Unlike many of their contemporaries, CF Montreal and the Montreal Alouettes do not share a stadium. A fact that will not change in the near future.
Last Friday, during the press conference which formalized the purchase of Pierre Karl Péladeau from the Alouettes, the latter was called upon to comment on several issues. One of the most pressing issues for the Sparrows is to equip themselves with their own stadium worthy of CFL activities. The club has played at the Percival-Molson stadium since 1997, but the enclosure was created in 1915.
“It’s not the most modern. He is certainly one of the oldest,” Mr. Péladeau noted of the Percival-Molson stadium.
When the businessman was asked if he could see a new stadium with CF Montreal as a roommate, he replied that “it’s not impossible. If it were possible to do so, we would do so with great enthusiasm.”
He tempered by mentioning that it was however “premature” to discuss the possibility of this project, but still have “a lot of respect for Joey Saputo and his family”.
If the question was asked to Mr. Péladeau, it is because it is practically a formality in Canada to see the formations of the CFL sharing their stadium with a professional soccer team. In fact, the other two Canadian MLS clubs and three Canadian Premier League teams share a stadium with a CFL team.
Of the four remaining CFL teams, three of them do not have a professional soccer team playing in their city. The only organization that is an exception to the rule is that of Montreal.
For its part, the CFM has been playing at Stade Saputo since it opened in 2008. However, despite the fact that the stadium is owned by Groupe Saputo, it was built on land belonging to the Régie des installations Olympiques (RIO), ceded by emphyteutic lease for a period of forty years.
In theory, for the next 25 years, the tenant — in this case, the CFM — must pay annual and other taxes. So any improvement at Saputo Stadium would be synonymous with a tax increase.
At the beginning of March, the president of the CFM, Gabriel Gervais, revealed to BPM Sports that the Montreal club was planning, in particular, to build a new stadium. A marriage between the Alouettes and the CFM therefore seemed likely.
Tuesday night at the CFM season launch, Mr. Gervais also said he would “listen to all possibilities for such a partnership.” He then calmed things down.
There is therefore nothing concrete about the idea of a common stadium for the two clubs. But with two parts open, it is possible that it will go a long way.