Montreal Impact now trying to take "ownership" of the BigO

The Impact wants a new retractable roof and would like GRASS !

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Sounds like a good idea, but, where will the money come from?

Where do you think he wants it to come from ? They already don't pay any taxes for the stadium they built, they stole the Als practice field and in spite of promises to allow the Als there, nothing has ever come of it. They did millions in damages to the Big O when they piled their dirt from Saputo Stadium pilling it on top the stadium. City never billed them for damages !

Quebec is basically bankrupt, 3 billion dollar deficit with the highest taxes in North America and a crumbling infrastructure. But hey you never know, if they can build a 500 million dollar rink with public money with no tenant, should not be a problem to fix the BigO :cowboy:

Well all the internal political things aside it is about time. A city like Montreal the size, culture, without a proper enclosed venue is costing the city $$$. Saputo will at least be able to bring in international soccer events. Grey Cups will be back, ALs playoff games.
Even if Saputo did steal the Als practice field he will be smart enough to have big events like one of Grey cup or one or two off playoofs games in the CFL each year.
I guess it is sort of like Skydome and Rogers Center. Toronto city built it but did not want to spend for the upkeep so they unloded it.
Olympic was built in mid 70's and as mentioned if the province OK's a 500million NHL Arena why not 100 million on a new roof or 200 million for other upgrades and then let Saputo bring events of National and international to Montreal for money from tourist. Grey Cups are at well over 100 million for host cities revenue and growing

Not knowing anything about the Impact I looked them up on line. It appears Saputo is the corporate major owner of the team with FTQ a Quebec investment fund ( handling Quebecois' savings ) also having some ownership. Saputo is an unknown here in Ontario, and is apparently is a huge force in Quebec Pro Soccer. The stadium was evidently funded by him. I gather Saputo expects 22 000 fans at their opener. Is the Impact in any way a force that that will have any competition with the Als? Are the Quebecois sports fans interested in this pro team? I would imagine the Impact will draw heavily from the Allophone community. I know soccer is likely an active sport for youngster's here in Niagara. Is this so in Quebec? High school football is the emergent sport for students here. Is there high school football in the French community? I gather that worldwide soccer is the favored sport world wide and, football , as we know it, is restricted to North Americans. Toronto is 50% wasp/ RC in population with the other 50 % coming from immigrants who support soccer and show little interest in the CFL. Soccer is a reclining sport in Toronto while, the CFL might be a decline as, the immigrant population grows and grows. The fan base of Toronto sport for soccer thus grows also. The NFL failed to attract real interest in Toronto and, the CFL interest appears to decline.

Soccer has always been a hard sell in North America, particularly in the USA so saturated as it is with other pro sports - football, baseball, basketball...

The other problem is how long this latest edition of a pro soccer league will last. Former iterations of this sport fell apart, as did most of the franchises.

Saputo, however, seems to have found a good touch, and has indeed heavily invested in the sport. There is a burgeoning amateur soccer scene in Montreal, including the Impact "academy", grooming future Quebec-area players. A number of them have already played for the team. He was also the major funder of Saputo Stadium where the Impact draws rather well. They also had a great season last year and made the playoffs in their second year.

They do use the Big Owe, especially as the season begins in March and it's waaaay too cold to play outdoors. They have drawn 50,000 and even close to 60,000. That, however, may be the curious as well as bona fide soccer fans.

It remains to be seen whether or not soccer becomes a major player vying for fan interest in Montreal, and thereby becoming a rival to the Als. At present, the Als only play in the Big Owe if they are able to sustain a home playoff game. With all of the question marks surrounding the 2014 edition, I'm not sure that I would reserve seats in the Big Owe for an Als' game just yet.

Bottom line, I wish success for both Montreal teams. I don't think that success of the one necessarily means failure of the other.

Both teams will easily be able to coexist IMHO. Montreal has become a model pro sports organization since its return and were among the first the make the smaller intimate stadium cool. Clearly expansion in capacity was needed at McGill past the 20K. Even though the 25K capacity does not sell out 23K is a standard umber with faithful fans and lest not forget that the reno's also included much better suites. Playoff games at the Big O are a 50K plus tradition.

