Montreal's Olympic Stadium roof replacement is delayed until 2024

February 12, 2019

Officials say the completion date for the planned $250 million roof replacement on Montreal's Olympic Stadium is being delayed a year to ensure they get it right after various failed roofs, according to

"The first two roofs did not work," says Maurice Landry, in charge of construction and maintenance for the Régie des installations olympiques (RIO). "This one must work."

In 2017, the Quebec government approved the budget for a new roof to be installed by 2023, leaving Montreal ample time before the city hosts some of the 2026 World Cup matches; that deadline now is pushed to 2024.

Landry says although RIO will try to respect the budget and the schedule, the focus for the stadium's next roof must be quality.

The Olympic Stadium did not have a roof when the 1976 Olympics were held because the tower meant to hold it up was not finished. The Kevlar® roof, designed to be retractable, was not installed until 1987. It ripped so often that by 1992, a decision was made to always keep the roof closed.

The Kevlar roof was permanently removed in 1998; the stadium was an open-air venue for several months before a non-retractable, opaque roof was installed. The second roof ripped 7,453 times between 2007 and 2017.

Landry says research is being done regarding the possibility of a third retractable roof, which would allow real grass to grow on the field. Gerkan, Marg and Partners, a German company that specializes in constructing stadiums, is working with RIO officials to find the best solution that fits the budget. Additionally, it is imperative the final plan does not detract from French architect Roger Taillibert's original design.

Another goal is to ensure the stadium can be used year-round; currently, it closes for security reasons when more than 3 centimeters of snow accumulates on the roof.