Can’t-miss Montréal sporting events in 2019
Montrealers are legendarily passionate sports fans (go no further than a Habs home game) and love for the city’s sports teams and annual competitive events – the Canadiens, Alouettes, Impact, Rogers Cup, JACKALOPE, the Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada and more – is DNA-deep in the identity of the city’s inhabitants. It’s a love that’s going to see its full expression over an action-packed sports schedule in 2019. The following is a chronological rundown of those must-see sporting events.
The city’s many baseball fans will once again demonstrate that “America’s national pastime” is also Montréal’s when Major League Baseball franchises the Milwaukee Brewers and the Toronto Blue Jays play ball at a preseason matchup at Olympic Stadium on March 25 and 26. Yet again, the stadium will be packed with baseball crazy fans making a strong case for the (ever-more-possible) return of the Montréal Expos.
For the last 93 years, the Harlem Globetrotters have showcased their spectacular basketball talents in 123 countries. This year, fans will also get a chance to see the Flying Globies, an acrobatic trampoline dunk team, during breaks in the game when the Globetrotters hit the Bell Centre on March 29.
The city’s beloved pro hockey team the Montréal Canadiens (or “Habs,” as we call them in these here parts) will play the final home game of what’s been an exciting, playoff-chasing regular season at the Bell Centre on April 6. They will face-off against arch-rivals the Toronto Maple Leafs, and it’ll be a good one.
It’s always an event for the sense when the Monster Spectacular motorsports show careens into town for three hours of smash-’em-up fun for the whole family. Monster Spectacular XXV goes down at Olympic Stadium on April 6.
The Montréal Impact — the city’s professional, Major League Soccer team — draw more than 20,000 fans on average to boisterous home games on the striking outdoor, natural-grass pitch of Stade Saputo. The very first home game in Montréal will be against the Columbus Crew SC on April 13.
And whether you call it pro sports or pro theatre, we can all agree to call it pro fun when professional wrestling rolls into Montréal with WWE Monday Night Raw at the Bell Centre on April 15.
Fans of elite aquatic sports will want to take note that top divers from around the world, including Olympic medallists and world champions, will be competing at the FINA Diving World Series 2019 at the fantastic diving facilities of the Olympic Park from April 26 to 28.
The Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada roars back into Montréal’s Parc Jean-Drapeau from June 7 to 9, bringing with it a high-octane programme of activities and events both on and off the track as tens of thousands of elite racing fans converge on the city.
Montrealers are famous fans of running, biking and swimming, so it stands to reason that they’d love all three in combination as the gruelling 2019 ITU World Triathlon Series returns to wind its way through Old Montréal, the Old Port and downtown on a new multi-loop course on June 29 and 30.
Football-mad Montrealers get to watch their new-look Montreal Alouettes, with their awesome new logo, take another run at the Grey Cup from their primo seats in the scenic Percival Molson Memorial Stadium, a diamond set on the southern slope of Mount Royal overlooking downtown Montréal. Regular season opens at home against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on July 4.
The very best in men’s tennis return for the Rogers Cup in Montréal this summer, one of the most anticipated events on the city’s professional sports calendar (attendance in the past has topped 200,000). Expectations are high that the greats will be out in force again this year when all the action gets served up at Stade IGA from August 2 to 11.
Named for the mythical part jackrabbit/part antelope creature of lore, JACKALOPE — Canada’s largest action sports festival — is an adrenaline junkie’s dream. A variety of extreme sports and innovative and exhilarating activities will thrill audiences and participants alike at Olympic Park from August 16 to 18.
The Psicobloc Open Series is an extreme free-climbing competition performed without a rope or a net over a pool. Montréal will host the second edition of the Psicobloc Open Series competition in Canada at the Parc Jean-Drapeau Aquatic Complex from August 22 to 25.
Once a year, for five muscle-burning, perspiration-pouring hours, many of the world’s elite cyclists – competitors in the Tour de France, the Summer Olympics and the like – bring peak athletic performance to the peak of Mount Royal for the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal. This year it rolls out on September 14 and 15.
From September 19 to 22, Montréal will host a leg of the Longines Global Champions Tour, the world’s premier equestrian sports series. The elite show-jumping tour, featuring more than 65 riders (including several Olympic medallists) and horses, is in Canada for the first time and will take place in an exciting new venue at the Old Port.
The popular Oasis International Marathon sees thousands upon thousands of runners pounding the pavement through the streets of Montréal to the beat of live music, culminating in a special post-race headlining concert and celebration. This year it all goes down on September 21 and 22.
And then it’s the beginning of October, and we all know what that means: the return of the Habs and another exciting run for the Cup!
Jamie O’Meara, blogger
Jamie O’Meara is a writer for The Montreal Gazette, C2 Montréal, Moment Factory and more. He also manages the PR Team at the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival and is the former Editor-in-Chief of alt-weekly newspaper HOUR Magazine.