Vancouverites and others got a chance to see what they’re tax dollars are going towards Sunday when BC Place stadium opened its doors to the public to show itself of. The stadium of course isn’t complete, but it didn’t need to be to impress those that attended.
The first thing I noticed when I walked in was how massive this project is and the incredible engineering that has gone into it. The stadium seems bigger, mostly because the roof is much higher than the old one.
The public was confined to a secured area at field level and BC Place staff and construction team members were on hand to answer questions from visitors.
The most impressive feature is of course the new retractable roof structure. Several panels of the fixed portion of the roof are now in place, and the structure that supports it is very impressive. Story boards were placed around the floor describing the various upgrades and additions to the stadium.
One of the most anticipated features will be the new video screen that will be installed in the middle of the roof structure. The 4-sided screen will be one of the largest of its kind. The largest panels that will be aligned along the length of the field will be 68’ long and 38’ high. The video board will be the latest in High Definition technology. That section alone is an area equivalent to 450 – 42”flat screen TV’s. In addition to the video board, a new 360 degree ribbon board will be in place on the upper bowl fascia and will coordinate with the main video boards.
If that’s not impressive enough for you, a 12 metre high façade plus mast lighting and fixed fabric roof lighting will combine to create custom light shows both inside and outside the stadium on event nights.
Athletes that play in the stadium will be doing so on the most advanced and state of the art playing surface available. The surface will be a permanent one and will be laid in one piece, making it seamless. It is also FIFA approved to host international soccer events. During concerts and trade shows the field will be protected with a custom cover.
Combine that with wider seats with cup holders, renovated suites, washrooms, concessions and concourses, and BC Place stadium is soon to become one of the best stadiums in North America.
As BC Lions season ticket holder, I can’t wait! Now, if we can just start winning some football games!
Here are some pictures of the event today. Enjoy!