Montreal finally pays off 1976 Olympics


I am the kind of cheesy Olympics lover that hates to see the idealistic pony show dissed, but here’s a dire story from over the pond:

[The Canadian province of Quebec] has finally paid off its Can$1.5-billion debt from the 1976 Summer Games.

Officials from the Olympic Installations Board, which oversees Montreal’s Olympic Stadium, have confirmed that the last payment was made in mid-November, three decades after the world descended on Montreal for the Games.

The astronomical cost included the stadium, the Olympic village, a post-modern apartment building complex, a sports recreation complex, outdoor facilities, parking and the VĂ©lodrome, which has since been refurbished as the Biodome.

Much of the debt was serviced through a special tax on tobacco.

Officials had estimated the debt would be cleared by September 2006, but the smoking ban introduced in May slowed down tobacco sales in the province, according to the Canadian Press.

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