Stadium of the Week – BC Place – Vancouver Whitecaps and BC Lions

With the Women’s World Cup currently on in Canada I thought it was appropriate to look at one of the venues being used in the tournament. I decided on the BC Place, the venue of the final on July the 5th. It has been illuminated in a variety of colour schemes during this World Cup…


The BC place is located in Vancouver in British Columbia. It was built in 1983 in preparation for the World’s Fair Expo in 1986. The original build had a capacity of around 60,000 and was used to host a multitude of events ranging from football to concerts to visits from the Pope. At the time it held claim to the biggest air supported roof anywhere in the world (a dome that was pressurised to maintain its shape).

The original roof structure.

Unfortunately in 2007 the roof suffered from a structural collapse under the weight of snow and ice and as a result of this plans were drawn up to carry out $150 million worth of work on the stadium and the external structure. It took a few years of planning but in 2010 the roof was deflated for the final time and replaced by a new retractable cover (the end budget for all the work in the stadium ran to $514 million). The new retractable roof also held a record of its own being the largest in the world.

Vancouver-Jan 5, 2007-Roof of BC Place Stadium collapses Friday during a storm.  The one patch at right is the one that failed which sent the whole thing down.  Also, interior shot with workers and shot of General Manager of BC Place Howard Crosley talking to media. For Wency Leung story(Steve Bosch photo) [PNG Merlin Archive] *CALGARY HERALD MERLIN ARCHIVE*
The snow covered roof that collapsed in 2007.
Currently the stadium is home to two Canadian football teams, the Vancouver Whitecaps of the MLS and the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League. Additionally there have been national matches scheduled here and other sports including Ice-Hockey. The stadium was chosen as one of six host venues for the 2014 Women’s World Cup and will host 9 matches in total (including the final). Controversially it has an artificial surface (along with all of the other tournament venues).

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