January 25, 2011

Facts and figures about the new BC Place

Under construction

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If you’ve taken a trip into the city in recent months, you’ll have noticed that the skyline of the downtown core has changed quite significantly.  Gone is the familiar white ‘bubble’ that once topped BC Place, replaced by masts that will soon support the stadium’s new retractable roof.

Get up-to-speed on some interesting facts and figures about the Lions’ new home and the site of the 2011 Grey Cup this November:

1.  The Revitalization of BC Place

  • BC Place is the largest event facility of its kind in British Columbia.
  • It is able to accommodate approximately 55,000 seated guests.
  • Averaged more than 200 event days a year, hosting more than 26 million people since 1983.

2.  Planning for the Future

  • In October 2009, the Province and PavCo announced a fixed-price contract with PCL Constructors Westcoast Inc. for a cable-supported retractable roof – the largest roof of its kind in the world.
  • BC Place closed for construction on April 6th, 2010. BC Place will be ready to host events under its new roof in fall 2011; and will fully reopen in time for the 99th CFL Grey Cup in November 2011.

3.  A good business case

  • Energy cost savings with retractable roof: $350,000 or 25% per year.
  • Maintenance cost savings with retractable roof: $100,000 per year.
  • Home to Major League Soccer’s Vancouver Whitecaps. The new franchise is expected to attract more than 300,000 visitors per season.
  • A retractable roof for BC Place will create a truly year-round facility.
  • Estimated cost to replace BC Place with a new multi-purpose facility: In excess of $1 billion.
  • The development of lands adjacent to BC Place will significantly contribute toward the cost of revitalization. Paragon Development Ltd. will lease the land under a 70 year agreement worth $6 million per year (plus inflation) in lease revenue.
  • A new $450 million, 680,000 square foot entertainment complex will be built on this site.

4.  Economic Impact and Employment for the Province

  • Current economic impact for the Province created by BC Place: $58 million.
  • Projected economic impact with retractable roof: Over $100 million.
  • Employment generated (Phase 1 renovations): 324 person years of direct employment and an estimated 162 person years of offsite employment.
  • Employment generated (Phase 2 roof project): 3000 person years.
  • Employment generated (Hotel Entertainment Complex): 5400 person years.

5.  Environment and Sustainability

  • The new, cable-supported retractable roof will result in energy savings of up to 25 per cent.
  • BC Place has recycled almost all of its air-supported roof. A small part of the roof has been provided as a gift to Celista, BC near Kamloops, to line their community ice rink.
  • The other major component of the air supported roof, the steel cable system that has held the roof in shape since 1982, has been sent to ABC Recycling in Surrey, BC.

6.  Roof Construction by the Numbers

  • 18,000 tons – weight of steel used in the construction of the retractable roof
  • 76,000 square metres – area of fabric used to cover the roof
  • 50 metres – approximate length of each mast
  • 120 tons – average weight of each mast (not including additional attachments which bring total unit mast to almost 200 tons)
  • 90mm (3.5 inches) – diameter of individual cables used in the spans between masts (Whistler’s Peak to Peak gondola uses primary cables that are 56mm in diameter).
  • 35 kilometres – total length of cable used
  • 7,000,000 kilograms – weight of snow that can be supported by the roof structure
  • 240 metres – length of the longest spans between masts
  • 1,100 tons – maximum lifting capacity of the crane being used to hoist large sections of the roof (Capacity of 600 tons in the configuration being used at BC Place)
  • 85 semi-trailers – number of units required to transport the crane to the stadium for assembly and use inside the construction site.