Montreal Olympic Stadium
Olympic Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium in Canada, located at Olympic Park in the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve district of Montreal. Built in the mid-1970s as the main venue for the 1976 Summer Olympics, it is nicknamed "The Big O", a reference to both its name and to the doughnut-shape of the permanent component of the stadium's roof. It is also called "The Big Owe" to reference the astronomical cost of the stadium and the 1976 Olympics as a whole.
The stadium is the largest by seating capacity in Canada. After the Olympics, artificial turf was installed and it became the home of Montreal's professional baseball and football teams. The Montreal Alouettes of the CFL returned to their previous home of Molson Stadium in 1998 for regular season games, but continued to use Olympic Stadium for playoff and Grey Cup games until 2014 when they returned to Molson Stadium for all of their games. Following the 2004 baseball season, the Expos relocated to Washington, D.C. to become the Washington Nationals. The stadium currently serves as a multipurpose facility for special events (e.g. concerts, trade shows) with a permanent seating capacity of 56,040. The capacity is expandable with temporary seating. The Montreal Impact of Major League Soccer (MLS) use the venue on occasion, when larger capacity is needed or when the weather restricts outdoor play at nearby Saputo Stadium in the spring months.
The stadium has not had a main tenant since the Expos left in 2004. Despite decades of use, the stadium's history of numerous structural and financial problems has largely branded it a white elephant.
Incorporated into the north base of the stadium is the Montreal Tower, the world's tallest inclined tower at 175 metres (574 ft). The stadium and Olympic Park grounds border Maisonneuve Park, which includes the Montreal Botanical Garden, adjacent to the west across Rue Sherbrooke (Route 138).