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  • Writer's picturePaul Baker

Stade Quillorama – Les Aigles de Trois-Rivieres


Photos by Paul Baker & Phil Selig, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.14

Stade Quillorama 1550 Avenue Gilles-Villeneuve Trois-Rivieres, QC G9A 5K8

Year Opened: 1938 Capacity: 4,500

 

La Maison du Baseball de Trois Rivieres


The Trois Rivieres Aigles (Three Rivers Eagles in English) began play in 2013 in the independent Can-Am League. Among the team’s initial owners were 2003 National League Cy Young Award winner Eric Gagne and Carolina Hurricanes defenceman Marc-Andre Bergeron. The team is named for the AA Eastern League affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds, who played in this same stadium from 1971-1977. Some notable players to play here during the days of the affiliated Aigles are Ken Griffey Sr., Dan Driessen, and Ray Knight.


The Can-Am League merged into the Frontier League for the 2020 season, with the Frontier League absorbing five of the six remaining Cam-Am League teams. Unfortunately, the Aigles were not able to play in 2020 & 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent US-Canada border closing. During the Aigles’ eight seasons of competition in the Can-Am/Frontier League, the team has qualified for the playoffs three times, winning the Can-Am League championship in 2015.


Stade Quillorama was built in 1938. The ballpark is located on the course of the Circuit Trois Rivieres, the site of the longest-running road race in North America, Le Grand Prix de Trois Rivieres. The ballpark, which was previously known as Stade Fernand-Bedard and Stade Stereo+, entered into a naming rights agreement with local bowling centre Quillorama in 2019.


Food & Beverage 3


There is only one concession stand at Stade Quillorama, so be prepared to spend a little bit of time in line, unless you plan your trip to get food very wisely.


The menu here consists of standard ballpark fare (well, standard ballpark fare for Quebec). Hungry Aigles fans can choose from hot dogs, chicken fingers, and pizza slices. But take a look beyond the basics to see where the menu gets interesting. Of course, since this is Quebec, you can pick up some poutine.


This appears to be the most popular food item served at Stade Quillorama and doesn’t appear to be a downsized ballpark version of poutine. In addition, items such as onion rings and garden salads are sold at this small concession stand. A selection of snacks, including popcorn, candy and chips are also available.


Coca-Cola products are featured at Stade Quillorama. On a hot Trois Rivieres summer night, fans may opt for a Slush Puppy instead. Fans looking for an adult beverage can choose from a decent selection of beers, including Les Aigles beer from local Archibald microbrewery. Fans wishing to skip the long lines of the main concession stand can head to one of two smaller bars, where drinks of all varieties are sold.


Atmosphere 3


Many visiting fans may feel intimidated in visiting Stade Quillorama due to the language barrier. Those who do not speak French need not fear, the city of Trois Rivieres is bilingual and fans will have no problem communicating with any of the staff or even most fans here in Trois Rivieres. The one exception may be with the PA announcements, which are done primarily in French. For most baseball fans, this should not affect their enjoyment of the action. There is a video board in left field and a simple scoreboard in center field which provide fans with game information.


Otherwise, the Aigles staff put on a typical minor league show, filled with between-inning games and contests, including standards such as the dizzy bat race. There is a mascot, a giant red bird named Grand Chelem (Grand Slam), who roams the stadium interacting with fans and participating in the on-field action. The mascot also dances on the field alongside some of the team’s interns to songs such as “Sweet Caroline.”


There are several different seating areas from which fans can take in the action, including field-level VIP tables, a party deck in left field, and a lounge featuring seats just beyond the shallow left-field fence. Even though Stadium Journey visited Stade Quillorama on a Tuesday night, there was a band in the party area performing before the game. This was the place to be during the game. Some fans prefer the deck at the top of the seating bowl on the first base side of the field, complete with tables and beer vending machines.



Neighbourhood 3


Stade Quillorama’s location is unique in that it is located on the Circuit Trois Rivieres, the site of the oldest road race course in North America, the Grand Prix de Trois Rivieres. Also located on the site are the Hippodrome 3R, Piscine de l’Expedition, and Trois Rivieres Coliseum. The entire complex is located on the eastern edge of Trois Rivieres, about a five-minute drive from Centre Ville.


Many view Trois Rivieres as a simple stop on the road between Quebec and Monteal, but the city is the second-oldest French settlement in North America. It contains a vibrant downtown area and several points of interest for fans visiting the area. Numerous bars and restaurants line Rue des Forges and Rue Notre-Dame. Other points of interest include the Quebec Museum of Popular Culture, the Borealis Paper Industry History Centre and the Old Prison of Trois-Rivieres. The ECHL’s Trois Rivieres Lions play in nearby Colisee Videotron.


Fans 2


The Aigles are averaging over 1,100 fans per game about halfway through the 2023 season. This figure marks a slight decrease from previous years, but crowds tend to increase throughout the season, so the Aigles should end up right around their typical average of 1,300 fans per game by season’s end. This figure puts them near the bottom of the Frontier League’s attendance rankings.


Despite their relatively small numbers, the Aigles are an integral part of Trois Rivieres community fabric and they have their share of dedicated fans. Many fans have been following the team since day one. One notable aspect of the crowd here is the relative lack of children here at Stade Quillorama. Fear not, this is a place where fans can be comfortable bringing the entire family.


Access 3


Stade Quillorama is located about five minutes from Centre-Ville Trois Rivieres, in a complex containing several other facilities. Route 40 runs about a mile from the ballpark.


Due to Stade Quillorama’s age, it can be quite difficult to get around the facility. The ballpark features a cramped entry plaza that contains the team store, a bar, a concession stand, and washrooms. Be prepared for long lines. Steep ramps and staircases lead to the seating bowl. Depending on where your seats are, you will need to navigate a maze of stairs, railings and walkways to get to your location. It can be confusing for first-time visitors, as well as difficult to navigate for fans requiring special access.


Many seats feature obstructed views due to the presence of support beams which hold up the roof. Fans who have visited McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket or Stade Canac in Quebec may get a familiar vibe from the setup.


Return on Investment 5


Tickets for Aigles games are affordable, with prices starting at $14 for general admission seats and maxing out at $25 for “prestige” seats. Purchasing tickets on the day of the game adds two dollars to the total cost. The majority of seats at Stade Quillorama can be had for under $20. Discounts are available for seniors, students, and children.


Parking is free in the lot adjacent to the ballpark, and concessions are reasonably priced. A night at an Aigles game is an affordable entertainment option for local sports fans.


Extras 3


An extra point is awarded for the display of retired numbers on the concourse, along with Matthew Rusch’s retired number 22 jersey hanging on the left field wall.


A second extra point is awarded for Stade Quillorama’s unique location in the middle of a Grand Prix racetrack. The road most fans take to the ballpark is part of the course. You can see the tire marks on the safety wall as you approach the stadium. The start/finish line is just a few metres from the ballpark’s front door.


A third extra point is awarded for the old-timey feel of Stade Quillorama. This is one of the oldest ballparks still in use in professional baseball.



Final Thoughts


Trois Rivieres will not be a destination considered by many baseball fans when planning a road trip. However, a trip to Quebec to see Stade Quillorama is a worthwhile stadium journey for any fan. This old-timey facility is a cozy place to catch a game, and the small city of Trois Rivieres is a unique destination to include on a ballpark road trip. Pair a visit to Stade Quillorama with a trip to its sister stadium Stade Canac for a nostalgic and entertaining weekend.


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Follow Paul Baker’s stadium journeys on Twitter and Instagram @PuckmanRI.

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