The festivities surrounding Rogers Cup presented by National Bank are about to get underway, and Eugène Lapierre, senior vice-president of Tennis Canada and tournament director of Rogers Cup, held a press conference this morning to address some of the inaccurate information and affirmations that have been shared in recent weeks regarding the project to build a retractable roof over Centre Court at IGA Stadium. At the press conference, Mr. Lapierre reiterated the project objectives.
“The addition of a retractable roof over Centre Court pursues one simple goal: to ensure the continuity of Rogers Cup in Montréal. The tournament drives tennis development across Canada since all the profits are directly reinvested in the sport,” he affirmed.
Last spring, Tennis Canada met with residents who live around IGA Stadium and some twenty neighborhood groups to present the project, which is still in its earliest stages. The meetings were held to communicate information, respond to questions, gather feedback and understand expectations and concerns.
“For us, the meetings were an opportunity to assure our neighbours that we have absolutely no intention of hosting or organizing large-scale cultural events in the covered stadium. However, a local group is claiming we do. This is why we wanted to set the record straight and explain the real objectives of the project. We are very conscious of the community and environment to which we contribute and we will never compromise Parc Jarry’s mission to provide tranquility, recreation and sports. We are part of this park and it is important to us all,” added Mr. Lapierre.
With its retractable roof project, Tennis Canada aims to secure long-term support for Rogers Cup in Montréal from the two professional tours: the ATP and WTA. Building a covered stadium is a confirmed trend among the world’s leading tournaments and there is growing pressure to follow suit in Montréal. Ensuring the sustainability of Rogers Cup will help maintain and increase the annual benefits of $16M that are reinvested in tennis development, as well as the $15M economic impact for the city of Montréal. Tennis Canada is still seeking internal financing, as well as funding from the three levels of government. Should the project go ahead, Tennis Canada will continue the dialogue with communities and respect the wishes of citizens and municipal bodies regarding the number, type and format of other activities that may be held at IGA Stadium. In addition, Tennis Canada is committed to building a white roof so as not to contribute to the heat island effect. Finally, the organization will focus on developing a plan to green the grounds and increase the number of green spaces.