Quebec commits to Montreal Olympic Stadium revamp



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Montreal Olympic Stadium (Quebec) Image: hybriddynamicmedia.com

The Quebec provincial government led by the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) party has committed to revamping Montreal’s Olympic Stadium after presenting a bill to reform management of the facility and install a new roof at the venue, according to media reports.

The stadium was opened in July 1976 for Montreal’s staging of the Summer Olympic Games that year. It has been long proposed that the 56,000-seater should have a new roof.

The Canadian provincial government’s new bill will see the Olympic Installations Board rebranded as the Societé de développement et de la mise en valeur du Parc Olympique, or Olympic Park.

The change is aimed at allocating more power to the agency to bid for major events, while also granting it the ability to sign its own contracts with other organisations and governments, in addition to long-term leases with suppliers and corporate entities.

Olympic Park will market the entire site housing the Olympic Stadium, including the venue’s iconic tower and the Biodôme and Saputo Stadium.

“It’s time we gave prestige and standing back to the Olympic Park and the Olympic Stadium. For too long it has been not loved or under-loved by Quebecers,” the Montreal Gazette newspaper quoted Tourism Minister Caroline Proulx as saying.

The project to install a new roof at the Olympic Stadium has been given added impetus by Montreal’s status as a host city for the joint staging of the 2026 FIFA World Cup, which will bring together Canada, the US and Mexico.

The cost of a new roof has previously been pegged at between 200-300 million Canadian dollar ($150-225 million approx..), and the Gazette noted that the CAQ government’s strong financial status places the project at an advantage when compared to previous attempts to complete it.

The plan is to have a new roof installed by 2024. “We will be working on replacing the roof, it is mandatory to change the roof,” Proulx said. “We will change the roof. The business plan will be tabled in the next few months.”

According to Canadian broadcaster CTV, the project will not impact on plans to develop a new baseball stadium in Montreal. Groupe de Montréal, an entity seeking to return a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise to the city, last week reached an agreement for a plot of land on which it is seeking to build a stadium.

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