Olympic Stadium

Olympic Stadium, located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, is a stadium rich in history and unique architectural design. Known for its distinctive features and as the long-time home of the Montreal Expos, the stadium holds a special place in Major League Baseball (MLB) history.

Stadium Facts about Olympic Stadium

  • Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • Opened On: July 17, 1976
  • Home Team: Montreal Expos (National League, 1977-2004)
  • Stadium Nicknames: “The Big O,” referring to its doughnut-shaped design
  • Dimensions: Varied over the years
  • Capacity: About 56,000 for baseball
  • Attendance Record: 59,260 (September 6, 1977, for baseball)
  • Surface: AstroTurf
  • Architect: Roger Taillibert
  • Owner: Régie des installations olympiques

The History

Olympic Stadium was originally constructed for the 1976 Summer Olympics. Post-Olympics, it became the home of the Montreal Expos in 1977, replacing Jarry Park Stadium. The Expos played at Olympic Stadium until their relocation to Washington, D.C., in 2004. The stadium was known for its unique architecture and the challenges it posed for baseball.

Design and Features

The stadium is famous for its futuristic design, including the retractable roof (completed in the 1980s but often malfunctioning) and the towering inclined tower, the tallest inclined tower in the world. Its seating arrangement and large capacity made it one of the bigger venues in MLB. However, the stadium’s design, particularly its vast, impersonal space and the roof issues, often drew criticism.


Over the years, Olympic Stadium underwent several renovations. These included modifications to the retractable roof mechanism, seating adjustments to better accommodate baseball, and improvements to the field itself. Despite these renovations, the stadium faced criticism over its functionality and suitability for baseball.


Olympic Stadium’s facilities were vast and varied, designed to cater to a range of events and sports. For baseball, the stadium offered a wide range of concessions and merchandise stores. The seating was spacious, though often criticized for lacking the intimacy of traditional baseball parks.

The stadium also featured large parking areas and was accessible via Montreal’s public transit system, making it a convenient venue for large events.

Memorable Moments at Olympic Stadium

  • Montreal Expos’ First Game at Olympic Stadium: Marking a new era for baseball in Montreal.
  • 1981 All-Star Game: Hosting the MLB All-Star Game, showcasing the stadium on a global stage.
  • 1981 Playoffs: Hosting the Expos’ first playoff series win.
  • The Perfect Game by Dennis Martínez: In 1991, Martinez pitched the 13th perfect game in MLB history at Olympic Stadium.
  • Farewell to the Expos: The 2004 season marked the end of MLB in Montreal and the final games of the Expos at the stadium.

Interesting Baseball History at Olympic Stadium

  • Home of the Expos: The stadium was an integral part of the Expos’ history, from triumphant moments to challenges.
  • Architectural Marvel: Its design and structure were innovative at the time, though they posed challenges for baseball.
  • Impact on Player Performance: The stadium’s playing conditions, including the turf and roof, uniquely affected the game.
  • Cultural Significance: Olympic Stadium played a critical role in fostering baseball culture in Montreal and Canada.

Non-Baseball Events

Olympic Stadium has hosted a myriad of non-baseball events, reflecting its status as a versatile venue. These include the 1976 Summer Olympics, CFL football games, soccer matches, concerts, trade shows, and other large-scale events. Its role in hosting diverse events underscores its significance beyond baseball, serving as a landmark in Montreal’s cultural and sports history. The variety of events held at Olympic Stadium highlights its role in the broader entertainment and sports landscape of the city.