Montreal Alouettes

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Missing image
Montreal Alouettes logo

The Montreal Alouettes (French, Alouettes de Montréal) refers to a team in the Canadian Football League based in Montreal, Quebec.

This article also generally covers the history of Montreal's CFL history, including the current club's early history when it played in Baltimore, Maryland. The CFL considers all clubs which have played in Montreal as one in their league records, including those of the Montreal Concordes and the Baltimore Stallions, which relocated to become the current Alouettes club in 1996.

Founded: Original club founded as Montreal Alouettes in 1946. Original Alouette club ceased operations following 1981 season and replaced by a new team, the Montreal Concordes, which played from 1982 to 1985. The Concordes were rechristened the "new" Alouettes for the 1986 season, but ceased operations days before the 1987 season was to start. Following the 1995 season, the Baltimore Stallions franchise was relocated to Montreal to become the third team to take the Alouettes name.
Formerly known as: Montreal Concordes (1982-1986), Baltimore Football Club (1994), Baltimore Stallions (1995).
Home stadium: McGill Molson Stadium for regular season, Olympic Stadium for playoff games
Uniform colours: Blue, red and silver
Helmet design: Silver background with a blue "A" and a charging lark holding a football
Eastern regular season championships: 13 -- 1946, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1974, 1977, 1979, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004
Grey Cup appearances: 13 -- 1949 (won), 1954 (lost), 1955 (lost), 1956 (lost), 1970 (won), 1974 (won), 1975 (lost), 1977 (won), 1978 (lost), 1979 (lost), 2000 (lost), 2002 (won), 2003 (lost)

Franchise history

The Alouettes were first formed in 1946. They named themselves after the famous work song "Alouette" (about plucking various parts of a lark), which has become a light-hearted symbol of the Québécois. (Similarly the RCAF's 425 Bomber Squadron, mostly Québécois, during the Second World War assumed the lark as its badge and the motto "Je te plumerai" -- I shall pluck you.) From 1968 to 1976 they played in the Autostade stadium.

Montreal Concordes logo

Montreal Concordes

The original Alouettes franchise folded after the 1981 CFL season, but were immediately replaced by a new club for 1982, the Montreal Concordes, owned by Canadian mogul Charles Bronfman. In 1986 the team attempted to embrace its predecessor's history and regenerate flagging fan interest by rebranding itself the "new" Montreal Alouettes, but mounting financial losses caused the second team to fold days before the 1987 season started.

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Baltimore Stallions logo

The Current Alouettes

The Baltimore Football Club was granted an expansion franchise for 1994 by the Canadian Football League. Originally intending to invoke the spirit of the city's former NFL club, the team attempted to brand themselves the "Baltimore Colts." The NFL filed suit and won an injunction, both prohibiting the team from use of the "Baltimore Colts" name as well as that of their next choice, the "Baltimore CFL Colts." The team would use the name "Baltimore Football Club" for its inaugural season, becoming the "Baltimore Stallions" for 1995.

The team was wildly successful by CFL standards both on the field and off, garnering persistent fan support in the Baltimore area and appearing in the Grey Cup in both seasons (losing in 1994, winning in 1995). But in late 1995, Cleveland Browns owner Art Modell announced his intention to relocate his NFL club to Baltimore, where they would be rechristened as the Ravens. Stallions owner Jim Speros, realizing that despite the fan loyalty generated by his team that it could not compete with the NFL, decided to move the club.

The team relocated to Montreal for the 1996 season, becoming the third rendition of the Montreal Alouettes. In 1997, Jim Speros sold the team to Robert Wettenhall, and former Alouette star and CFL Commissioner Larry Smith became President of the club. The new Alouettes franchise played their first two seasons at Olympic Stadium, but attendance in the domed stadium was very poor and the long term prospects for the franchise were once again uncertain, until a twist of fate revitalized the floundering club.

When a scheduled U2 concert conflicted with an unexpected home play-off game against the B.C. Lions (due to the CFL's curious 'cross-over' playoff format in some years), the team decided to temporarily return to its old home at Molson Stadium. Interest in the team soared and the game was sold out, prompting the team to permanently relocate to the smaller venue beginning with the 1998 season. Since 1999, the Alouettes have sold out every game at the stadium, located on the McGill University campus.

The team has not completely abandoned Olympic Stadium, however. The Alouettes soon resumed playing playoff games (a regular feature in recent seasons) at the "Big O" and as of 2004 play one regular season game at the larger venue. These matches have been well attended.

Prior to every Sunday home game, the club plays Sunday Bloody Sunday over the PA system in tribute to the unintended role U2 played in saving the franchise.

Players of note

Canadian Football Hall of Famers

Current stars

External links

Template:CFLeo:Aluetoj de Montrealo fr:Alouettes de Montréal


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