The Quebec government has committed to a new, $250-million roof for Montreal's Olympic Stadium by 2023.

The stadium and its roof have had a checkered history from the beginning.

Jean Drapeau Olympic Stadium

Then-mayor Jean Drapeau presents a mock-up of the Olympic Stadium. 'The Olympics can no more run a deficit than a man can have a baby,' Drapeau said before the games. The stadium went so far over budget that it wasn't paid for until 30 years after the event. (Radio-Canada)

The stadium opened just barely in time for the Olympics in July 1976, although its tower was finished and the roof installed only years later.

Here's a look at some of the problems over the years.


  • August 1986: Explosions and fire in unfinished tower interrupt Expos game. Nobody injured but game is rescheduled.
  • April 1987: Kevlar roof completed and installed.
  • June 1989: Roof lining rips during tractor pull event, forcing evacuation of about 8,000 people.
  • June 1991: Roof tears during windstorm, leaving gaping hole of 30 metres by 15 metres.
  • September 1991: Fifty-five-tonne beam crashes to the ground, closing stadium for 94 days. No one hurt.
  • August 1992: Riot erupts at Guns N' Roses concert when lead singer Axl Rose ends concert after just 55 minutes. Eight of 300-odd police officers called to the scene receive minor injuries amid clashes with rock-and bottle-throwing rioters who use everything from uprooted street lamp to metal barriers to smash windows.
  • January 1994: Interior wall collapses. No one hurt.
  • January 1998: Ice damages stadium roof, sending snow and water onto floor and forcing cancellation of two Rolling Stones concerts.
  • May 1998: Kevlar roof sold for $1 to company specializing in research and development of industrial machinery. Fixed roof installed.
  • January 1999: Section of nine-month-old roof tears and pieces rain down along with ice and snow on 200 people preparing for an auto show. Five people slightly injured.

Montreal Olympics: 'The Big Woe'7:24

  • November 2006: Stadium paid for in full, 30 years after event it was built for. Total cost: $1.47 billion.
  • April 2012: Concrete slab falls from ceiling of underground parking facility. Nobody injured.