Canada: Olympic Stadium with new problems. The reason is the roof

source:; author: Maciek Ściłba

Canada: Olympic Stadium with new problems. The reason is the roof The issue of roofing The Big O has risen to political prominence. It has become a priority for the Quebec provincial government as it has begun to complicate life for users of the country's largest facility.


The Big O urgently needs a new roof

Montreal's Olympic Stadium is an arena of special significance to Canada. It's not just its incredibly rich history of hosting the 1976 Summer Olympics, but also the fact that the venue is used by soccer, baseball and football teams. It is also known for concerts by world music superstars – the legendary Metallica performed there in 2023 as part of their M72 world tour. It is for this reason that the problem with the structure's roof, which is worsening month by month, is a huge concern of those responsible for its operation.

Worst of all is the issue of the cracked and leaking membrane sheathing. Time has done its work and, 36 years after installation, a major overhaul is needed. The fixings also need to be replaced. In addition, it has come to light in recent months that the concrete ring on which the roof rests also needs to be renovated. This has caused the estimated cost of replacing these elements to rise significantly. Initially, it was said that the price tag for the planned work would be between $200 million-250 million. The expenditure estimate for this was developed in 2017 and did not take into account the fact that works would also be needed within the aforementioned ring.

Olympic Stadium (The Big O)© Alex Drainville (cc: by-nc)

Montreal's Olympic Stadium must be closed

The deteriorating condition of the canopy has meant that CF Montréal's MLS team will not be able to use The Big O to play their opening home game of the upcoming season in April 2024. We already know that the meeting will take place at Stade Saputo, with the Canadian team's opponent being FC Cincinnati. The league authorities have taken into account that the initial plan was to use the Olympic Stadium, so CF Montréal will not play their first home game until the 7th round, on April 14, 2024.

However, the local authorities have decided not to sit on their hands and have taken steps related to restoring the use of Canada's largest stadium. Quebec provincial premier François Legault has been involved, stressing the need to deal with the problem quickly. A final inspection of the roof is due to take place in January, which will lead to a new cost estimate for replacing the most damaged elements. Canadian media speculate that the estimated price of the work could rise to as much as $750 million. The news that up to 20,000 holes in the sheathing were found to be leaking water during the first inspection is not a positive sign.

Olympic Stadium (The Big O)© Guy Plante