A proposal to add a retractable roof to Montreal’s IGA Stadium, host of the Rogers Cup tennis tournament, has been met with opposition by a local community group.
Tennis Canada vice-president Eugene Lapierre feels the roof would help secure the tournament’s long-term future in Montreal and eliminate the risk of the event being affected by adverse weather.
The 11,800-seat stadium shares hosting rights to the Rogers Cup with Toronto’s Aviva Centre. In odd-numbered years, IGA Stadium hosts the men’s tournament while the women’s event takes place at Aviva Centre, with the roles reversed in even-numbered years.
CTV Montreal reported that the roof would cost C$70m (£43.6m/€47.4m/$53m), with the project still requiring funding from three levels of government.
“We’re looking forward,” Lapierre said. “We have the vision that in a few years all the most important tournaments will have a roof. We want to go ahead, make our mark in the world and keep the event in Montreal.”
Community group Coalition des amis du Parc Jarry, which seeks to protect the green space near the stadium, has expressed its opposition to the plans.
Spokesperson Michel Lafleur told CTV Montreal: “When Tennis Canada registered at the lobby register, they indicated that if they have the roof, that will lead to a multiplication and diversification of events in this amphitheatre. It’s clear that if there are many events, it will shift the vocation of the park.”
Lapierre disputed Lafleur’s claims, stating that it is not Tennis Canada’s “business” to have more events.
Lafleur added: “It’s a lot of money. It would be very surprising that it would be used only (for the Rogers Cup). If it doesn’t rain, well, too bad, the C$70m was for nothing this year.”
Image: Stade IGA