It was a beautiful sunny day when the Montreal Impact organized the visit of Stade Saputo to the media. This is a great PR move by the Montreal Impact as to show the progress of the stadium with less than 3 weeks left before opening day at Stade Saputo.
How about we start with some interesting facts about the stadium, the den of the Montreal Impact fans, a haven for the team and hell for opposite teams to come to.
Capacity: 20,341 seats in 2012 (from 13,034)
Surface: Natural grass
Dimensions: 110 meters by 70 meters
Corporate Suites: 34 in 2012 (from 16)
Points of Sale for concessions: 100 in 2012 including 21 food stands (from 27 POS before)
Boutique: 2 permanent boutiques
Entry points: 2 to 3 in 2012
Seats under the roof: A 1/3 of the seats are under the roof --> 6948 seats
Roof: 80,000 sq.ft
Once there was darkness now there's light: 288 projectors at 1500 watts. Two 30m and 61m posts (61m post is the highest in Canada).
Steel: 1970 tons of steel
Aluminium: 113 tons of aluminium (stands)
ZERO injuries on site
More about the visit, Joey Saputo's press conference after the jump.....
We are met by Patrick Vallee (Head of Communications at the Montreal Impact) as he greeted the media and directed us the media room where Joey Saputo was going to give a press conference.
Joey Saputo's Press Conference
When asked about the latest rumours linking the Montreal Impact to Del Piero, Joey Saputo made it pretty clear
As per the situation with Del Piero, yes he was in Miami......I can tell you that Bernardo Corradi was also in Miami and I know that they both played tennis together..... our last discussions with Del Piero's people was in August of last year when the player's brother called us and confirmed that yes, he wants to play in the MLS but effectively in LA or NY. At that point, the discussions were over there.
Joey Saputo was not necessarily a fan of the question but expected it and was prepared for it and answered in a typical professional way, a professionalism that is important to the club and the organisation. He tackled the Bernardo Corradi contract situation answering the rumor that Corradi was going to leave the team at the end of his contract at the end of June. He quickly confirmed that both parties want to get to an agreement: the Impact want Corradi to stay and Corradi wants to stay in Montreal. It's more a question of time as the contractual details for the whole season were known by the player as soon as he signed with the club.
- No Plan B: No plan B (backup plan) has even been considered by the Montreal Impact and have always denied every rumor that the stadium will not be ready in time and at this point, there is no point of return or alternative. The confidence that the Montreal Impact have put in the project and the partners around the expansion has always been there. It will be tight but it will be ready at 99% by June 16th 2012, D-Day.
- Grass situation: The concerns over the grass not being settled and proper to be played on by June 16th were put to rest. The grass has been growing and maintained by the people at Gazonnière Bastien, the same people that installed a natural grass surface at the Olympic Stadium for the June 2nd 2010 game against AC Milan. The head of '' grass '' for Stade Saputo explained to us the process of bringing the grass in from Terrebonne to Stade Saputo in rolls. He also confirmed that the grass will be able to keep its strong roots to the soil that it will come with and the field should be pristine.
- Bigger, Better, Cozier: There are no bad seats in the house in the Old Stade Saputo and there will be none in the new one. The new roof gives a bigger feel for the stadium but still keeps it cozy and the fans will feel close to the players and vice versa. The new West grandstand looks like it was there all the time and we can still see the tip of Olympic Stadium giving stunning views all around.
Picture of the grass at Gazonniere Bastien
credit: Montreal Impact
Slideshow of pictures during the visit