May 22, 2002
Montreal Auto Show abandons Olympic Stadium, moves to Palais des Congres
Montreal, Quebec – Andre Dorais, President of the Montreal Automobile Dealers Corporation (MADC) and the Montreal International Auto Show, announced that the 35th edition of the Montreal Auto Show will be held at the newly-expanded Palais des Congres convention centre in downtown Montreal. The Montreal Auto Show will now be held from November 22 to December 1, 2002.
“After consulting the vehicle manufacturers, we concluded that it was important to find a site that is better suited to accommodate such an important event,” said Jean-Francois Couture, Executive Vice-President of the MADC and the Montreal International Auto Show.
The Auto Show first moved to the Olympic Stadium in 1990 after it was found that the display area at Place Bonaventure was no longer adequate to receive the increasing number of participating car-makers. The Show’s 1999 edition was cancelled after the Olympic Stadium roof ripped during preparations for the auto show, and falling snow caused some minor injuries and vehicle damage. The show returned to Place Bonaventure in 2000, and was held at the Big O in 2001, but hopes that the playing field would be available in 2002 were dashed.
Officials with the Auto Show held a special meeting with the event’s vehicle-manufacturer partners last November and requested that they evaluate all venues located in Montreal that could accommodate the next car show. “During this meeting, the manufacturers unanimously requested that we hold the next Montreal International Auto Show at the Palais des Congres because the playing field at the Olympic Stadium is no longer accessible in winter,” said Couture. “Now that the Palais has undergone an expansion, we will have approximately the same space that we had when the playing field was available at the Olympic Stadium.”
“The Show experienced its greatest moments at the Olympic Stadium,” said Couture. “That’s where we recorded our biggest crowds. From 1990 to 1998, and in 2001, we maintained an average of 240,000 visitors at the site. When we presented our January 2002 edition, we found ourselves, for a second time, in a stadium whose playing field was not available, and six car manufacturers were absent. The event suffered an attendance loss of 23 per cent, or approximately 60,000 people.”
The Montreal International Auto Show is organised by the Montreal Automobile Dealers Corporation (MADC), a non-profit organisation founded in 1913. The MADC includes approximately 215 car dealerships from the Greater Montreal region.