BC Place has been an icon in Vancouver since it first opened in June of 1983. It’s featured on post cards, posters, banners, and almost every image that depicts our city.
Home to the 2011 Grey Cup Champion BC Lions and Vancouver’s WhitecapsFC MLS team, BC Place also hosts expos, trade shows, and other events throughout the year. For 2012 they already have 250 occupancy days booked.
The stadium underwent renovations after the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games and re-opened last fall. Aside from the roof replacement, seismic upgrades were performed, suites were re-modeled, seats were swapped out, and many of the grey cement walls were transformed into large multi-storey windows.
I’ve spent more time at BC Place in the last few months that I have at any other point in my life since we became WhitecapsFC season ticket holders. ‘Fresh air’ and ‘light’ are now words you can associate with the stadium.
I took a quick tour last week prior to the first BC Lions exhibition game of the season. Graham Ramsay, Director of Sales and Marketing, fielded my questions that mostly stemmed from overheard conversations at games.
Why this colour pattern on the seats?
You’ll notice there doesn’t appear to be a discernible pattern to the grey, orange, and red seats placed around the stadium. Ramsay said that the developer quite simply showed them 6 different computer-generated layout patterns for the seats, then they chose one that looked good and went with it. They wanted to avoid big blocks of blue (from the previous seats) that you would see in the old BC Place configuration.
Can you close the roof if it starts raining during a game?
The roof can be closed at any time however, Ramsay said that’s something they can’t do in the middle of a match as it could effect game play (wind direction and other conditions). It takes about 20 minutes for the roof to fully open or close.
How long does it take to go from a Whitecaps to BC Lions setup?
Removing the banners from seats, opening up the top level, cleaning the lines off the field, adding in the goal posts — all of that takes about 48 hours to complete. For special events, the field gets covered in over 1200 sheets of Terracover material.
Something new that’s been introduced to BC Place this season is a wider selection of food options. From a Vij’s stand and Steveston Fish & Chips, to ‘Southsliders’ pulled pork mini burgers.
I also got a taste of what you can find in the Edgewater Lounge, near the club section and suites. There I met Executive Chef Ryan Stone who demonstrated the “hot potato bar” — think Marble Slab or Coldstone Creamery for ice cream but on a hot marble slab and with mashed potato. Guests can choose their toppings like braised short rib, chicken, bacon, onions, gravy, and cheese curds.
Lost and Found, where do the items go?
Any items not claimed from lost and found at BC Place after a 2-month period are sent to the Development Disability Association, a charity supported by BC Place.
If you would like to check out BC Place for yourself, whether you’ve seen the results of the renovation already or not, I have 2 tickets available for the BC Lions season opener against Winnipeg on June 29th. Here’s how you can enter to win them:
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I will draw one winner at random from all entries on Sunday, June 24, 2012 at 11:00pm. Update The winner is ag.!