The olympic Stadium that is complementary to a stadium in the city centre?

News 22 March, 2018
  • Benoît Rioux

    Thursday, 22 march, 2018 20:23

    Thursday, 22 march, 2018 20:23

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    The president and general manager of the Régie des installations olympiques (RIO), Michel Labrecque, has surprised more than one by imagining that the olympic Stadium could one day become a complementary stage to the centre of the city in the event the return of a team in major league baseball in Montreal. The RIO suggests as well a possible partnership.

    “The protagonists of the return of baseball to Montreal tell us that they need a new stadium in the city centre, but these same promoters have need of the olympic Stadium before, during and after”, he advanced, with his customary dynamism.

    Labrecque observes, correctly, that the olympic Stadium is already used to demonstrate the popularity of baseball in Montreal with preseason matchups, such as those of Monday and Tuesday. But what is it to “during” and “after” the grant of a club?

    “If Montreal gets a franchise, they will play where the first few years? There will not be simultaneously a stage in the center of town and a team. We can also imagine, once the team would be at the center of the city, that a playoff game could be presented here in front of 60,000 or 65,000 people.”

    The olympic Stadium, partner of an open-air stadium in the city centre? For the first few games of the season (until the snow melts), or for meetings throughout the playoffs. This is a scenario that very few people had imagined.

    One thing is for certain, team or not, the olympic Stadium will not be available for baseball during the summer of 2022, since it is during this year that is expected to change the roof.

    At least 50,000 believers

    More concretely, an estimated 50,000 fans expected to converge to the olympic Stadium, in the beginning of next week, to see a little bit of baseball.

    According to Jacques Aubé, executive vice-president and chief operating officer for evenko, it is necessary to speak of”success” in the circumstances.

    “We will head to 25 000 per day, he estimated Thursday. There is a game that is already approaching this figure, but the other is more remote.”

    In this vein, mr. Aubé open to to re-introduce baseball games on week over the next few years, if such are the possibilities. By the way, this agreement between the Toronto Blue Jays and evenko is still valid to 2019.

    Lack of commitment to Guerrero

    The great disappointment for evenko this year : the absence of the former player of the Expos ‘ Vladimir Guerrero, that we would have honor before one of the two games.

    “We have not been able to get him,” said Aubé, explaining the situation by poor communication with his agent and a lack of commitment on the part of Guerrero.