The stadium boss on the exit route

The big boss of the Olympic Stadium is on the way out, at a time when his project to replace the roof and the technical ring has just arrived in the hands of the Legault government. A changing of the guard at a pivotal moment for the Olympic Stadium.

Michel Labrecque “will not seek a third term,” confirmed Brigitte Roussy, the press secretary of the minister responsible for the Olympic Park. His current appointment, made in 2019, expires next month.

Mr. Labrecque, CEO of the Olympic Park since 2014, refused the interview request from The Press. His press secretary also refused to confirm in full that his boss would not have a new mandate.

“Mr. Labrecque’s second term ends on February 23, 2024,” said Cédric Essiminy by email. “The CEO has agreed with the Board of Directors and the Minister of Tourism that he will continue his involvement in the management of the Park over the coming months to finalize certain files. »


Michel Labrecque contributed, among other projects, to the redevelopment of the Olympic Stadium mast.

“Mr. Labrecque wishes to close certain files and also remain available to ensure a smooth transition with the next person who will occupy his current position,” he added.

In the last 10 years, Mr. Labrecque notably revived the Olympic Stadium mast, coordinating its transformation into office spaces currently rented by Desjardins and a software firm. He also led the renovation of the Olympic Park Sports Center.

Project currently “in analysis”

Michel Labrecque also led the delicate file for a new roof for the Olympic Stadium, delayed several times, which became even more complex with the obligation to replace the immense technical concrete ring which crowns the monument.

Last month, the Olympic Park announced the closure of the playing area until further notice in order to carry out exploratory work. These “include in particular design, engineering and architectural analyses” which could be used during a possible construction site.


Mr. Labrecque has been CEO of the Olympic Park since 2014.

This exploratory work is still in progress and “is going well”, but a business file has already been submitted to the Government of Quebec “at the end of 2023”, indicated Mr. Essiminy, of the Olympic Park. “He is currently in analysis. »

“The results of the exploratory work are required for the business file, but do not prevent its submission,” he added.

A decision from the Council of Ministers is expected in the short term.

The Press revealed in December that according to the negotiations then underway between the Olympic Park and the selected consortium, the project would cost between 750 million and 1 billion.

The parties discussed the possibility of signing a contract in which the risks would be shared between the client and the bidder, a group of companies led by Pomerleau and Canam.

“I have no, no comments,” reacted Michel Labrecque, big boss of the Olympic Park. I’ve been at the Olympic Park for ten years, eight years on this file. I have never commented on any amount or price. It’s really up to the government if it approves the business case. »

An endless soap opera

Problems with the Stadium roof have been in the news for more than 30 years.

The first canvas, retractable and installed in 1987, tore the year following its installation. It had to be removed 10 years later.

The second canvas was installed in 1998 and also tore the year after its installation, which led to a snowfall in the Stadium.


The roof of the Olympic Stadium seen from the inside

It is this roof that has covered the Stadium ever since, but more than 12,000 repairs have had to be carried out over the years.

Since 2002, the owner of the Stadium has been more or less actively seeking to build a third roof. In 2017, the government of Philippe Couillard announced a new roof for 2023, which represented a bill of 250 million.

In 2020, only the consortium formed by Pomerleau and Canam had expressed interest in the design of the next stadium roof, while the Olympic Park hoped to attract at least three competing teams. At the time, the organization mentioned an inauguration of the roof in 2024. No new date has been mentioned since.

source site-61