BC Place
BC Place Opening Day 2011-09-30.jpg
Location 777 Pacific Boulevard
Vancouver, British Columbia V6B 4Y8
Opened June 19, 1983
Renovated 2009 (interior), 2011 (exterior and interior)
Owner Province of British Columbia
Operator BC Pavilion Corporation (PavCO)
Surface Polytan LigaTurf 240 RS+
(FIFA recommended 2 Star)
Construction cost $126.1 million
($267 million in 2014 dollars)

2009 to 2011 - $514 million
($528 million in 2014 dollars)

Total cost:
$795 million in 2014
Architect Studio Phillips Barratt, Ltd.[1]
Stantec Architecture Ltd. (renovation)
Structural engineer Geiger Berger Associates[1]
Geiger Engineers (new roof & center-hung scoreboard)[2]
Schlaich Bergermann & Partner (consulting engineers)
Services engineer Genivar, Inc. (renovation)
Tenants BC Lions (CFL) (1983–2009, 2011–present)
Vancouver Whitecaps FC (MLS) (2011–present)
Vancouver Whitecaps (NASL) (1983–1984)
Vancouver Nighthawks (WBL) (1988)
Capacity 54,320 (Football)
21,000 (Soccer)

BC Place is a multi-purpose stadium located at the north side of False Creek, in Vancouver, British Columbia. It is owned and operated by the BC Pavilion Corporation (PavCo), a crown corporation of the province. It is currently the home of the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League (CFL) and Vancouver Whitecaps FC of Major League Soccer (MLS) as well as the BC Sports Hall of Fame. The stadium also served as the main stadium for the 2010 Winter Olympics and 2010 Paralympics which Vancouver hosted. The stadium opened on June 19, 1983 and was built as an indoor structure with an air-supported roof, the largest of its kind in the world upon its opening.[3] Following the 2010 Winter Olympics, BC Place was closed for several months as part of a massive renovation, the centerpiece of which was replacing the inflatable roof with a retractable roof supported by cables. Once construction was completed, the stadium's new roof was also the largest of its type.

History[edit | edit source]

Construction of the stadium started in 1981 and was completed in 1983. BC Place was built as part of the preparations for the 1986 World's Fair, Expo 86. The stadium was the world's largest air-supported domed stadium until May 4, 2010 when it was deflated for the last time in preparation for the erection of its new retractable roof.[4] Its original air-supported design was similar to the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota which was home to the Minnesota Vikings National Football League team.

Highlights of stadium events[edit | edit source]

The first major event held in the stadium was on September 18, 1984 when Pope John Paul II addressed an over-capacity crowd for "A Celebration of Life", The celebration was part of the papal visit to the Archdiocese of Vancouver. It was one of the most heavily attended events in the stadium. The Pope's Celebration of Life was followed a few months later by the Canadian Pacific Billy Graham Crusade, which drew similar numbers each night.

The stadium was then used for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 1986 World Exposition on Transportation and Communication (Expo '86). Accepting an invitation by the Province of British Columbia, their Royal Highnesses Prince Charles and Princess Diana made themselves available to take part in the opening ceremonies. To great fanfare, they officially proclaimed the World's Fair open on May 2, 1986.

The opening and closing ceremonies of the XXI Olympic Winter Games and the opening ceremonies of the X Paralympic Winter Games were also held in BC Place Stadium in February and March 2010, respectively. The stadium was the first air-supported structure and 24th venue to host the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics.

The 2012 CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament final between the United States and Canada played at the stadium was the highest attendance for a women's CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying game with 25,427 people in attendance.[5]

2007 roof deflation[edit | edit source]

On January 5, 2007, a tear occurred in the roof's ETFE fabric close to Gate G on the south side where the roof meets the top of the concrete bowl.[6][7] The tear grew quickly as air escaped through it, whereupon maintenance staff performed an intentional, controlled deflation to protect the integrity of the roof's intact fabric panels.[8] As it was designed to do, the deflated roof rested on its steel support cables 6 metres (20 ft) above the seating and the field. Normally, the roof had a rise of 27 metres (90 ft) above the top of the bowl when inflated.[9] No one was injured during the incident, although rain and melted snow flooded the bowl and subsequently had to be pumped out.

