Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Cap Stadium Ready

New Capilano Baseball Stadium Opening Friday
[Vancouver Daily Province, July 14, 1951, pg.19]
Vancouver’s new $550,000 baseball stadium opens Friday night.
The huge stadium, located at Thirtieth and Ontario, is an exactly replica of the ball park in Seattle, except for the seating capacity. Capilano Stadium will seat 7500, while Seattle has additional bleachers, but the Vancouver stadium has ample space to build additional stands if necessary.
The huge park, considered to be one of the finest in Canada, and the best in the Western International League, takes up 18 acres.
Distance from home plate to centre-field is 415 feet, and to the left and right-field fences is 335 feet, which compares favourably with any major league park in America.
A large electronically-lighted scoreboard has been installed on the top of the centre-field fence, and the operator will have telephonic communication with the press and scorer’s box back of home plate so he can register hits, runs and outs instantly.
There are six entrances and eight double-doored exits from the park. Large ramps connect the stands wit the main hall, where concession stands are located.
The main concession stand is 120 feet long and there are two other booths to be used for selling popcorn.
The popcorn stands have additional heating units installed so the merchandise will be piping hot at all times.
New innovations in the hot-dog stands include hot plates to give patrons a choice of boiled or fried hot fogs. Another innovation will be the sale of aspirins and other headache remedies, ideal when the home team is losing.
The park is surrounded with hard-surfaced roads and two of them, Midlothian and Melrose, have been recently built to facilitate movement of traffic.
The huge parking lot adjoining the stadium can accommodate 500 cars at present and when completed will hold 1400.
Bob Brown, manager of Capilano Stadium, said there will be 3500 rush grandstand seats and 2000 rush bleacher seats on sale when the park opens at 6:45 p.m. Friday. The 2000 box and reserved seats are already sold out.
Game time, when the league-leading Vancouver Capilanos meet Salem Senators, is set for 8:30, but official opening ceremonies are expected to start at 7:30.
New metal chairs have been installed in the boxes and other seats are comfortable wooden benches with folding seats.
In addition to the facilities for the public, there is a ladies’ lounge and press room, where the press can meet the managers of the teams, plus an umpires’ room and dressing rooms with showers.
Players will go direct from their dressing rooms to the dug-out via connecting tunnels.
Intercommunication systems connecting all parts of the building have been installed. Concessionaires will use this keep contact with the barkers to there will be no delay in bringing up new batches of hot dogs, etc.
Lighting of the ball diamond will be done with 265 1500-watt lights. Special swivel lights have also been installed on the poles to light up the parking lot.
Turf from the old stadium has been laid in the infield and new grass in the outfield is coming on rapidly.
Mr. Brown paid special praise to Park Superintendent Eugene Edlund and his gang of workmen, who succeeded in transferring the turf in three days and nights of hard work.
Plans for the stadium were started four years ago, but it wasn’t until last September that actual construction began.
Mr. Brown, general manager of the stadium, started his career in baseball here in 1910, and built the old park at Fifth and Fir in 1913. Mr. Brown, who has been connected with baseball for 51 years, came to the coast to play for Portland in the old North West League, which was succeeded by the Western International in 1937.

WILfan note: the picture is a shrunken scan of a photocopy of a photocopy of a newspaper photo. The roof was added in 1956 and the press box was lengthened (the box in the photo is the right side of the current box when viewed from centre field). The distance to centre has been cut a number of times, most recently in 2007. The Ladies Lounge is long gone and the Press Room, where yours truly spent many pleasant times, was eliminated in the mid-1990s.

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