Interesting Facts About Montreal Olympic Stadium

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Built for the 1976 Olympic Games, the Montreal Olympic Stadium has become the largest stadium in Canada. This largest amphitheatre in Quebec is a massive, monumental, and multisport complex, that has been captivating visitors around the world.  

The first match at the stadium was the final 1976 Olympic Games, where East Germany beat Poland, with over 70,000 fans watching the match. After that, Montreal struggled to establish a successful local football club due to financial issues, so the stadium mostly held American football and baseball. 

The stadium facilitates many special events, including concerts and trade shows. It hosts Major League Soccer matches of the Canadian professional soccer team, Club de Foot Montreal. Also, it provides an annual spring training series for the Toronto Blue Jays.  

Let’s explore this historical stadium with its unique design and appeal, which draws many visitors and becomes a valuable public asset.  

Unique Design 

Montreal hosted the 1976 Summer Olympics, as reported in 1970. Montreal mayor John Drapeau recruited Frech architect Roger Taillibert to build Montreal’s Olympic Stadium in 1973. 

The design was unique among traditional Olympic stadiums, with a cantilevered tower and retractable roof. The main structure uses 34 cantilevered concrete, meaning the stadium does not lie on the ground. The roof opens in the summer and closes in the winter. Additionally, the mayor wanted to build a monumental tower along with the stadium. Later, the stadium obtained a nickname the “Big O” due to its circular shape seen from above. 

The Montreal Olympic Stadium has become the centre of the Olympic Park complex, located in the middle of sports facilities, attractions, venues, and museums in Montreal’s East End. It provides a 56,000-seat and a series of 4,000-car capacity parking garages. It also connects to the Pie-IX Metro Station. 

The stadium also features the world’s tallest inclined tower. It is attached to the Olympic Stadium with 175 meters (626 feet) and a 45-degree tilt. The tower has a 145,000-tonnes mass attached to its base as deep as 10 meters (33 feet) below ground. Montreal Tower attractsalmost 2.5 million visitors each year, featuring impressive views of Montreal. 

Surrounded by a collection of ecosystem-focused museums, such as the Biodome, Planetarium, Botanical Garden, and Insectarium, the Olympic Stadium is enriched with added value. 

Multifunctional Venue

The Olympic Stadium has served as the venue for numerous prestigious events. Among the notable occasions hosted at the stadium are major athletic competitions, the final football match, and the final equestrian (jumping match). It also held the 1979 IAAF World Cup in athletics and the 2017 Artistic Gymnastic World Championship. 

Additionally, the stadium hosts Major League Soccer for the CF Montreal (formerly known as Montreal Impact), a professional soccer team in Montreal, and other soccer clubs. 

This Olympic Stadium has hosted significant soccer matches, such as the 1982 NASL playoffs quarterfinal, the inaugural match of the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup, the 2012 season home opener for Major League Soccer (MLS), the quarterfinals and final of the 2015 CONCACAF Champions League, and the semifinals of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

In Montreal, the fervor for major sports events, including playoffs and championships, is a unifying force that captivates a diverse audience, many of whom are avid sports betting enthusiasts. Sports betting is a legal and accessible activity in Canada, offering a variety of betting options, ranging from traditional in-person wagers to the dynamic world of inplay football betting

This integration of a sports-loving community and the availability of diverse betting opportunities contributes to the lively and engaging sports culture in Montreal.

Expensive cost for a greater value  

In 1969, Montreal set the budget to build its stadium at CA$120 million. Then, the budget was adjusted to $320 million in 1972. However, the stadium had run up the cost of $795.4 million by August 1976, with a total of $3.59 billion in 2021. As a result, the stadium became the most expensive in the history of the modern Olympics. 

In 2006, the stadium costs increased to $1.61 billion, making it the most expensive stadium at that time. From 2009 to 2017, the cost of maintenance and new projects at the Olympic Park reached $279 million, adding a total of $1.7 billion. The figure was indexed to the 2017 consumer price index, equal to $5.2 billion. 

All the amount has made Montreal’s East End home to significant public assets for 42 years until now. It took 40 years for Montreal to host the Games after an unsuccessful bid for the 1928 Winter Games. 

Last Updated on by Sanjana

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