An independent report indicated that an accidental rapid pressurization combined with lightly gusting wind and a location of previously undetected damage caused the tear.[10] The damaged panel was replaced with a temporary one on January 19 and the roof was re-inflated.[11][12] The BC Contractors Association held an exhibition in the stadium over the week of January 23,[13] during which the roof leaked in several places when it rained.[14] The temporary panel was successfully replaced with a permanent one in June 2007, prior to the start of the BC Lions 2007 season.[15]

Sports teams[edit | edit source]

The new BC Place prior to the BC Lions opener on September 30, 2011

The new BC Place prior to a Whitecaps match

Currently, BC Place's main sports tenants are the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League (CFL) and Vancouver Whitecaps FC of Major League Soccer (MLS). The stadium was also home of the Vancouver Whitecaps of the North American Soccer League (NASL) during the early 1980s. The 1983 NASL Soccer Bowl was also held at BC Place, where the Tulsa Roughnecks defeated the Toronto Blizzard 2-0.

The stadium has hosted the CFL's championship game, the Grey Cup, eight times: in 1983, 1986, 1987, 1990, 1994, 1999, 2005, and 2011. Perhaps the most thrilling game was the 1994 championship in which the hometown BC Lions defeated the U.S. expansion team the Baltimore Football Club on a last-second field goal by Lui Passaglia, preventing the Grey Cup trophy from leaving Canada (Baltimore would win the Grey Cup the following year). The stadium hosted the 99th Grey Cup in 2011 after the new roof was completed.[16]

The 47th Vanier Cup was the first Canadian university football championship paired with the Grey Cup Festival and played Friday, November 25, 2011 between the McMaster Marauders and Laval Rouge et Or in front of 24,935. Nicknamed "Best Game... Ever",[17] it is widely regarded as one of the most exciting Canadian Football games of all time[18] with McMaster winning 41-38 in double overtime. It was the first championship played in the newly renovated facility.

In 1987, an exhibition match of Australian rules football was played at the stadium and drew a crowd of 32,789 – a record for the largest AFL/VFL crowd outside of Australia.

The Vancouver Nighthawks, a member of the World Basketball League, played the 1988 season at BC Place.[19]

The stadium was also built to accommodate a baseball diamond, with retractable seating sections making room for right field. The Vancouver Canadians of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League played several series of games there between 1984 and 1988, including games 1 and 2 of the 1985 league championship series. Numerous Major League Baseball spring training games were also played, including in 1984 (Toronto Blue Jays and Milwaukee Brewers), 1986 (Chicago Cubs, San Diego Padres, Montreal Expos and Seattle Mariners), 1993 (Toronto, Seattle, Milwaukee and Detroit Tigers) and 1994 MLB season (Toronto, Seattle, Montreal and Colorado Rockies).[20]

The stadium also held an NFL exhibition game in 1998 when the San Francisco 49ers beat the Seattle Seahawks 24-21 in the American Bowl.

The 2014 NHL Heritage Classic is scheduled to take place March 2, 2014 in BC Place, with the Ottawa Senators facing off against the home team Vancouver Canucks.[21] It will be the first of the NHL's "outdoor" games to be played in what technically is an indoor stadium, albeit one of a larger capacity than a typical NHL arena; BC Place is a retractable roof venue, and it is unknown if the stadium has the capabilities to keep its roof open during inclement weather (several stadiums of the type explicitly cannot be kept open in such an environment due to drainage concerns).

Renovation and roof replacement[edit | edit source]

BC Place Retractable Roof under construction, April 2011

PavCo, which owns and operates BC Place, is governed primarily by the British Columbia Enterprise Corporation Act, which names it an Agent of the government, binds it by the same laws as the government, and gives it the same immunities as the government.

On May 16, 2008, it was announced that over $150 million in major renovations would be carried out on BC Place Stadium. These included seating replacements, washroom and concessions renovations, and replacement of the ETFE roof with a new retractable roof.[22] The work was done in two phases. The first phase involved upgrades to seating, washrooms, concessions, and luxury suites, as well as the reinforcement of the existing ring beam at the top of the building[23] and was completed in October 2009, in time for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Work on the retractable roof began in May 2010, shortly after the completion of the 2010 Winter Paralympics and the final deflation of the air-supported roof. The official budget for the completed Phase 1 upgrades plus the revitalization project was $514 million.[24] The new roof, a cable-supported retractable roof system first used with the Commerzbank-Arena in Frankfurt, Germany,[25] is the largest of its kind.[26] The opening measures 100 by 85 m (109 by 93 yards), the same size as the field below. The fabric roof retracts into and is hidden by a pod in the centre of the opening, above the suspended videoboard.[27]

The updated stadium also features the second largest centre-hung high definition scoreboard in North America, after the one in the Dallas Cowboys Stadium (since renamed AT&T Stadium).[28] In addition, a new artificial turf developed by Polytan was installed at an estimated cost of $1.2 million. It is designed to achieve FIFA 2-star certification, the highest rating possible. The soccer pitch is 117 by 75 yards (107 by 69 m).[29]

