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The building was built as the main stadium for the 1976 Summer Olympic Games.
The stadium was host to various events including the opening and closing ceremonies, athletics, football finals, and the team jumping equestrian events.
The stadium and Olympic Park grounds border Maisonneuve Park, which includes the Montreal Botanical Garden, adjacent to the west across Rue Sherbrooke (Route 138).
A covered stadium was thought to be all but essential for Drapeau's other goal of bringing a Major League Baseball team to Montreal, given the cold weather that can affect the city in April, October and sometimes even September.
The Olympic swimming pool is located under this tower.
An Olympic velodrome (since converted to the Montreal Biodome, an indoor nature museum) was situated at the base of the tower in a building similar in design to the swimming pool.
The Montreal Alouettes of the CFL returned to their previous home of Molson Stadium in 1998 for regular season games, but continued to use Olympic Stadium for playoff and Grey Cup games until 2014 when they returned to Molson Stadium for all of their games. The stadium currently serves as a multipurpose facility for special events (e.g.Just as Charles Bronfman, who was slated to become the franchise's first owner, was ready to walk away, Drapeau had his staffers draw up a proposal for a stadium.It was enough to persuade Bronfman to continue with the effort.It is also called "The Big Owe" to reference the astronomical cost of the stadium and the 1976 Olympics as a whole.The stadium is the largest by seating capacity in Canada.