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$870M ;for the new roof of the Olympic Stadium

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A view of the interior of the Olympic Stadium following the work that will be carried out there to replace the canvas and the technical ring.

  • Stéphane Bordeleau (View profile)Stéphane Bordeleau

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Quebec plans to invest $870 million to replace the roof of the Montreal Olympic Stadium which has reached its useful life. François Legault's government opts for a structure that will be fixed and rigid.

The announcement was made Monday morning in Montreal by the Minister of Tourism, Caroline Proulx, who was accompanied for the occasion by her colleague from Social Solidarity and Community Action, Chantal Rouleau, and the CEO of the Olympic Park Development and Enhancement Corporation, Michel Labrecque.


The technical concrete ring will be replaced by a transparent glass ring which will let light into the immense structure built for the 1976 Olympic Games.

The new fixed structure which is promised to be light and modern will be supported 75% by the stadium mast and 25% by the 38 consoles which will complete the new structure.

Photo album: Works of 870 M$ at the Olympic Stadium

The central part of the roof made of steel and elastomer, which is promised to be light and durable, will be supported 75% by the stadium mast and 25% by the 38 consoles that make up the structure existing roof.

The technical concrete ring will be replaced by a transparent glass ring which will let light into the roof. immense structure which this year celebrates the 48th anniversary of its opening in 1976 for the Montreal Olympic Games.

Construction of the new structure, with a useful lifespan of around fifty years, is expected to take around four years. The work will be carried out thanks to the decisive participation of major Quebec companies, notably Pomerleau-Canam, specified Minister Proulx.

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This characteristic element will become the largest window on the sky in Montreal, making it possible to flood the enclosure of daylight or to offer the public a view of the starry night and thus to honor the idea of ​​its designer, Mr. Roger Taillibert, promises the Ministry of Tourism in a press release.

These 870 million, which are added to the investments of recent years to boost the Olympic Park sector, should, according to Quebec forecasts, bring in $1.5 billion in economic benefits over 10 years, at a rate of $150 million per year. year. Current revenues from the Stadium are around 68 million per year.

The amphitheater currently hosts around thirty events per year. We want to bring this total to nearly 150 and thus double the number of paying visitors to 2.1 million per year.

Québec hopes to add An additional $20 million in tax revenue each year in its coffers, if all goes according to plan.

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The first removable canvas of the Olympic Stadium, made of Kevlar, was installed in 1987. It was replaced in 1998 by a fixed canvas due to its excessive fragility.

The current roof made of fiberglass and Teflon fabric, which has more than 20,000 tears sustained over its many years of service, must be replaced in the short term, according to the Quebec government. And when we say short term, we are talking about months here.

We are facing a significant process of degradation and end of useful life of the roof. The status quo is just not possible. If nothing is done, within a year or two at best, it will be necessary to dismantle the roof, winterize the Stadium and lead to a definitive and complete closure.

A quote from Caroline Proulx, Minister of Tourism of Quebec

The current fixed canvas of 18,600 square meters which covers the Stadium was installed by the firm Birdair in 1998, replacing the old removable Kevlar canvas installed in 1987 which had to be replaced before the end of its useful life in due to too many tears. The Birdair canvas had also suffered significant tears, notably in 1999, shortly after its installation, during the Auto Show.

As the Stadium is the only amphitheater that can accommodate more than 50,000 people in Quebec, the Legault government is ruling out its destruction, which would have cost more than $2 billion, according to preliminary estimates.

The presence in particular of the Montreal metro which passes under the structure would make its destruction particularly difficult, which would have to be carried out stone by stone, according to the expression used by Minister Proulx. And that's without counting the costs of rehabilitating the land, which would become a gigantic open-air hole.

Our government wants the Olympic Stadium to once again become a positive symbol for the metropolis and for all of Quebec. Replacing your roof means ensuring its operation all year round and thus creating new opportunities for holding trade shows, fairs, congresses, sporting events and large-scale shows.

The Olympic Stadium enclosure has been closed since mid-December to allow exploratory work to replace the roof. The decision notably forced CF Montreal to move its opening match to Stade Saputo in April.

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