After playing five games this season at Olympic Stadium, the Montreal Impact will continue to play 2-3 games a year at the roughly 55,000-seat indoor facility at least until the 2015 season, the team announced on Tuesday. Among those games will be the season-opener for each of the next four seasons. The Impact will also playing their Voyageurs Cup games at Olympic Stadium this year. The Impact will play most of their home games at Saputo Stadium once renovations are finished there during the 2012 season.
The facility was first built for the 1976 Montreal Olympics. It's most frequent tenant was the Montreal Expos, but after the baseball team left in 2004 they have been without a regular occupant. The stadium is largely seen as a drag on taxpayers and it remains the largest stadium in Canada when it is expanded to its full 66,308-seat configuration.
The Impact have a history of playing games there, though. Most notably, they played in front of a crowd of 55,571 in the 2009 CONCACAF Champions League against Mexican club Santos Laguna.
"We are proud of this partnership with the Olympic Park and we are pleased to contribute to its functions as a major sports venue ," Montreal Impact president Joey Saputo said in a team release. "As we will live a historic year for soccer in Quebec, this strong partnership is very positive for the borough of Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, Montreal and our club. This will most notably provide a venue where international matches can be held. The Olympic Stadium is a great soccer venue where we have had success in the past. We hope to repeat some of those exploits, both on the pitch and in the stands."