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New Olympic Stadium roof for $870 million: The NFL is still exploring the possibility of a game in Montreal

LAS VEGAS | In preparation for Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas, the NFL says it is aware of the news regarding Olympic Stadium and Montreal is still on its list of possible destinations for a regular-season game, although the league is far from this to promise whatever.

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As part of a media tour of Allegiant Stadium, the brand new 65,000-seat stadium where the 49ers and Chiefs face off on Sunday night, Le Journal was able to speak with an NFL representative about the situation in Montreal.

Two years ago, during Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles, the league suggested, without being asked, that Montreal was on the radar for possible games on Canadian soil.

According to Nicki Ewell, NFL senior director of events, the league is aware of the projects affecting Olympic Stadium.

“We're watching what's happening elsewhere because we want to make sure we're operating in world-class infrastructure. We immediately recognize that this is the case here in Las Vegas with the suites and hospitality areas. “We want the best of the best at every level,” she said Monday.

No promise

Currently, the NFL is focused on gaining a foothold in England and Germany and hosting a game in Sao Paulo, Brazil next season. Spain is probably the next country on the list.

Any hope for the NFL's arrival in Montreal will most likely require improvements other than the stadium's roof, where work will be spread out over four years.

“We played several games in Canada. It's just that we can't say more at the moment. I know it would be good to say, for example: Montreal, 2026. But that's not the case, nothing has been decided yet.

“There are strategies in place as to which areas will host regular season NFL games, but we do not have details at this time,” Nicki Ewell said.

Another stadium gem

New Olympic Stadium roof for $870 million: The NFL is still exploring the possibility of a game in Montreal

Getty Images via AFP

But as we stand with both feet in the state-of-the-art Allegiant Stadium near the Mandalay Bay Hotel on the Strip, it's easy to wonder to what extent an infrastructure like the Olympic Stadium can be in the same league.

The Las Vegas Raiders' stadium may be the fourth-smallest in the NFL and not as flashy as the Los Angeles Rams' palace that opened shortly before, but it's still a gem that cost $1.9 billion, including $750 million of public money.

Its black and silver silhouette in the colors of the Raiders earned it the nickname “Death Star” in reference to the Star Wars film.

The 75,000 square meter large screens and the natural grass playing surface, which is stored outside and transported inside on a platform powered by 72 motors, demonstrate state-of-the-art technologies.

New Olympic Stadium roof for $870 million: The NFL is still exploring the possibility of a game in Montreal

Allegiant Stadium hosted the media evening to kick off Super Bowl week. Stephane Cadorette

Not to mention the comfort, with numerous suites, including 29, able to accommodate about fifteen people each, very close to the game behind one of the two end zones, with full service.

Montreal obviously has nothing to do with such extravagances, but the contrast with the opulence of Las Vegas remains striking.

“We want to continue to add international games to our calendar in the coming years.

“We have a good relationship with our fans in Canada. We have offices in Canada. We celebrate the CFL and the Gray Cup. We know there are fans in the country who want the NFL at home, but that's the case in several countries. We are pleased with the great interest,” concluded Ms. Ewell.


Is the inspector hiding?

LAS VEGAS | For the first time this year, Commissioner Roger Goodell met with the media in a less open context than usual. Contrary to custom, the annual press conference was held by invitation only. This was also postponed from Wednesday to Monday, just before the media evening that attracts all the attention. The NFL chief faced some tough questions, but the new practices still raise questions. Why move it forward to Monday when several media outlets are not yet in town? Why limit the number of participants?

The Eagles in Brazil

One of the few notable things to emerge from Roger Goodell's press conference was that the Eagles will host games in Brazil next season as part of the international series. The game against an opponent yet to be determined will take place on Friday, September 6th. It will be the first game played on a Friday since September 18, 1970 and the first to take place in South America. The game will take place at the Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo.

Welcome to Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS | The Super Bowl 58 Host Committee has announced the key points of the week and Las Vegas promises to be quite the party with more than 300 events of all kinds on the schedule. More than 330,000 visitors are expected. “Super Bowl 58 is like our movie Field of Dreams. The stadium had to be built with the idea that one day the Super Bowl would take place. For us there is nothing easier to sell. Las Vegas is a city that sells itself. It made too much sense to combine the NFL, Las Vegas and the Super Bowl,” said Steve Hill, president and CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Bureau.