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Volume 25 No. 29

Facilities

Since the World Cup must be played on grass, the artificial turf at Olympic Stadium will need to be replaced
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

The FIFA World Cup is coming to Montreal in '26, and Olympic Stadium is going to "finally get" a retractable roof, according to Stu Cowan of the MONTREAL GAZETTE. Montreal will "host between three and six games." Since the World Cup "must be played on grass, the artificial turf at Olympic Stadium will need to be replaced and the roof will need to open." Montreal city councillor Rosannie Filato said that the "cost of the new roof" would be between $200-300M (all figures C). In November, Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard announced that the government would spend at least $200M on a "new roof" for the Olympic Stadium (MONTREAL GAZETTE, 6/14). Cowan notes the money spent on a new roof "won’t sit well with Montreal baseball fans dreaming of a return of the Expos in a new downtown ballpark." Filato said that the money being spent to fix up Olympic Stadium for the World Cup "doesn’t mean there’s no possibility of a new downtown baseball stadium if the Expos were to return" (MONTREAL GAZETTE, 6/14). Cowan: "Whether Montrealers like it or not, we’re stuck with the Big O money pit and the World Cup games are a way to finally generate some money out of the place." Filato said that the retractable roof will also "allow the city to attract other major sports events, including the Grey Cup." The key will be to "build a roof that actually works this time and can last through our winters." Also, fans must hope the "price estimate is correct." Cowan: "History gives us reason to be very skeptical on both fronts" (MONTREAL GAZETTE, 6/14).

The Revolution "moved the ball up the field in their quest to boost soccer and build momentum for a stadium in downtown Boston" with yesterday’s announcement that parts of the '26 World Cup will be in America, according to Cotter & Atkinson of the BOSTON HERALD. Revolution officials and fans "hope games in Boston would boost the popularity of a club that lags behind the city’s four major sports teams in popularity." Revolution Owner Robert Kraft has been "looking to build a soccer-only stadium around Boston for years." He has "eyed Somerville’s Inner Belt, various parts of South Boston and the area that’s now the South Bay Center in Dorchester." Patriots VP/Media Relations Stacey James said that Kraft "still wants to put a soccer stadium in Boston." James added that the "goal of building the new stadium is separate from the World Cup, though observers said they believe it will fuel the effort" (BOSTON HERALD, 6/14).

Since getting a second Cup Series race in ‘05, TMS has always had the tripleheader weekend in the fall
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Texas Motor Speedway’s fall NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race “will move" to April beginning in ’19, which means the “tripleheader race weekend, featuring all three NASCAR national series, will run in the spring,” according to Drew Davison of the Ft. Worth STAR-TELEGRAM. TMS President Eddie Gossage said that the decision was “made as a way to accommodate NASCAR and its television partner,” FS1, in the “early part of the season timeframe.” Gossage in a statement said, "NASCAR asked if we could help and we wanted to be a good partner to the sanctioning body, network and the sport as a whole." Since getting a second Monster Energy Cup Series race in ‘05, TMS has “always had the tripleheader weekend in the fall” (Ft. Worth STAR-TELEGRAM, 6/14). In Dallas, Gerry Fraley notes TMS “plans on continuing” the June truck series race as part of a Verizon IndyCar Series-NASCAR doubleheader, even though the track has “not yet worked out a new contract with IndyCar.” The previous deal “expired with the DXC Technology 600 on Saturday.” The ’19 truck race is “scheduled for June 7” (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 6/14).

A new bill in the North Carolina legislature would give the Panthers a "big tax break on land the team leases from the city of Charlotte," according to a front-page piece by Peralta & Portillo of the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER. The measure comes about a month after David Tepper "agreed to buy the team." The Panthers "lease 34 acres from the city for $1 a year." But the team still "pays several hundred thousand dollars a year in property taxes on some of the value of that land, which includes the stadium and practice field." The Triple-A Int'l League Charlotte Knights, which "lease land from the county for BB&T Ballpark, could also save hundreds of thousands of dollars per year under the new measure." The bill would "exempt leaseholds for stadiums." The leaseholds are currently "taxed as intangible real property." The Knights paid $171,156 last year on the "value of the land they lease for BB&T Ballpark." Tax records show the Panthers paid $357,166 in '17 "property taxes on the land they lease" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 6/14).