of the Expo 67 site. It was the home of the Montreal Alouettes from 1968–1976, except for a brief period in 1972 when the team returned to its previous home, Molson Stadium.
The Autostade was built in preparation for the 1967 World's Fair, Expo 67 as a venue for several events including the World Music Festival and the Rodeo Show. It was designed by architects Victor Prus and Maurice Desnoyers. With a seating capacity of 33,172,the stadium is best remembered for its odd shape: to allow the stadium to be dismantled and re-erected on a new site if required, the architects employed a segmental structural system comprising 19 independent but linked pre-cast concrete grandstands, each 40 seats wide, arranged around the central field.
The stadium was financed by donations from the five major auto manufacturers in Canada at the time: American Motors, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, and Volvo, hence its name.
From the start, the new stadium was configured for CFL football use. The first CFL game played at the Autostade was the 1966 Eastern final between the Ottawa Rough Riders and Hamilton Tiger-Cats, held on November 19. The Rough Riders would have hosted the game, but Lansdowne Park was undergoing extensive renovations at the time. Ottawa won the game 42-16. This game also marked the first use of the single-shaft "goose-necked" field goal posts in the CFL (which has become the norm in professional football since; the NFL and NCAA later adopted those model goalposts the next year).
It was originally planned that Montreal's new baseball team, the Montreal Expos, would play home games at the Autostade as well for at least their first two seasons.However, the city was unwilling to pay the cost of adding a dome, thought to be a must because of Montreal's often bitterly cold springs and falls. The Alouettes demanded steep rent payments in order to let the Expos share the stadium. Even without these factors to consider, since the Autostade was owned by the federal government, there were some doubts that the city even had the authority to renovate it. Instead, the Expos opted to use Jarry Park.
Following its use in Expo 67, the gaps between the sections were filled in preparation for the Alouettes' 1968 season. However, the stadium was considered by many to be located too far from downtown (a complaint that would be echoed years later regarding Olympic Stadium) as well as too cold due to its proximity to the Saint Lawrence River. As a result, crowds declined rapidly. Despite this, those fans that did attend remember the stadium as having an intimate atmosphere well suited to CFL football.
The only Grey Cup contest at the Autostade was played on November 30, 1969, between the Ottawa Rough Riders and Saskatchewan Roughriders. Due to fears about FLQ terrorist activities, the CFL had 300 police officers in full riot gear on standby just in case anything got out of hand, but there were no incidents. Ottawa's Russ Jackson and Frank Clair both ended their Hall of Fame careers with a 29-11 win over Saskatchewan. This game was featured in the 1969 movie Deux femmes en or and is chronicled in TSN's 2012 documentary series of films "Engraved on a Nation".
Crowds remained small for the next two seasons. The 1971 CFL All Star Game attracted little attention, and the Alouettes ownership decided to return to Molson Stadium in 1972, hoping to draw larger crowds. The plan backfired, with overall attendance dropping by 60,000 from the previous season, and the team returned to the Autostade the following year. The stadium fell into disuse after the Alouettes moved to Olympic Stadium following the 1976 Summer Olympics. Although the Autostade was used for concerts and various other events for a few years, it was demolished in the late 1970s.
Demolished in the late 1970s, the Autostade was briefly considered by the city of Montreal as a potential home for the Montreal Expos before the franchise's debut in Major League Baseball, then-mayor Jean Drapeau having even presented a project to expand the enclosure. This project was finally abandoned in favor of Jarry Park.
In 1980, five sections of the Autostade were saved from demolition by being moved to the city of Thetford Mines to form a new baseball stadium for this community. A total cost of $350,000 was made to acquire, transfer, and reconstruct the bleachers to its new home Stade des Caisses Desjardins. This stadium has been the home to semi-professional baseball since 2010 with the Thetford Blue Sox in the Ligue de Baseball Senior Élite du Québec.
In May 2005, the Montreal Impact soccer club had announced that they would be building a new stadium near the former location of the Autostade (now a parking lot and transformer station). The Impact later changed their plans, and broke ground on a new stadium in Olympic Park in the spring of 2007 which opened as Saputo Stadium in 2008.
The Montreal Alouettes are a professional Canadian football team based in Montreal, Quebec. Founded in 1946, the team has folded and been revived twice. The Alouettes compete in the East Division of the Canadian Football League (CFL) and last won the Grey Cup championship in 2010. Their home field is Percival Molson Memorial Stadium for the regular season and as of 2014 also home of their playoff games.
The Canadian Football Hall of Fame (CFHOF) is a not-for-profit corporation, located in Hamilton, Ontario, that celebrates great achievements in Canadian football. It is maintained by the Canadian Football League (CFL). It includes displays about the CFL, Canadian university football and Canadian junior football history.
Olympic Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium in Montreal, Canada, located at Olympic Park in the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve district of the city. Built in the mid-1970s as the main venue for the 1976 Summer Olympics, it is nicknamed "The Big O", a reference to both its name and to the doughnut-shape of the permanent component of the stadium's roof. The tower standing next to the stadium, The Montreal Tower, is the tallest inclined tower in the world with an angle elevation of 45 degrees. It is also called "The Big Owe" to reference the astronomical cost of the stadium and the 1976 Olympics as a whole.