On the soccer side Joey Saputo and the family business has driven soccer in Montreal. Saputo a huge and knowledable soccer person. They still use the Big O for several matches in which larger crowds are expected and they get it.
Having a grass field would enable Saputo to bring in a gaggle of events and clubs and could be a key veneu should Canada ever apply for the Gold Cup event ( championship of North/Central/Caribean America's countries.) So far the US has been the only country to host the event with Mexico as a co host at times.
Saputo is smart enough to realize that if he can get a FIFA event like the gold cup with semi finals and finals at the Big O would be a full house with Mexico and the USA traditionally among the final four and Mexico travels very well as does the US within the Continent.
Smart businessman Saputo would for sure welcome Als Playoff games as well as a Grey Cup.
Having the grass or the suddenly popular Hybrid grass at Wembely stadium will help for all kinds of events.
A stadium set up more restructured for soccer/football but also have the ability to have baseball on occassion would be a smart idea considering the Blue Jays could make an annual end of spring training at the Big O.
World baseball Classic always looking for different hosts as well from all over the world gives Canada another choice of veneus besides RC

Ne faites pas confiance à Saputo pour faire un quelconque cadeau aux Alouettes.

S'il considère les Alouettes comme des concurrents, il n'y a aucune limite à ce qu'il fera pour les éradiquer. C'est ce qu'il fait en affaires, et c'est ce qu'il fera avec les Alouettes.

Maintenant, faire pousser du gazon dans le Stade Olympique m'apparaît assez illusoire. L'aspect multifonctionnel du Stade disparaîtrait avec le gazon, à moins que son projet à plus long terme soit de ramener les Expos et l'Impact sous le même toit.

Oubliez ca les Expos.

Saputo simply wants the roof situation at the Big O to be settled. Impact have 3 games coming up and should there be a snowstorm on those dates they would have to be rescheduled.

He has his stadium, doesn`t need to take ownership of the Big O.

More importantly for the Als,the roof situation is not allowing them to hold a Grey Cup game.

However, with the economic situation in Quebec, the roof is being treated like a religious covering - not wanted.

Well, Lestaf, I don't know, nor do I pretend to know, what Saputo's long-term plans are for the MLS in general and the Impact in particular. One thing is for sure - he has the deep pockets to build a stadium, go out and hire great players, albeit in the twilight of their careers, and his team made the playoffs in their second year of existence. All in all, not bad.

Now, will the MLS last a few years? Will interest in soccer grow in Montreal and in the USA? I don't know and I don't think anyone could say.

As to your point about the Expos, I can't speak to that as I worked for more than 20 years outside of Quebec. I did attend their final game in 2004. I know that there were problems with management...and it was pathetic to see an Expos game on TV with such sparse attendance. Whatever happened, fans stayed away in droves and that ultimately led to the franchise being moved. Cromartie and company are trying to bring back baseball to this city. Is Saputo the "deep pockets" to which Warren was referring? I haven't seen nor heard anything that would lead me to conclude that Joey Saputo is willing to go there.

Will Saputo make some sort of offer to Wettenhall as to the use of the Big Owe? That, too, remains a mystery. I have often said that football runs hot and cold in this city. Witness the several years that Montreal was without professional football. Did anyone bat an eyelash? Hardly.

I sincerely hope that the CFL brand of football catches on - not only in Montreal - but the entire country and that it would expand. I hope that that is more than wishful thinking on my part.

Saputo does have the deep pockets and he is a Montreal guy I think. Soccer is his thing he was able to build his own stadium but like the Als Olympic Stadium is a fairly big part of their master plans. They are not going to knockit down and know the dangers of the roof are shortening the season for use of the stadium Which includes the early season impact games, International friendlies in which he has brought to Montreal in the past.

For the Als the home playoff game and worse the inability to host a Grey Cup.
Back to the Impact should they make an MLS final the use of Olympic could be to a huge advantage with bigger capacity as well as comfortable conditions. Hosting a gold Cup Pool or even the championship game

As for baseball in Montreal there would have to be a major overhaul of Olympic that would need a retractable roof, not to mention a team that may want to move there. However the Jays are playing their final two spring training games at Olympic this year and if goes well could be a nice yearly event. Rogers and Quebecor are already in a working agreement to have Rogers programing on the French TVA sports. I am sure that people will probably say no one in Montreal wants to watch the Jays but who knows how all that may change with Blue Jays being the only team in Canada. There are quite a few all star calibre Canadian baseball players as well and a new roof and reno’d Olympic Montreal could host the team Canada pool In the World Baseball Classic. RC was used in the past

A retractable roof would also allow the Habs to play a winter classic game in Montreal.

Since the city seems to have there hands tied in politics or what ever Saputo may just have the insight and leadership to bring all three pro sports teams in Montreal together to help organize how to get it done.

