Montreal Impact’s Stadium Expansion Delayed

July 18, 2011

Major League Soccer’s (MLS) newest team Montreal Impact has announced that the planned expansion of Saputo Stadium by 7,000 seats has been delayed.

The Canadian club will join the MLS next year as an expansion franchise, but the stadium project, which was originally scheduled to be completed next spring, will now not be completed until the summer of 2012.

The Impact has US$23 million in government funding to complete the build, but the club has been unable to find a suitable construction partner.

The delay means that the team will play some of its first games in MLS at the 66,000-seater Olympic Stadium.

Montreal Impact president Joey Saputo said: “The cost was globally too high. It is not a question for us to exceed the total public money awarded for the expansion project. We have worked hard over the last few weeks with the different people involved to find solutions to expand our stadium to 20,000 seats, under a roof, while respecting the initial budget.”

A second bidding process for the stadium’s expansion will take place next year. “We had the option to start the season on the road or to look for an alternative,” Saputo added. “We prefer to play a few matches at Olympic Stadium. We want all games to be an event, especially our first game in MLS in Montreal.”