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BC Place from the north

BC Place Stadium is a multipurpose stadium and Canadamarker's first domed arena. BC Place Stadium is the largest air-supported stadium in the world. It is located on the north side of False Creekmarker in Vancouvermarker, British Columbiamarker, and is owned and operated by PavCo (BC Pavilion Corporation), a Crown Corporation of the government in the Province of British Columbiamarker.

BC Place has been the home to the CFL's BC Lions since 1983, and will serve as the site for both the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. A monument commemorating Terry Fox is located outside the stadium, as well as a smaller monument commemorating Percy Williams. The BC Sports Hall of Fame is located inside the stadium at Gate A-Level 300. There are plans to refurbish the stadium and install a new retractable roof by 2011.


The stadium, completed in 1983, was built as part of the preparation for the 1986 World's Fair, Expo 86. It is the world's largest air-supported domed stadium and can seat 60,000 in its mixture of permanent and portable light-blue plastic seats. It was built in part to attract a Major League Baseball team in the 80s and 90s, but no MLB expansion to Vancouver has occurred.

The first major event held in the stadium was on September 18, 1984. Called "A Celebration of Life," Pope John Paul II hosted the event on his papal visit to the Archdiocese of Vancouver. Over 65,000 people came to the event, one of the highest attended events in the stadium. The next major event held in the stadium occurred when Queen Elizabeth invited the world to Expo 86. The stadium was used for the opening and closing ceremonies of Expo '86 and to much fanfare, Prince Charles and Princess Diana visited Vancouver and officially opened Expo by speech in BC Place on May 2nd, 1986.

Sports teams

Currently, its main sports tenant is the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League; it was also home of the Vancouver Whitecaps of the North American Soccer League in the early 1980s with plans of the MLS team playing there starting in 2011. The Whitecaps played the first sporting event in the stadium in 1983, against the Seattle Sounders. The last NASL Soccer Bowl was also held at BC Place.

The stadium hosted Grey Cup games in 1983, 1986, 1987, 1990, 1994, 1999, and 2005, perhaps the most thrilling game being the one in 1994 in which the hometown Lions defeated the U.S. expansion Baltimore Football Club on a last-second field goal by Lui Passaglia, preventing the Grey Cup trophy from leaving Canadamarker (although Baltimore would win the Grey Cup the following year). The stadium will also host the 99th Grey Cup in 2011, at which time the retractable roof will have been installed.

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

The stadium is to be the first air-supported structure and the first indoor venue used for the Opening Ceremonies of the Winter Olympics. It will also be the first indoor venue used for the Opening Ceremonies for any Olympics.

2007 deflation

On January 5, 2007, a tear occurred in the Teflon roof close to Gate G at the south side where the roof meets the top of the concrete bowl. The tear grew quickly as air escaped through it, and maintenance staff performed an intentional, controlled deflation to protect the integrity of the roof's other panels. According to its design, the deflated roof rested on its steel support cables 6 metres (20 ft) above the seating and the ground. Normally, the roof has a rise of 27 metres (90 ft) above the top of the bowl when inflated. Nobody was injured in the incident, but rain and melted snow flooded the bowl and had to be pumped out.

The internal air pressure was three times normal at the time of the tear because two maintenance staff, responding to a slight depressurization caused by high winds outside, each raised the pressure unaware of the other's actions. An independent report indicated that the rapid pressurization combined with wind and sleet and pre-existing damage caused the tear. The damaged panel was replaced with a temporary one on January 19 and the roof was re-inflated. The BC Contractors Association held an exhibition in the stadium during the week of January 23, during which the roof leaked rain in several places. The temporary panel was replaced with a permanent one in June 2007, prior to the start of the BC Lions 2007 season.

File:BC Place Deflated2.jpg|A view of the deflated roofFile:160 place hole3 070105.jpg|A view of the deflation of the roofFile:DSC05977 colorized and shrunk.jpg|An inside view of the deflated roof

Additional information

BC Place Stadium inside
PavCo 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.

BC Place is busy with over 200 event days per year and contributes over $40 million per year in economic benefits to the Province of British Columbia, but it operates at a loss of more than $4 million a year ($10 million in earning and more than $14 million in expenses), not including $2.3 million for amortization. It hosts the Province's largest trade and consumer shows, community events and motorsports.

