‘Removable roof not apt for Olympic Stadium’

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Canada Montreal Olympic Stadium roof renovation Image: Montreal Olympic Stadium

The Olympic Park (Canada) is working overtime to replace the stadium roof. The team in charge of the project is presently preparing the business case with support from the Quebec Infrastructure Society and the Ministry of Tourism.

The 66,308-capacity Olympic Stadium is a multipurpose stadium in Montreal, Canada, located at Olympic Park in the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve district of the City. After the 1976 Summer Olympics held in Montreal, artificial turf was installed and it became the home of Montreal’s professional baseball and football teams.

The ‘Parc Olympique’ website stated that in May 2020, the only organization who submitted an application during the Call for Qualification (QA) is the Pomerleau-Canam Group (GPC).

A statement on the ‘Parc Olympique’ website read, “Although we would have liked more companies or groups of companies to come forward, the application submitted by GPC was deemed compliant and also obtained a sufficient score, thus allowing it to be invited to participate in the Call for Proposals. We are still in discussions with the Government regarding the scenarios surrounding the QA outcome.”

To date, the installation of the new roof is still scheduled for the year 2024, as indicated in the preliminary schedule. According to the agreed process, the reference schedule for the project will be included in the Business Case, which must get the green light from the Government.

In addition, supported by experts in the field, a study was carried out on the feasibility of a partially removable roof for the stadium and a conclusion was arrived at that although such a roof is plausible, it is an exercise which has not been carried out elsewhere in the world and will therefore depend on unproven techniques. This would add technical risks relating to reliability, tightness and durability.

Roof quality has always been accorded top priority by the Olympic Park authorities and since very few events were held al fresco, the need for a partially removable roof did not hold water. A fixed roof is the best proposition and it also corresponds to Olympic Park’s operational needs.

Almost 98 percent of the targeted events (sporting events, concerts, shows, shoots, fairs, exhibitions, etc.) in Olympic Park’s post-roof business plan are not open-air events, or even occasionally. The priority is to boast a functional roof that can withstand the Montreal climate well in order to leverage the use of the Olympic Stadium the whole year through.

The ultimate objective is to provide the venue with a sturdy roof facilitating it to hold events the whole year through as was declared in 2017 when the Opportunity File was submitted. The new roof will be translucent in nature in order to let in natural light.

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