Montréalers are as devoted to ice hockey as other Canadians are, with plenty of enthusiasm left over for soccer, U.S.-style football, and the other distinctive national sport, curling. They liked baseball too, but not enough: In 2005, the Montréal Expos, plagued by poor attendance, left for Washington, D.C., where they became the Nationals. Fun fact: Pioneering black athlete Jackie Robinson played for the Montréal Royals in 1946, and there's a sculpture of him outside of Olympic Stadium.
The Grand Prix came back to Montréal in 2010 after a 1-year hiatus (the result of contract negotiations between the city and Formula One, which puts on the race), and the international auto race is slated to return to the city each summer through at least 2014. The event attracts more than 100,000 people to the city's track (and to hotels and restaurants), bringing in as much as C$100 million in tourism dollars and making it the single biggest tourism event of the year. In 2012, it will take place from June 8 to 10. Tickets range from C$45 to C$113 for general admission, C$286 to C$617 for grandstand seats, and C$4,436 for a 1-day pass for the Formula One Paddock Club. Details are at www.formula1.com. Auto-race aficionados can also sate their needs with NASCAR (www.circuitgillesvilleneuve.ca), which comes to Montréal for 2 days in late August, bringing more than 40 top drivers and race cars. One-day general-admission tickets cost C$30 to C$40, with 2-day tickets ranging from C$55 to C$165.
Football & Soccer
What Americans call soccer most of the rest of the world calls football, and there's a big fan base for that kind of football in Montréal -- not surprising, given the city's wide and varied immigrant population. The Montréal Impact (tel. 514/328-3668; www.montrealimpact.com) is part of the North American Soccer League and plays at Saputo Stadium, rue 4750 Sherbrooke est, near the Olympic Stadium. Tickets are C$10 to C$30.
Meanwhile, there's also U.S.-style professional football in Canada. The Montréal Alouettes (French for "larks") play at McGill University's Percival-Molson Memorial Stadium from June to November. The "Als," as they're fondly known, enjoy considerable success; they won their seventh Grey Cup in 2010, the Canadian Football League's version of the U.S. Super Bowl. Tickets start at C$25. Details are at tel. 514/871-2255 and www.montrealalouettes.com.
The beloved Montréal Canadiens play downtown at the Centre Bell arena. The team has won 24 Stanley Cups (the last one in 1992-93), and the season runs from October to April, with playoff games potentially continuing into June. Tickets are C$25 to C$225. Check www.canadiens.com for schedules and ticketing, or call tel. 877/668-8269 or 514/790-2525.
The Rogers Cup tournament (tel. 514/273-1515; www.rogerscup.com) comes each August to the Uniprix Stadium, which is near the De Castelnau and the Jarry Métro stops, with singles and doubles matches. Men's and women's tournaments are played in two different locations, alternating between Montréal and Toronto. The stadium's Centre Court holds more than 11,000. Tickets cost between C$10 and C$158, with up to four matches included. To make the tournament more green, the stadium provides 175 bike-rack slots, free public transit tickets to all spectators, and a shuttle service.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.