BC Place has been described as one of the most beautiful stadiums in all of North America and the Crown Jewel of the CFL.[30] TSN analyst and former CFL player Chris Schultz praised both the design and engineering of the new stadium.[31] Columnist Brian Hutchinson has praised the renovations for significantly improving the acoustics, and providing a bright and airy feel to the stadium. These were aspects that were missing in its previous air-supported roof incarnation, as well as the Montreal Olympic Stadium and the Rogers Centre (formerly SkyDome).[32]

BC Place renovations summary[edit | edit source]

  • New retractable roof is the largest cable supported retractable roof in the world.[33][34]
  • Revolving doors replaced with clear glass doors, which allows the stadium to be accessed much more easily.[35]
  • Old brown glass around building replaced with light green glass which lets more light in and makes stadium brighter.[35]
  • BC Lions locker room completely expanded and refurbished: Old lockers were taken out, sanded down, refinished, and put back in. New cubicles were also put in with individual lighting for players. Locker room also sports a new floor called "sport floor".[35]
  • New synthetic turf, called Polytan LigaTurf RS+, was installed as the new playing surface. Turf has a 1 1/4 inch (32 mm) thick shock pad underneath the turf and special eco-friendly BionPro infill.[36]
  • A centre-hung high-definition scoreboard measuring 68 by 38 feet (21 m by 12m).[36]
  • Around the stadium is a new Template:Convert/in electronic ribbon board, with a circumference of Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character ",". feet (Expression error: Unexpected < operator. m).[33]
  • Added 1,140 new HDTV screens. Screens work through a system called Stadium Vision. Each screen runs on a separate video source, allowing menu boards at concourse concession stands to show game updates to fans as they order from concession stands.[37]
  • All concourses widened and refurbished.[35]
  • Added 140 additional portable concession stands. Storage of food and supplies will be in concession stands.[37]
  • 50 fully refurbished private suites and 1,300 newly refurbished premium Club Seats.[38][39][40]
  • Wheel chair seating now at every price point and level of the stadium.[33]
  • New upgraded washrooms, and access ramps with new lighting.[41]
  • New state of the art sound system.[33]
  • New wider seats: seats or Template:Convert/inch wide with cup holders on every seat.[33]
  • New sport lighting in stadium; 10% of lighting is called hot strip lighting. Hot strip lighting gives instant on and off.[33]

Awards for BC Place renovation[edit | edit source]

  • Project of the Year for the 2012 International Stadium Business Awards[42]
  • National Council of Structural Engineers Associations' 2012 Outstanding Project Award in the Forensic/Renovation/Retrofit/Rehabilitation Structures category[43]
  • One of the 2012 Awards of Excellence presented to GENIVAR and Geiger Engineers by the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies, Canada[44]
  • The 2013 ENR Global Best Project Winner for Sports/Entertainment[45]

Notable events[edit | edit source]

BC Place with original roof, view from the north

BC Place will host the final of the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup.[46]

Inside BC Place Stadium under original roof

Transportation[edit | edit source]

The stadium is served by two SkyTrain stations via the Expo Line and Canada Line: Stadium–Chinatown to the East, and Yaletown–Roundhouse to the West. The False Creek Ferries and Aquabus also serve the stadium, docking at the nearby Edgewater Casino.

See also[edit | edit source]


