|Posted by Mac D on October 7, 2011 at 10:00 PM|
Last Saturday the newly renovated B.C. Place Stadium was unveiled after a $563 million face lift.
It was built in 1983 (28 years old) and was the world’s largest air-supported dome stadium until 2010 when it was deflated for renovations. It was also the stadium used for the 2010 Winter Olympics Opening and Closing ceremonies along with medal ceremonies.
Once completed it became the world's largest cable supported retractable roof stadium. As well its scoreboard is the second largest in the world behind the Dallas Cowboys which is something.
Before there were 200 HD TV’s in the concourse and now there are 1100. As well a graphic strip circles the whole inside separating the lower and upper bowls.
It held 60,000 people but was downsized to 50,213 (21,000 for soccer) accommodating for wider seating and cup holders which was greatly appreciated.
The turf is something else as well. Not found anywhere else in North America it is designed by the German company Polytan. Bayern Munich and Liverpool use the same turf which drains 70mm (2.76 inches) an hour. It has also received the prestigious two star rating from FIFA which allows international matches to be played on it. It has more give (bounce) and has another inch below what is seen above.
It is home to the B.C. Lions of the CFL and Vancouver Whitecaps of the MLS. The Lions won the draw to be the host of the first ever event with the Whitecaps getting their home debut two days later.
I would have liked to have attended the Lions opener but was able to attend the Whitecaps opener after taking part in the Run For the Cure which supports breast cancer research. I do it every year for my mother who beat it when I was a young child. The Vancouver region raised $1.65 million while B.C. raised over $2 million.
The Whitecaps made up for their poor outing winning 3-0 last night in their second home game since and the Lions have a playoff/first place implication game tomorrow against Calgary.
It was an eyesore during the construction but now is an icon of the city. Here is a time lapse of it all.
The CFL is a different game when compared to the NFL but watching the opener it felt like an NFL game with it being top-notch. It is now the class of the CFL and it would be nice if the Lions can win the Grey Cup in it this season (B.C. is hosting the 99th Grey Cup).
Photos in the photo gallery give some more before and after looks.