Outside Olympic Stadium in Montreal
Courtesy of Montreal Impact

Montreal Impact official: No chance Olympic Stadium roof will force rivalry game cancellation

MONTREAL – Toronto FC fans can make the trip to Québec without hesitation.

Despite a report published in the Montreal newspaper La Presse indicating that Saturday's Impact-TFC game could be canceled if snow or freezing rain is forecast, the showdown at Olympic Stadium will indeed take place, Impact executive vice president Richard Legendre insisted on Wednesday morning.

“There is no chance [that we cancel the game],” Legendre told reporters. “The forecast clearly looks fine. We’re very confident, and we want to reassure everyone that the process of confirming, the day before the game, that it will take place is nothing but a formality.”

The Olympic Stadium roof has been a cause for concern ever since the opening ceremony of the 1976 Summer Olympics when, amazingly, it had yet to be installed. Numerous attempts to build a permanent solution have systematically failed, most spectacularly in January 1999 when the roof collapsed, leaving snow crashing down on an auto show inside the stadium.

READ: Montreal-Toronto rivalry about much more than soccer

Since they started playing games at the Big O, the Impact have yet to experience a last-minute cancellation. Legendre did point out, however, that changes are necessary, as Montreal must host at least two MLS home games in March every season.

"If we can’t play under the roof in the winter because there’s a chance of snowfall, then it just makes no sense,” Legendre lamented. “For now, we’ve been lucky in the past years, but for Montreal and Quebec’s future, we have to fix the roof situation.

“When you’ve got a faulty roof at home or anywhere else, you fix it. This stadium is almost 40 years old. It’s just normal that we repair things sometimes, but this, we have to fix.”

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