BC Place Opens On Time, On Budget
Vancouver, BC: The newly-revitalized BC Place has officially reopened, less than a year-and-a-half after it was closed for a complete renovation. The ambitious project began immediately after BC Place closed in April of 2010, shortly after serving as Olympic Stadium during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
Premier Christy Clark officially cut the ribbon and opened the doors this evening for the first event inside the new building, a CFL game between the BC Lions and the Edmonton Eskimos.
“This is clearly a magnificent building, and a tribute to those who had the vision and skill to design and build it,” said Premier Clark. “By revitalizing BC Place, we have essentially created a whole new facility for half the price of a new building. It’s something all British Columbians can be proud of.”
“The revitalized BC Place is a world-class stadium that will provide an incredible fan experience,” added Jobs, Tourism and Innovation Minister Pat Bell. “This is a remarkable public asset and will be a great home for British Columbians to cheer on the Lions and Whitecaps for decades to come.”
The $563 million dollar revitalization project includes a cable supported retractable roof, the largest of its kind in the world. The centre portion of the roof is made of highly flexible fabric. When drawn inward to collect in the centre, it creates a roof opening as large as the playing field below. Opening and closing the roof takes about 20 minutes. The outer roof meanwhile consists of fixed fabric panels that protect all 55,000 spectator seats, even if it rains while the retracted roof is open.
The new field at BC Place consists of permanently installed Polytan LigaTurf 240 RS+ all-weather turf which meets FIFA’s two-star top rating. It will be covered with a highly durable custom floor cover for concerts, exhibitions, shows and other special events.
Other major features include all-new wider seats, louvers at the lower edge of roof to further increase air circulation, a new brighter lighting system, a new state-of-the-art sound system and a 36 foot transparent “façade” just above the lower roofline capable of displaying animated light shows along that can be seen from inside and out.
At centre field, the new four-sided electronic video scoreboard system features HD video screens measuring 68 by 38 feet each, the second largest centre hung stadium screen in North America. A new Terry Fox Memorial created by Douglas Coupland was also unveiled at Terry Fox Plaza two weeks prior to the building’s reopening.
“Although the new roof has been the focus of attention for many people, anyone coming in here now will understand that the revitalization was much more than that,” said David Podmore, Chair of the BC Pavilion Corporation (PavCo) which operates BC Place and the Vancouver Convention Centre. “This is a complete makeover, starting with the roof, and working its way right through the building. With these changes, BC Place has an entirely new feel. It’s more than just a roof - it’s a whole new BC Place.”
The economic impact of the building in its new configuration is expected to exceed $100 million annually, compared to $58 million on average prior to closure. The future additional revenues for BC Place are expected from several potential sources including an incremental increase in business resulting from new building configuration, sponsorship agreements, a naming rights agreement and eventual development of PavCo-owned lands adjacent to BC Place.