I was fortunate enough to be part of an updated presentation on the Big O roof replacement this morning. At this stage much information is still confidential, as tendering is still ongoing, but this presentation (the third in as many years) really gave me confidence the project will be proceeding. Should start end of this year and complete November 2027 - April 2028.
As more details are available to be made to the public, I can update this thread. I hope to be working closely with this project through to completion.
But I would say for the first time I’m confident that this thing is going to get fixed - and correctly.
Ce que je sais, comme à peu près tout le monde, c’est qu’à l’heure actuelle, la démolition n’est plus dans les cartons. Elle coûterait plus cher que la réfection, à moins que Pitoune ne s’en charge à ses frais, mais dans ce cas, les dommages collatéraux seraient sans doute plus élevés.
Le problème de la démolition, c’est que le site est toujours un site très visité par les touristes et que Desjardins a un bail à long terme pour les locaux dans le mât. Comme c’est un tout qui se tient structurellement ensemble, il faut le garder dans son intégralité.
C’est une bonne nouvelle parce que jusqu’aux dernières annonces, aucun gouvernement ne voulait se commettre de quelque côté que ce soit (réfection, démolition). Maintenant que la mise en valeur du site fait partie de la mission de l’agence qui l’administre (ce n’était pas le cas de la RIO), celle-ci a les coudées plus franches pour travailler rondement.
Molson’s is a ‘cozier’ venue than the ‘Big O’ or ‘Commonwealth’ for that matter. Both those aging stadiums were built using government money in the 70’s which meant that a track (for track and field) had to surround the playing field. When IG Field was constructed here in Winnipeg the Feds dropped the track requirement and everyone here was happy they did.
This is not an ordinary “Chinese” stadium. Unless the Americans and Russians Nuke us, that Stadium is likely to be there as long as the Roman Coliseum.
A full refurbish as was done at BC Place can make this the greatest Stadium in Canada but it needs to be done right. By redoing the slope and seating plan to bring fans closer will also allow the widening of the concourses and allowing luxury suites and even offices to be built above ground. There has been insane level of advancement in lighting and Multi-media, acoustic absorbption and cancellation since the 60’s. I swear last time I went to the East Final there the speaker behind us was actually blown. All we could hear the entire game was Charlie Brown like mumbling, the speaker was visibly hanging out of the cone! Might also be the largest lamped Jumbotron left in operation in North America. It is like stepping back in time but not in a good way. I was lucky to be at the opening and closing ceremonies of the games in 1976 with the cranes still hung up and to see it so decrepit made me sad. The history of this stadium is great and sad at the same time. Saw the Pope speak to us kids there, countless concerts mostly with terrible sound. Sugar Ray Leonard and Roberto Duran. Hulk Hogan and Macho Man Randy Savage. Gary Carter and Pete Rose… Spent more time there during my youth than anywhere else save maybe Crescent and St-Denis But there it still stands still 15 million cubic feet of Concrete complete with almost 2 million sq feet of indoor parking space. Still to this day one of the most abitious building ever constructed.
It will stand forever, the Coloseum in Rome partially collapsed in an earthquake and they are constantly supporting it. A closer comparison would be the Pyramids in Cairo, nothing will bring them down.
But they could renovate it for baseball, Rogers is spending $350 Million to renovate the Rogers Centre, fewer seats but wider aisles, new seats, gathering areas above the outfield.
I attended a couple of games back in the 80s and the Grey Cup in 86, it was terrible for CFL football.
Could work but someone would need to get the team first … after the Centre Videotron fiasco, I think that governments (which would have to be involved) have learned their lesson about the “build it and they will come” approach … it might require a multi-year renovation plan, with the first season being played in the existing stadium … the biggest thing would be the commitment from the government to resolve the roof issue … personally I like the idea of several free-standing arches over the stadium supporting a new roof, so it doesn’t add to the stress on the existing stadium.