Discussions continue about the possibility of a new roof at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium, as Olympic Installation Board officials move forward in planning the upgrade.
Originally constructed for the 1976 Summer Olympics, Olympic Stadium was home to the Montreal Expos from 1977-2004. The franchise relocated to Washington ahead of the 2005 season, becoming the Washington Nationals, but Olympic Stadium remains operational for annual MLB exhibitions featuring the Toronto Blue Jays, occasional home matches for MLS’s Montreal Impact, and a variety of other events.
In the coming years, a new roof could be installed over the facility, as the Olympic Installation Board took another step toward that project on Tuesday by releasing a call for bids. That action gives some insight into how the new roof could take shape, as it is not expected to be retractable but could be designed in a way that allows natural daylight to come into the venue. More from The Canadian Press:
According to the call, the stadium’s new roof will be partially dismantled to allow open-air events to be held. The call did say this feature would be an “option” and that “the technical feasibility at a reasonable cost must be clearly demonstrated for the board to decide to follow this path.”
The call invited interested firms to submit applications which include plans for the design, construction and maintenance of a new roof for the aging Big O. No information to the roof’s possible price tag was included….
To allow natural light to enter the board requires the new roof to include translucent sections. In a sketch a translucent band around the perimeter of the roof surrounded an opaque coating in the centre.
All previous indications have been that any replacement of Olympic Stadium’s roof will not affect the separate pursuit of a new Major League Baseball team and ballpark in Montreal, and nothing appears to have changed in that regard. Stephen Bronfman and his group have been making the rounds to propose a new ballpark as part of a larger redevelopment at the city’s Peel Basin, stepping up that effort after MLB opted this summer to grant the Tampa Bay Rays permission to explore a split-season arrangement that would involve new facilities in the Tampa Bay and Montreal markets.