Ça fait plus de 20 ans que je suis plus le baseball, presqu'autant que je ne suis plus le hockey. Si les Blue Jays n'avaient pas chassé les Argonauts en exigeant une surface naturelle au Stade Rogers, je n'aurais jamais fait le lien.

Saputo may see the Als as competition but some desperate times call for some desperate measures. IMHO
For Montreal investing in a new roof for Olympic would be an investment for the economy with Big time sporting events bringing lots of out of town people to pump money into the local economy.
It is also about time for the city to give management rights to a professional group.
Copps Colliseum have turned the management rights over to Comcast Spectacore and with a month they had a corporate naming sponsor FirstOntario and a new scoreboard.
Quebecor has now entered the sports facility Management business is Quebec with the NHL Arena in QC and could be intersted in.
Although a retractable roof would be attractive feature having the currently talked about hard shell for 50 million may be more realistic.
FirstOntario Centre only has one Tenant and few events. NHL arena has no tenants. SO aquiring rights to manage a year round enclosed venue for multi purpose sports use in one of the 3 biggest cities in Canada should be a very attractive sight for many events.
Even if Saputo does bid for management rights he is a business man and an ALS playoff game and a Grey Cup are big bucks.
Promoting Blue Jays in Montreal with a series of games each season may or may not be successsful. However unlike the Rogers Bills series the Jays already have a top opponent in the NY Mets in town.
Would a sereis right before opening day vs the Senators wearing throwback expos jersey’s work??? who knows but the possibilities are endless. even the Jays themseves wearing expo throwbacks would be possible

For a round stadium it does not seem to have the same complaint about the rectagle Football or Soccer fields. In fact with the stage on one side the Impact have made it even better for soccer by moving the pitch behind the goal closer to the seats as well as possibliy putting up temp eats behind the other.

From the above info, I am beginning to believe that the owner who does not reside in the city of his team can be a disadvantage to the football team. The picture posted by Le Staff and others of Saputo, suggest a hometown coach with the strength and ba..s of a Saputo is the best type of advocate any team could have. Should he have an interest in working with the Als this might indeed help the need of a new roof at the Big O. I like Steve's comments on the possibilities of a very multi utilization of the Big O- CFl, Soccer, Concerts etc. In addition, I have read that the new hybrid grass would be better that what is now operative.I can't recall the source of this info. I just hope the Quebec Government will get its act together financially instead of the racism the PQ is now advocating.

I should have noted a hometown owner not " a hometown coach" in my post.

As everyone can see Monteral and Quebec politics is so, so corrupt that even if the owner was a Montrealer it would not change anything unless he was prepared to grease people and deal with the mob. Hopefully this gets cleaned up but I fear it will require the federal government to get involved and they may not want to as it would be used by the separatists for political gain. Quebecers have to put their foot down or they will end up decades in abject poverty.

With a debt of $246B and counting that may already be the case, Hfx. Frankly, I don't see any political party, provincial or federal, want to open that can of worms any time soon. As a Regie des Installations olympiques engineer said many years ago - the Olympic Stadium is a monument to incompetence!

The Catch-22, as it could only be played out in this province, is that the government (I'm not even mentioning any specific political party!) says that tearing down the Big Owe would cost too much. In the first place, none of what Quebec citizens had to pay for it (for over 30 years!) was worth it, as most of the cost was the result of crime, graft, corruption, and ineptitude. And now, it costs too much to tear it down? So, what are we supposed to do with it? How crazy is that?

The only sports franchise that has flourished here is the Montreal Canadiens; very sad for all the other pro sports. I just hope that Joey doesn't get thoroughly disgusted and head down the 401 as so many others have done before.

From what I have read I can see that Montreal is a political mess. another one of the tree biggest metros in Canada, Toronto, I can't figure out either they build the first retractable roof stadium and then sell it to a private company for a Bagg of beans.
Is Vancouver and the BC province the only one that gets it.
They have invested in reno's and having retractable roof and since that time in 2011 they are hosting three of the biggest events that can be held in Canada 2011 Grey Cup, 2014 Grey Cup, 2015 the Womens World Cup Final. Aside from that they do not want to sell the naming rights and would rather pay it themselves to promote the Province by calling it BC Place. MLS WhiteCaps were/are looking for a SSS but instead have set up a system that shrinks the capacity to make it a smaller more intimate stadium. And instead of building another stadium for MLS, which would take out one of their two full time tenants, they chose to invest in a partnership with the Whitecaps, UBC, and the govt to build a national Soccer compelx facility to be used by the White Caps, the NationalTeams, and UBC. Even have spread to placing two new practice fields at SFU.