References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 BC Place Stadium - Tensile Membrane Structures Sample Application. Makmax.com. Retrieved on January 24, 2013.
  2. Ansell, Lauren. Northern Light. Stadia Magazine. Retrieved on May 30, 2012.
  3. Vancouver's History. vancouvertourism.com. Retrieved on May 30, 2012.
  4. Cyganiak, Marcus. Vancouver Skyline to Change Forever – BC Place Deflated for Good. Buyric.com. Retrieved on September 30, 2011.
  5. MacMahon, Martin. Canada no match for USA. Sportsnet. Retrieved on January 30, 2012.
  6. B.C. Place Stadium's inflated roof collapses (05/01/2007). CTV.ca (January 5, 2007). Retrieved on September 30, 2011.
  7. Sun, Vancouver (January 5, 2007). The roof at B.C. Place stadium deflated after tear (05/01/2007). Canada.com. Retrieved on September 30, 2011.
  8. Vancouver Sun - The roof at B.C. Place stadium deflated after tear (01/05/2007). Canada.com (January 5, 2007). Retrieved on September 30, 2011.
  9. Structural Engineering Slide Library - Modern domes: Air-supported dome. Nisee.berkeley.edu. Retrieved on September 30, 2011.
  10. "Human error a factor in BC Place roof trouble", January 13, 2007. Retrieved on December 23, 2011. 
  11. CTV.ca News Staff. "Teflon roof of B.C. Place Stadium reinflated", CTV.ca, CTVglobemedia, January 19, 2007. Retrieved on January 19, 2007. 
  12. CBC News. "Stadium dome returns to Vancouver skyline", cbc.ca, CBC, January 19, 2007. Retrieved on January 19, 2007. Archived from the original on January 21, 2007. 
  13. BC Place - Events Calendar for January 2007.
  14. "B.C. Place's reopening marred by leaking roof", Cbc.ca, January 24, 2007. Retrieved on September 30, 2011. Archived from the original on May 29, 2007. 
  15. "BC Place Permanent Roof Panel Installation", BC Place Stadium press release, June 14, 2007.
  16. CFL.ca - History of the Grey Cup (Accessed January 5, 2007)
  17. TSN presents complete coverage of 48th Vanier Cup. Tsn.ca (2012-11-20). Retrieved on 2013-07-26.
  18. ‘One of the greatest games’ ever seen. TheSpec. Retrieved on December 1, 2011.
  19. nurun.com. B.C. Place's roof facing its last days | News | Vancouver 24 hrs. Vancouver.24hrs.ca. Retrieved on January 24, 2013.
  20. Baseball in B.C. Place: a thing of the past?. Vancouver Courier (August 18, 2011). Retrieved on February 10, 2013.
  21. Winnipeg Free Press, "Reports:NHL adds 5 outdoor games in 2014, including Heritage Classic in Vancouver", Canadian Press, April 16, 2013
  22. BC Place Stadium To Get Retractable Roof TSN.ca 2008/05/16
  23. Vision 2011 BC Place 2008/09/04
  24. FACTSHEET: BC Place Budget | BC Newsroom. Newsroom.gov.bc.ca (January 18, 2013). Retrieved on January 24, 2013.
  25. Local MLS bid still on, investor says. Vancouver Sun. Retrieved on June 8, 2012.
  26. Hutchinson, Brian. Finally, B.C. Place is a Retractable-Roof Stadium That Works. NationalPost.com. Retrieved on May 30, 2012.
  27. The New Stadium - BC Place. Bcplacestadium.com. Retrieved on December 23, 2011.
  28. Schultz: Renovated B.C. Place among world's best stadiums. Tsn.ca (October 3, 2011). Retrieved on December 23, 2011.
  29. Constantineau, Bruce (September 24, 2011). Empire falls, Whitecaps hope BC Place provides kick-start. The Province. Retrieved on September 24, 2011.
  30. "New retractable roof for BC Place hits $458M", Cbc.ca, October 23, 2009. Retrieved on December 23, 2011. 
  31. Schultz: Renovated B.C. Place among world's best stadiums. Tsn.ca (October 3, 2011). Retrieved on December 23, 2011.
  32. Hutchinson, Brian. Finally, B.C. Place is a Retractable-Roof Stadium That Works. NationalPost.com. Retrieved on May 30, 2012.
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 33.3 33.4 33.5 BC Place: Level 4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUH3IBdPNGI
  34. VIDEO: David Campbell on building the new BC Place roof http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLHA_5-KeW8&feature=related
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 35.3 BC Place: Entrance & Lions Locker Room http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aceXPXMrkBg
  36. 36.0 36.1 BC Place: New turf and centre-hung videoboard http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lXXTemvZ3o
  37. 37.0 37.1 BC Place: Level 2 http://www.bclions.com/video/index/id/21033
  38. Suites and Club Seats - BC Place. Bcplacestadium.com. Retrieved on December 29, 2011.
  39. Suites sneak peek http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9_1MJgSvoI
  40. BC Place | Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Whitecapsfc.com. Retrieved on December 29, 2011.
  41. Accessibility - BC Place. Bcplacestadium.com. Retrieved on December 29, 2011.
  42. BC Place overhaul earns stadium award. Vancouver Sun. Retrieved on October 26, 2012.
  43. NCSEA Awards Program. NCSEA. Retrieved on October 26, 2012.
  44. 2012 Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards Press Release. ACEC. Retrieved on October 26, 2012.
  45. Global Best Project Winner Sports/Entertainment: BC Place Revitalization. Engineering News-Record. Retrieved on June 3, 2013.
  46. "Vancouver to host 2015 Women's World Cup gold medal game", CBC. Retrieved on March 21, 2013. 

External links[edit | edit source]


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