McGill will receive nearly $13 million from three levels of government under the Canada-Quebec Infrastructure Program for the purposes of renovating the 88-year-old stadium. The Montreal Alouettes Football Club will also contribute to the project.
Home in recent years to the Grey Cup champion Montreal Alouettes football team as well as to McGill's sports teams, the Percival Molson Stadium was named for an outstanding young McGill graduate who was killed in the First World War. It is renowned for its charm, cozy dimensions and great sight lines. However, it has long needed major renovations, in part for the convenience of spectators who have packed the Stadium in recent years.
The improvements to the Percival Molson Stadium include rebuilding the areas under both the north and south stands, and overhauling the dressing rooms, showers, officials' rooms, concession stands and washrooms, and replacement of the 13-year-old synthetic turf surface. An important part of the upgrading is the enhancement of lighting. Construction of a new press gallery, vital to nationally televised broadcasts of McGill and Alouettes games, will also be made possible.
Phase I of the renovation plan will be completed by early July. The Alouettes, who begin their 2003 defence of the Grey Cup on the road in order to accommodate the renovation schedule, will welcome their fans to the new, improved "Nest" on Saturday night, July 12, when they meet the B.C. Lions.