This site was the home of both LeLacheur Park and Laurier Park. Scroll down to read about Laurier Park.
|Team: Lowell Spinners||Affiliate: Boston Red Sox|
|League: New York - Penn League||Dimensions: LF 337 CF 400 RF 302|
|Surface: grass||Year Built: 1998|
|Capacity: 5,000 (with standing room)||Cost: $13 million|
If I needed to give this stadium a nickname, it would be "The Great Disappointer". The stadium is located next to UMass Lowell, home of the River Hawks. The stadium is located in a revitalized warehouse district. Even though it was built in 1998, it blends in with the environment. You walk up the stairs an look around, everything is nicely designed and made of brick. You can see the Merrimack River over the left field wall and the rustic looking Aiken Street Bridge over right. Then you get let down. You see very long lines at all the concession booths. As you wait in line, you realize that there is no covering if it starts to rain. I mean none, not even the concourse is covered. Also, the seats are rather small and the seating bowl is aluminum, which makes it feel cheap. Then to add to the cheap feeling, the scoreboard has pretty much no video capabilities and poor resolution. The sound system is terrible. It feels almost like half a baseball stadium.
Edward A. LeLacheur was the legislature that basically got this park for both the University of Massachusetts Lowell and the Spinners, originally from Elmira, NY.
When the Elmira team first moved to Lowell, they were playing at Alumni Field, a high school stadium on the Chelmsford line.
One of the good things about the stadium is that if they did want to expand the park, which someday could become a possibility since they sell out every game, it wouldn't be that hard to rip out the seating bowl to add more seats and there is also room for bleacher seating.
|Cost: $50,000||Capacity: 3,500|
|Dimensions: LF 297 CF 310 RF 275||Opening Day: May 17, 1933|
Valere "Vic" Lecourt, president of the Laurier Social Club, purchased a franchise in the New England League and had decided not to make some of the same mistakes that the previous Lowell franchises made. He built this park during the Great Depression. This park was located more conveniently to working folks to come by after they were done with their day. As you can tell by the dimensions, this was a very cozy park. Even though there was a ten foot outfield fence and a ten foot screen was put on top of the fence, it still didn't really help. In the summer of 1933, the Lauriers hit 148 home runs in 95 games, 95 more than the next best hitting power team. The only complaint the batters had was that the sun set over the centerfield fence, into the eyes of the batters, sometimes resulting in "sun delays."
In 1934, Lecourt had managed to fill in some of the river and expand his park. The home run total would fall from 148 to 44 in the season. On June 8, 1934, the first night game in Lowell was played. The Northeastern League folded after the 1934 season, as the league's president, and owner of multiple clubs, Roger Baker, was sentenced for embezzlement. With no league to play in, Lecourt folded his team. Laurier Park was torn down a few years later. An automobile junkyard took over the site, followed by a supermarket. When Lowell Technological Institute expanded to become UMASS Lowell, they turned the supermarket into a research center. Eventually, LeLacheur Park, took over the site.
Much of this information was gathered from an article written by Chaz Scoggins.
© 2003-17 Paul Healey. Aerial picture © its owner. Used without permission.