Despite attracting some of the best players in the world, financial realities have forced organizers of the Montreal Squash Open to scale back the size of its venue.
The 2016 edition of the tournament begins today with qualifying rounds.
It offered fans a stadium-like experience for the tournament as well as serving as a squash showcase to the thousands of people who might happen to be passing through the area for another reason.
This year, however, organizers are getting back to basics, putting on the Open back at its traditional home — the MAA Club on Peel Street.
Tournament director Yvon Provinçal says the crashing Canadian dollar and the loss of a title sponsor forced the change, but with money saved on the venue he was able to maintain the $35,000 US purse and, in turn, continue to attract some of the sport's top-ranked players.
The MAA Club also has two new, state-of-the-art permanent squash courts which will serve as the main stage for the tournament.
Canada's best on display
The top player in this year's field is ninth-ranked Karim Abdel Gawad from Egypt.
Gawad hasn't competed in Montreal before but he has won in Canada as recently as last year at the Edmonton Open.
His top competition in Montreal is also Egyptian. Ali Farag is ranked 13th in the world.
The highest ranked Canadian in the draw is 53rd-ranked Shawn Delierre.
Delierre, 34, still has to qualify for the main draw, but he's confident he will because he says nothing gets him more motivated than playing on home soil.
"We're going to get to compete, spar, and show off basically our love for the sport through amazing shots, techniques, dives, spills, cries, blood, tears" Delierre says.
David Baillargeon of Quebec City is the lone Canadian already part of the main draw of 16 players.
Baillargeon is currently ranked 180th in the world but was selected by the organizers at their wild card entry.
The 19-year-old has already won Canada's junior squash championship and is seen as someone who will soon challenge the top players on the professional circuit.
For him the Montreal Open represents an opportunity to send the message that he's arrived.
"Winning an event like this would be something amazing, the top guy here is 9th in the world so it would mean that I'm basically one of the world's best," Baillargeron says.
Qualifying rounds for the Open begin Tuesday, the main draw will be played out from Thursday to Sunday.