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.