Percival Molson Memorial Stadium is an outdoor football stadium located downtown on the slopes of Mount Royal in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Named in honour of Percival Molson, it is owned by McGill University and was the home of the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League from 1954 to 1967 and has been since 1998. The stadium is also home to the McGill Redbirds and Martlets of the RSEQ, the Montreal Royal of the American Ultimate Disc League, and the Canadian Corporate Soccer League, the largest amateur corporate league in Canada. The Selwyn House Gryphons high-school football team also play their home games at the stadium. The stadium has a capacity of 23,420, the result of a renovation project begun in 2009 that increased capacity from 20,202 to over 25,000 before seats were removed in 2014 to reduce capacity to its current level.
The 2004 Canadian Football League season is considered to be the 51st season in modern-day Canadian football, although it is officially the 47th Canadian Football League season.
The 1982 Canadian Football League season is considered to be the 29th season in modern-day Canadian football, although it is officially the 25th Canadian Football League season.
The 1981 Canadian Football League season is considered to be the 28th season in modern-day Canadian football, although it is officially the 24th Canadian Football League season.
The 1979 Canadian Football League season is considered to be the 26th season in modern-day Canadian football, although it is officially the 22nd Canadian Football League season.
The 1978 Canadian Football League season is considered to be the 25th season in modern-day Canadian football, although it is officially the 21st Canadian Football League season.
The 1977 Canadian Football League season is considered to be the 24th season in modern-day Canadian football, although it is officially the 20th Canadian Football League season.
The 1976 Canadian Football League season is considered to be the 23rd season in modern-day Canadian football, although it is officially the 19th Canadian Football League season.
The 1975 Canadian Football League season is considered to be the 22nd season in modern-day Canadian football, although it is officially the 18th Canadian Football League season.
The 1974 Canadian Football League season is considered to be the 21st season in modern-day Canadian football, although it is officially the 17th Canadian Football League season.
The 1973 Canadian Football League season is considered to be the 20th season in modern-day Canadian football, although it is officially the 16th Canadian Football League season.
The 1960 Canadian Football League season is considered to be the seventh season in modern-day Canadian football, although it is officially the third Canadian Football League season.
Sports in Montreal have played a major role of the city's history. Montreal is best known for being home to the Montreal Canadiens of the National Hockey League, which are currently the city's only team in the Big Four sports leagues.
Delorimier Stadium was a 20,000-seat sports stadium at 2101 Ontario Street East, at the corner of De Lorimier Avenue in the present-day Montreal borough of Ville-Marie. The stadium was home to the Montreal Royals of the International League, as the top farm club of the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1928 to 1960. The stadium was additionally home to the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League (CFL) from 1946 to 1953.
57th Grey Cup, the Canadian Football League's championship game, was played November 30, 1969, and the Ottawa Rough Riders defeated the Saskatchewan Roughriders 29–11 before 33,172 fans at Montreal's Autostade. It was the first time since 1931, a break of 38 years, that the CFL title match would be played in Montreal.
Jarry Park Stadium is a tennis stadium in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It was formerly a baseball stadium, home to the Montreal Expos, from 1969 to 1976. The Expos were Major League Baseball's first Canadian franchise. It served as a temporary home until the domed Olympic Stadium was finished and made available to the Expos. The ballpark was typically called simply "Jarry Park" or Parc Jarry. The stadium hosted two National Football League preseason games in 1969; August 25 and September 11.
For the 1976 Summer Olympics, a total of twenty-seven sports venues were used. Several venues used had been in existence before Montreal made its first Olympic bid in the late 1930s. By the 1950s, Montreal's bid for the Olympics shifted from Winter to Summer before it was finally awarded the 1976 Summer Games in 1970. Strikes in 1974-5 affected construction of the Olympic Park, most notably the Stadium, Pool, and Velodrome, to the point where the FINA President threatened to not have the diving, swimming, and water polo events take place there for the games in early 1976 though all three venues were completed as best as possible prior to the 1976 Games. 27 swimming world records were set as a result. The oldest stadium, Molson Stadium at McGill University, would be converted into artificial turf for the field hockey tournaments while the sailing program in Kingston, Ontario would be held in freshwater, both for the first time in Summer Olympic history. Indoor track cycling took place at the Olympics for the first time at the velodrome. Once the Olympics finished, the Montreal Expos and Montreal Alouettes moved into Olympic Stadium, staying until 2004 and 1997, respectively. The Montreal Canadiens remained at the Montreal Forum until they moved to the Molson Centre in March 1996. In 1992, the velodrome was converted into an indoor zoo now known as the Montreal Biodôme. Île-Notre Dame hosted a canoe sprint world championships and two rowing world championships since the 1976 Games, but the area north of the basin on the island has been host to the Formula One Canadian Grand Prix on an almost annual basis since 1978.