From 1990-2004, the Molson Indy Vancouver Champ Car race was held on a temporary street course surrounding BC Place.

In 2005, BC Place played host to Vans' Slam City Jam Skateboarding Championships. It has also hosted several MLB preseason games and a handful of Vancouver Canadians Pacific Coast League games. It was the site for a motorcycle stunt scene in the Fantastic Four movie. Also in 2007, it hosted a friendly soccer match between the Vancouver Whitecaps and the Los Angeles Galaxy.

The stadium also serves as the finish line for the Vancouver Sun Run every April and the Vancouver Marathon every May.

Singer Madonna performed in Vancouver for the first time in her career in BC Place on October 30, 2008. 50,000 tickets for the concert were sold in only 29 minutes.

Many local sporting provincial games happen in BC Place, such as BCCFA provincial games.

Renovations and roof replacement

On May 16, 2008, over $150 million in major renovations to the stadium were announced, including seat replacement, renovations to washrooms and concessions, and the replacement of the Teflon covering with a new retractable roof. These major renovations will be done in two phases. The first phase which includes upgrades to seating, washrooms and concessions and luxury suites is scheduled to be completed prior to the 2010 Olympic Games. The proposed retractable roof is being planned for after the games in 2011; however, upgrades are planned for the existing roof prior to the Olympics opening. The new retractable roof will resemble Commerzbank-Arenamarker in Frankfurtmarker, Germany as well as be designed by the same architect.

On January 9, 2009, the British Columbiamarker government approved the business case for a $365-million upgrade of BC Place, which will include a retractable roof estimated at about $200 million. The $365 million cost includes $65 million in interior improvements already underway, a $43-million seismic upgrade, the roof project, plumbing, electrical and infrastructure improvements and a contingency fund. BC Pavilion Corporation chair David Podmore said the retractable roof probably won't be finished until the summer of 2011. On August 25, 2009, tourism minister Kevin Krueger said there had been some delays with the project. Officials have not said when the refit might be finished or explained why the original target date will not be met.

The Vancouver MLS expansion franchise have signed a letter of intent to use BC Place for five years, beginning in 2011 when they expand into Major League Soccer. They consider BC Place to be a temporary home prior to moving into the proposed Whitecaps Waterfront Stadiummarker.

On October 23, 2009, the B.C. Government officially announced that B.C. Place would be getting a new retractable roof at the cost of $458-million. Construction on the new roof is expected to begin after the 2010 Winter Olympic Games and is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2011 ensuring it is ready for the 2011 CFL Grey Cup. The roof will not be completed until sometime during the 2011 MLS Season. During construction, the B.C. Lions and Vancouver Whitecaps will play their home games at the Pacific National Exhibition.


The stadium is served by the SkyTrain's Stadium-Chinatown Stationmarker. The False Creek Ferries and Aquabus dock at the Edgewater Casino also serves the stadium.

See also


  1. BC Place Backgrounder
  2. - History of the Grey Cup (Accessed January 5, 2007)
  3. - B.C. Place Stadium's inflated roof collapses (05/01/2007)
  4. - The roof at B.C. Place stadium deflated after tear (05/01/2007)
  5. Vancouver Sun - The roof at B.C. Place stadium deflated after tear (01/05/2007)
  6. Structural Engineering Slide Library - Modern domes: Air-supported dome
  7. B.C. Place roof collapse a result of human error and natural causes, CBC News (12/01/2007)
  8. CKNW - BC Place roof collapses (05/01/2007)
  9. Human error a factor in BC Place Roof Trouble - National Post, 13 January 2007
  10. BC Place - Events Calendar for January 2007
  11. - B.C. Place's reopening marred by leaking roof
  12. "BC Place Permanent Roof Panel Installation", BC Place Stadium press release, June 14, 2007.
  13. BC Place Stadium To Get Retractable Roof 2008/05/16
  14. Vision 2011 BC Place 2008/09/04
  15. Caps love that sound BC Place 2008/10/25
  16. BC Place roof contract set at $458 million TSN 2009/10/23
  17. Lions and Whitecaps to Be Housed at PNE During BC Place Roof Construction TEAM1040 2009/10/23

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