First, the good news: there’s a great chance the FIFA World Cup is coming to Montreal in 2026.
And, the bad news: it’s going to cost between $200 and $300 million to fix the roof at Olympic Stadium.
Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard confirmed through Twitter that the Olympic’s Stadium lifelong problem of the non-retractable retractable roof will be fixed by the 2026 World Cup.
#ICYDK Olympic Stadium will look a little different come 2026! A planned renovation will include a new roof structure, upgrades to AV, new seating, and many other upgrades to make it one of the most up-to-date stadiums in North America. pic.twitter.com/lUrAQy6z6H
— Canada Soccer (@CanadaSoccerEN) June 9, 2018
Before Montrealers go crazy, let’s backtrack a bit and settle the fact that the roof renovations for the Olympic Stadium were announced in November of 2017. Montreal had already agreed to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into the Olympic Stadium’s constant roof problem before Montreal placed a bid on the 2026 World Cup.
The fact that Montreal won the joint bid with USA and Mexico to host the games, will help pay for the roof’s construction as the city expects the FIFA World Cup to generate close to $200 million for the city.
The Olympic Stadium was built in 1976 and it took Montrealers 40 years to pay off the $1.6 billion cost. Here’s hoping the city’s constant problem with the stadium’s roof doesn’t leave us in the red for four more decades.