SBD/Issue 37/Facilities & Venues

Renovated BC Place Stadium Expected To Reopen For '11 Grey Cup

BC Lions Owner Expects Team To Play At
Renovated BC Place Before November '11

BC Pavilion Corp. Chair David Podmore said that the roof reconstruction project at BC Place Stadium "will be done in time" for the Grey Cup in November '11, but he "also made it clear" that the CFL B.C. Lions and Vancouver Whitecaps "will play next year at Empire Field," according to Lowell Ullrich of the Vancouver PROVINCE. Podmore: "We have a fundamental rule we don't open a building until it fulfills our requirements. We'll get them in as quickly as we can but we're not bringing in any events until it's totally complete, and the building will be complete in the fall of 2011." Lions Owner David Braley confirmed reports that the move to Empire Field for the '11 season will "cost him 1,600 season tickets and that the club will finish the season with an operating loss" (Vancouver PROVINCE, 11/2). In Vancouver, Bruce Constantineau notes Braley "expects his club will play under the new retractable-roof stadium 'long before'" next November. Braley said that BC Pavilion Corp. has "already overcome the first of three major construction hurdles with the successful installation of 36 steel beams that will support the roof." Braley said that the Lions "budgeted for less revenue and a break-even season this year because of the move to Empire Field, which is roughly half the size of BC Place." Braley added that the Lions "have been profitable for several years and expects the team will either break even this year or be within about $100,000 either way" (VANCOUVER SUN, 11/2).

OPEN AND SHUT CASE: In Vancouver, Andy Ivens reports the new C$458M cable-and-fabric roof "isn't designed to open and close in heavy wind and rain." BC Place GM Howard Crosley: "The process of opening and closing it would be something that we couldn't do if all of a sudden a storm came upon us without any warning. But we anticipate that, with the weather services we subscribe to, we will have lots of advance warning." Ivens notes even if the roof is open, the "fabric in the permanent portion of the big top will cover all of the seats." Crosley: "The fans will still be protected with roof. It will cover all the fan areas" (Vancouver PROVINCE, 11/2). The roof "can be opened or closed in 20 minutes multiple times through a day" (VANCOUVER SUN, 11/2). 

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