Premier François Legault believes it is time that we stop seeing a negative symbol when we look at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium. He wants to restore its reputation, even if he knows that the operation will be costly.
Last July, the Société de développement et de mise en valeur du Parc olympique announced that it would have to replace the technical ring of the imposing building in order to be able to install a new roof.
However, an operation of this scale will explode the costs of an already complex project that has been constantly postponed for many years.
This news has rekindled the debate on the real relevance of replacing the roof of the stadium, whose wrinkles linked to the passage of time are increasingly difficult to hide.
During a press scrum held Monday evening on the sidelines of the launch of a book on the career of hockey player Mike Bossy, Legault was clear: a new roof must be installed on the Olympic Stadium.
“My challenge with the Olympic Stadium is that we go from a negative symbol to a positive symbol,” he explained, noting in passing that the stadium enclosure and its inclined tower are among the icons that make the metropolis shine internationally.
“There are lots of French people, among others, who want to see the Olympic Stadium when they come to Montreal. It takes a roof and we are looking at different scenarios,” the premier added.
The current roof has already passed the end of its useful life. In 2017, the Liberal government of Philippe Couillard announced its replacement, at a cost of $200 to $250 million, with delivery in 2022.
In 2019, however, the deadline was postponed to 2024, considering “the complexity of the file.” This new timeline will not materialize either, and no new date has been set.
What is known, however, is that installing a new roof will cost hundreds of millions of dollars; and Legault is well aware of this.
“Yes, it will be expensive, but I think it is important that the Olympic Stadium has a roof,” he insisted.
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