Percival Molson Memorial Stadium

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Percival Molson Memorial Stadium
Stade Percival-Molson
Montreal Neurological Institute.jpg
The Montreal Neurological Institute wraps around one end of Molson Stadium.
Location Montreal, Quebec
Owner McGill University
Capacity Canadian football: 25,012[1]
Surface FieldTurf 2004 to present
Astroturf 1976 to 2003
Grass 1919 to 1975
Construction
Opened October 25, 1919
Construction cost $100,000 (approx.)
($1.26 million in 2014 dollars[2])
Renovations: $29.4 million
($31 million in 2014 dollars[2])
Total cost:
C$31.4 million in 2012 dollars
Architect Percy Erskine Nobbs
Tenants
Montreal Alouettes (CFL) (1947-1967, 1998-present)
McGill Redmen (CIS)

Percival Molson Memorial Stadium (also known in French as Stade Percival-Molson; commonly referred to as Molson Stadium in English or Stade Molson in French) is an outdoor football stadium located downtown on Mount Royal in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Named in honour of Percival Molson, it is owned by McGill University and is home to the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League in 1947 until 1967 and from 1998 to present and the McGill Redmen of the Quebec University Football League. The Selwyn House Gryphons high-school football team also play their home games at the stadium. The stadium has a capacity of 25,012, the result of a renovation project begun in 2009 that increased capacity from the previous 20,202.

History[edit]

Montreal Alouettes cheerleaders entertain the crowd during a timeout in a game against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on July 6, 2006, at Molson Stadium.
Football practice in 1941

Construction was completed in 1914 on what was then known as McGill Graduates stadium, which was located on the slope of Mount Royal, at the corner of University and Pine (avenue Des Pins). The stadium sat dormant through World War I with the cessation of football from 1914 to 1918. On July 5, 1917, Captain Percival Molson (1880-1917), a McGill University alumnus and sports star who had been instrumental in getting the stadium plan approved, was killed in action in France (Molson is the great-grandson of brewer John Molson). His will left $75,000 to the university to help pay most of the total costs for the completion of the stadium. Other individual donors whose generosity built and renovated the stadium were William C. Macdonald and John W. McConnell. Designed by Percy Erskine Nobbs,[3] the stadium was officially dedicated as McGill Graduates' Stadium at an intercollegiate track meet on October 22, 1915. It was renamed Percival Molson Memorial Stadium on October 25, 1919 by the university's Board of Governors, in honour of their fallen hero.

The Montreal Alouettes have played most of their home games at Percival Molson Memorial Stadium, located on the campus of McGill University, since November 1997. Until 2007, they played their last home regular season game at the Olympic Stadium. Any playoff games are played at the Olympic Stadium. Percival Molson stadium is also home of the Selwyn House Gryphons[4] and the McGill Redmen football and rugby teams. It was the home of the CFL Montreal Alouettes from 1947 to 1967. The only Grey Cup game to have been played at Molson Stadium was in 1931. Nevertheless it was the first time the Grey Cup had been contested outside of Ontario. It also served as a venue for field hockey, during the 1976 Summer Olympics.[5] It seated 20,202 and had been sold out for Alouettes games from August 12, 1999 until the 2009 renovation.[6]

The Alouettes' decision to return to the venue was problematic because the team was being sponsored by the Labatt Brewing Company and the stadium shared the name of its major competitor, Molson, though not named for it. Eventually, the team chose to change sponsors, and have since been sponsored by Molson. In 2004, The Alouettes installed a FieldTurf surface at Molson Stadium which is still in use.

Renovation[edit]

Molson Stadium has been renovated and expanded, adding nearly 5,000 seats in time for the 2010 CFL season.[7] The project to see the smallest CFL stadium increase to a seating capacity of 25,012 cost $29.4 million.[8] Eleven rows were removed from the south side of the stadium to construct a second tier and add the majority of the new seats, about 3,800. Also, temporary bleachers in the east end-zone were replaced with 1,500 permanent seats, a new section was added to the northeast corner, and 19 new private suites were constructed. The cost of the renovations were shared by the Quebec government ($19.3 million), the city of Montreal ($4 million), and Robert Wetenhall, the Alouettes' owner ($6,023,935).[9][10][11]

Layout[edit]

Because the playing surface is surrounded by a running track, the full 65-yard width of the end zones is not available at the two end lines. However, the full width is available for more than half of each end zone, with the only missing pieces being the relatively small bits off the corners. This setup is not uncommon in Canadian football due to the 20 yard endzones.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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Media[edit]

Coordinates: 45°30′36.3″N 73°34′50.4″W / 45.510083°N 73.580667°W / 45.510083; -73.580667