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The wait will have been worth it. Stade Quillorama hosted a professional baseball game on Tuesday night for the first time in almost two years. The local team was composed of players from Aigles de Trois-Rivières and Capitales de Québec. Together they form the Quebec team. When the team scored points against the Tri-City ValleyCats, the crowd was heard. Despite a loss of 13-7, the energy was palpable.
THEthe supporters came in large numbers. They were around 2000, which is almost the stadium’s maximum capacity during a pandemic.
Mario Dubé came from Drummondville to attend the meeting. He does not consider himself a regular here, but says that he likes to follow Équipe Quebec on the radio from time to time. “I have been there before when my boy played at a lower level. We had come here to play the summer provinces. I like the stadium, it’s a beautiful stadium […]. We have said that we wanted to come for a long time. […] Tonight it lent itself well. “
For her part, Marie-Claude Gauvin is faithful at Quillorama Stadium. It even has season tickets and a reserved seat. Her heart belongs to the Eagles, but she still appreciates the formula that includes players from the capital. – As long as we have a team. If it’s with Quebec, it does not bother me at all. “
Mrs. Gauvin was accompanied on the occasion by James O’Grady. The latter said he was impatient to observe the dynamics between the Capitals and Eagles players over the coming season. “It will create a little competition for next year. The boys must have played together, and after the next year they will play against each other. It’s going to be fun! “
Finally, others were present by chance. Stéphane Messier was on a camping trip in the region. The man who lived on the South Shore of Montreal saw fit to take a detour through the stadium as soon as he was made aware that such an incident would take place. “I’m a baseball fan. Since Expos left, I’m crying, he says with a smile on his face. “If we like it, we’ll probably come back.”
The perfect scenario
The general manager of Aigles de Trois-Rivières, Simon Laliberté, was obviously very happy to welcome an audience after such a long time. “Having games at home will allow us to have the box a little fuller to end the year and come back strong next year.”
Mr. Laliberté believes that uniting the Eagles with the Capitals was the right thing to do. “Today we are lucky, it worked. We won our efforts […]. That’s the best possible scenario, that’s it or we did not play. “
The event on Tuesday night was the perfect time for the organization to fill up with new fans. Mr. Laliberté is talking about a “charm operation”. “We have a big event client tonight because it’s the first game,” he concludes.
The shadow of COVID-19
The Vice President and CEO of CIUSSS de la Mauricie-et-du-Center-du-Québec, Gilles Hudon, was in the stands. He also went on the field at the beginning of the evening. He was the one who made the minutes fall apart. The gesture was dedicated to the thousands of health professionals in the region who continue the fight to end the pandemic.
Le Nouvelliste questioned Mr Hudon before the start of the match about the current epidemiological situation in Trois-Rivières. Remember that the increase in new cases of COVID-19 is such that the region is now considered the epicenter of the pandemic in Quebec.
– It is clear that the current situation concerns us. The cases that have been declared positive are mainly […] inside bars in the center of Trois-Rivières. There have been no cases listed at gatherings like this yet, at least in the Mauricie-Center-du-Québec region. ”
He said he was convinced that the event was organized according to the rules of art. However, he invites the population to be careful. “If the number of cases continues to increase, there may be other restrictions that will eventually arise. […]. I think that the vaccination passport can be a very interesting solution, “he explains, remembering that this decision is up to the government.
Team Quebec meets Tri-City ValleyCats again Wednesday and Thursday. A total of ten other matches will be played in Trois-Rivières by 9 September.