Montréal’s Olympic Stadium Is Getting Fixed Up Again


Public money is again being poured into fixing the flawed venue.

Here we go again. Taxpayers are putting up money to repair the roof at Montréal’s Olympic stadium. Politicians in Montréal and Québec are dealing with an old problem, a problem that helped end the run of the Major League Baseball’s Expos in Montréal. The 48-year-old Olympic Stadium still has an issue with its roof, a retractable roof that seemingly has never worked. There will be new roof renovations including the dismantling of the existing roof, replacing the technical ring that holds the entire stadium structure together and building a new roof. The cost may be as much as $870 million Canadian or about $643 million US. The renovation of the building will not get MLB to return to Montréal because MLB left Montréal in 2004 due to the stadium. It is not MLB worthy. MLB will consider going back to Montréal if there is an owner with deep pockets and there is another condition.

Montréal and the Province of Québec need to come up with a plan and funding to build a new baseball stadium. Given the arms race going on between municipalities in the United States to provide public funding for a private business venue it may be hard for any Canadian city to compete for a franchise given the disparity in the currency between the United States and Canada. The Canadian dollar is worth around 74 cents US and is slightly up from previous  lows. Québec Premier François Legault said the stadium needed a new roof and added the venue needed a new lease on life, even though the repairs might be costly. “My challenge with the Olympic Stadium is to turn it from a negative symbol into a positive one.” The Olympic Stadium has had problems since the day it opened in 1976 and remains a negative symbol.

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A new roof is coming.