Iconic BC Place roof comes down
BC Place's "giant marshmallow" roof has been deflated after more than a quarter century as a Vancouver landmark.
The 16 fans that support the inflated dome were shut off at 11 a.m., and the deflation lasted about 40 minutes.
It was originally scheduled to be deflated on Monday, but officials pushed it back due to forecasts of rain and wind.
The dome's 720,000 square feet of polytetrafluoroethylene fabric is set to be removed almost immediately, and the majority will be recycled at a plant in the U.S., according to a press release from the stadium.
The iconic inflatable roof is being replaced by a new retractable top at a cost of $458 million.
It's not the first time the roof has come down -- a tear in 2007 left a gaping hole that needed to be patched up -- but it will be the last.
Plans for the retractable replacement were announced last October by Kevin Kreuger, Minister of Tourism, Culture, and the Arts. Krueger said the new roof would cut energy costs at the stadium by one quarter, or about $350,000 per year.
It will be the largest cable-supported, fully retractable fabric roof in the world, measuring more than four hectares in surface area.
Since 1983, BC Place has averaged more than 200 event-days a year, generating $58 million annually. The government says the new retractable roof will add an additional 41 event days per year.
It is scheduled for completion by summer 2011, in time for the Grey Cup and for the Vancouver Whitecaps' first season as a major league soccer franchise.