Taxpayers funding new roof for BC Place
Published Friday, October 23, 2009 7:43PM PDT
BC Place is getting a new $458-million dollar retractable roof to be completed by the summer of 2011, in time for that year's Grey Cup.
The B.C. government announced the plan Friday morning. Construction is set to begin after the close of the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games.
BC Pavilion Corp. (PavCO), the Crown company that runs the stadium for the provincial government, confirmed it has an agreement for a fixed-priced contract for the new retractable roof with PCL Constructors Canada Inc. announced Kevin Krueger, Minister of Tourism Culture and the Arts and David Podmore, PavCo chair, today.
"A new retractable roof will allow PavCo to attract a broader range of sporting and entertainment events and continue to host the province's largest consumer shows and cultural events that benefit Vancouver and our entire province," Krueger said.
"It will also allow us to provide a revitalized home to the BC Lions and allow for the establishment of the first season of the Vancouver Whitecaps as a Major League Soccer franchise in 2011."
Officials say the roof will be the largest cable-supported, fully retractable fabric roof in the world, measuring more than four hectares in surface area.
Able to open or close in 20 minutes, the design allows for the fabric roof to retract into the centre of the roof opening and be hidden inside a suspended, four-sided electronic video board -- without compromising sight lines.
A retractable roof on BC Place will cut energy costs by one- quarter, $350,000 annually, and a further $100,000 annually will be saved through operational savings officials added.
Details of the construction schedule will be announced in the coming weeks.
Since 1983, BC Place averages over 200 event-days a year, and generates $58 million annually. The government says a new retractable roof will add an additional 41 event days to Vancouver per year, resulting in an annual $100 million per year.