Tired of subsidizing Olympic Stadium to the tune of $19 million a year, the provincial panel overseeing it has appointed a citizens committee to map the future of the former Montreal Expos home, but tearing it down isn’t an option — yet.
The committee is headed by Lise Bissonnette, regarded as somewhat of a rising star in Montreal nonprofit circles. The committee is charged with mapping a future for the stadium, a cutting-edge facility that never reached its economic potential and has pretty much been a money pit since opening for the 1976 Olympics. Plagued by mechanical failures and cost overruns, the facility is infrequently used, lacks a major sporting tenant (the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes also bailed) and lacks a plan for the future.
So the committee will be looking at solutions for increasing the facility’s bottom line, but privatization or demolition won’t be on the table. Yet; we expect the discussion to expand at some point to those options. Olympic Stadium sits on some pretty valuable land, and at some point any realistic discussion will balance the worth of the property versus the revenue generated by the stadium.
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