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It goes without saying Canada’s second most populated province, Québec, is home to an impressive lineup of pro sports clubs and year-round, sporting action. The proud province isn’t bashful when it comes to wearing its winter and summer badges of honor on its sleeve. These pros are always ready for the next thrill and all you have to do is catch them in their element.
Big-time players like Québec, Montreal, and Gatineau host some of the country’s biggest sporting events throughout the year, from National Hockey League to the NASCAR Nationwide Series to the Canadian Open. The national sport, ice hockey, continues to be Québec’s sporting staple and we get why they are passionate about their hockey teams. You know it’s hockey season when the entire province is cheering as the Montreal Canadians take the ice at the Bell Sports Complex. Even though the multi-purpose sports venue is mainly for NHL use, amateur and youth leagues also get their chance to carve up the ice.
Junior teams aren’t left behind. Teams like the Gatineau Olympiques and the Quebec Ramparts get to strut their skills on ice from September through March. Come summertime Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League keeps their eye on the ball in hopes to take home the Grey Cup at the end of it all. Jump for joy with dramatic play-action passes during the playoffs and if you weren’t a fan, you are once you see how they up the ante.
Die-hard soccer fans head to Saputo Stadium, the second largest soccer-only stadium in the historic Olympic Park, located in downtown Montreal to catch the Montreal Impact of Major League Soccer in full action. Kick back and watch how they give it all they got.
Teams thrive in the province of Québec, but so do some of the country’s most professional auto racers standing tall and proud, calling Montreal their permanent home. Take for example the Canadian Grand Prix held at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Notre Dame Island. This top-speed event has been wowing spectators each year since 1961 and is one of the most popular Formula One World Championship events in Canada.
Wait there’s more. The race circuit also plays host to a long list of major racing events in Québec. Previous star-studded highlights include the NASCAR Xfinity Series, the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, and the NAPA Auto Parts 200. So check the calendar and see which race events you’ll be able to attend.
You won’t want to miss out on some of the best tennis players in the world at Canada’s oldest traditional sporting event – the Canadian Open, better known as the Rogers Cup. Make your next summer visit count and catch these pros serving up aces and avoiding faults while competing for the Rogers Cup title.
This much-anticipated tournament is held for one week in August at Uniprix Stadium in Montreal, alternating between male and female tournaments each year. This stadium was the first to host an international tennis tournament back in 1981. With multiple indoor and outdoor tennis courts, you can perfect your serve on the some of the courts of previous legends.
The Montreal Alouetts are a Must-See
Hut, hut – the province of Québec is no stranger to play-action passes and linebacker blitzes. Just ask fans of the Montreal Alouettes – one of the Canadian Football Leagues most long-standing franchises. The Alouettes, founded in 1946, play regular season home games at Percival Molson Memorial Stadium in Montréal from late June through early November.
However, when the playoffs roll around, the Alouettes up the ante – and the game day experience – by hosting games at Olympic Stadium in Montréal’s historic Olympic Park. The Alouettes have laid claim to the elusive Grey Cup more than five times in their history, helping them become fan-favorites for Quebecers and football fans alike.
Are you a fan of Australian rules football? Well, Québec has you covered. The Australian Rules Football League Quebec (AFL Quebec) has become a mainstay sports league in Quebec since its inaugural season in 2008. The AFL Quebec features several Québec home teams, including the Laval Bombers, Old Montréal Dockers, and the West Island Wooders of Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue. Catch a home game in Laval, Montréal, Québec, or many other metro areas this season.
The Montreal Canadiens & More
It goes without saying Québec is a mecca for ice hockey. From the pros to amateurs to competitive youth leagues – Quebecers are chomping at the bit to cheer on their favorite hometown squads this season. In downtown Montreal, the pride of Québec, the Montreal Canadiens, take the ice at the CentreBell from October through April.
The Canadiens are one of the National Hockey League’s “Original Six” franchises, having been founded in 1909. Since then, they’ve slapped and skated their way to over 20 Stanley Cups. Don’t miss out – the Canadiens play 41 home games each season. Join the other 21,000 red, white, and blue clad hockey fans as the Canadiens look to add to their historical legacy, taking on fierce rivals like the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Canadiens aren’t the only ice hockey worth watching in Québec, though. In fact, La Belle Province features plenty of homegrown hockey clubs spread throughout, offering some of the best sporting action in the province. Founded in 1969, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League is one of three junior hockey leagues in Canada, making up the Canadian Hockey League. The QMJHL features 18 teams in total – 12 of which make their home in Québec – yielding plenty of opportunities for visitors to be a part of the action.
Don’t miss home games at world-class venues like the Centre Robert Guertin in Gatineau, Centre Marcel Dionne in Drummondville, and the Videotron Centre in Québec – the QMJHL season is held during the winter from September through March. And when the Majors are on a lengthy road trip, feel free to take in a Quebec Junior Hockey League home game. The Junior As feature teams at the Aréna de Buckingham in Gatineau and the Aréna Melançon in Saint-Jerome, as well as many other locations. Catch the future QMJHL-ers and NHL hopefuls this season.
The bone-crunching, ice-shredding action continues from October through March at the Centre Étienne Desmarteau in Montréal. There, the Montreal Stars of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League have taken the ice since 2007. Not only are the Stars one of the CWHL’s founding franchises, but also they’re one of the most successful, boasting multiple CWHL Championships.
Québec Soccer Clubs Look to Make An Impact
When it comes to soccer – Quebecers have zero qualms with kickin’ it. In fact, during the summer, Québec features more than enough soccer to satisfy even the most die hard of fans. Since 2010, the city of Montréal has cheered on the Montreal Impact of Major League Soccer.
The Impact look to make an impact in the standings each summer, as they defend home field at Saputo Stadium. The Impact have also been known to play special home games, like MLS-All Star Games, home openers, and playoff games, at Olympic Stadium in Montréal’s historic Olympic Park, offering a unique game day experience.
Not to be outdone, the upstart Première Ligue de soccer du Québec has been entertaining soccer fans in cities like Gatineau and throughout greater Montréal since 2012. Be sure to check out FC Gatineau as they play home games at Terrain Mont Bleu or CS Mont-Royal Outremont whom defend home field at REC Mont-Royal. The PLSQ season begins in May and ends in late October.
More soccer action takes place in the suburb of Laval at the Centre sportif Bois-de-Boulogne, where the Laval Comets compete in the in the USL W-League. Similarly, one of the Comets’ biggest rivals, the Quebec Dynamo ARSQ, play home games at Collège François-Xavier-Garneau in Québec. The W-League season runs from May through July.
Opening its doors in 2008, the Bell Sports Complex is a multi-purpose sports venue located in the city of Brossard. Although the facility has many functions and tenets, it primarily serves as the official practice facility for the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens.
When the Canadiens aren’t carving up the ice, the Sports Complex also hosts amateur Quebec league competitions, including adult recreational leagues and youth leagues, and is available for event rental. The facility also houses plenty of concessions and amenities, as well as a FIFA-approved soccer field.
Opened in 2008, Saputo Stadium is a soccer stadium located in historic Olympic Park in Montréal. The stadium primarily serves as the home field to the Montreal Impact of Major League Soccer and FC Montreal of the USL.
The stadium when through an expansion in 2012, adding to the game day experience, and helping the stadium become the second largest soccer-specific stadium in Canada, let along Québec. Saputo seats roughly 20,000 fans on game day during the long MLS season.