BC Place is located at 777 Pacific Blvd., Vancouver.
For nearly three decades, BC Place has been a centerpiece for the City of Vancouver. Originally erected as the world’s largest air-supported stadium in 1983, the stadium has now been reinvented and modernized. The stadium has again made history, as it is now a year-round open-air facility with a brand new cable-supported retractable roof – the biggest of its kind in the world.
The renovated venue is the new home of Vancouver Whitecaps FC. This renews a long history for Whitecaps FC at BC Place which began during the days of the North American Soccer League. The ‘Caps played the very first sporting event at the original stadium, beating arch-rivals Seattle Sounders FC 2-1 in front of a crowd of 60,342 on June 20, 1983. In total, the club played 41 matches at the old BC Place (including eight as the 86ers). The last such match was a friendly versus David Beckham and LA Galaxy on November 7, 2007, with 48,172 fans packing the stands.
Now, as we’ve returned to the heart of the city, Whitecaps FC again play inside a truly world-class soccer facility in the heart of downtown Vancouver.
To see a panorama photo of our home opener at BC Place on Oct. 2, 2011, click here.
- Retractable Roof
The only venue of its kind in MLS, the stadium features 100m x 85m of blue-sky when open – the same size as the field area below. Each of the roof’s support masts is 47m tall. All together, the structure is like 18 suspension bridges, each around 200m long. To open the roof, the flexible Tenara fabric retracts into the centre of the opening where it’s hidden inside of a pod above the video board. The transformation takes just 20 minutes.
A new Polytan Ligaturf 240 RS+ all-weather turf field has been installed. The playing surface has a FIFA 2-star rating, designed to meet the highest standards. This field has previously been used at the training grounds for German club Bayern Munich, as well as stadiums such as: Borussia-Park in Mönchengladbach, Germany; Red Bull Arena in Salzburg, Austria and Estadio Nacional in Lima, Peru. Bell Pitch downtown at BC Place will be 117 yards long x 75 yards wide.
- Video Board
As part of the renovations, a new state-of-the-art four-sided centre-hung high definition video board has been installed. The screen is the largest in MLS and the second largest of its kind in North America – behind only the one at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The largest side is 68ft x 38ft, the same area as 450 42” flat screen TVs. The 100,000 pound unit may be raised or lowered depending on event or game requirements.
- Light Display
Those who gaze at the stadium will notice a significant new attraction. Façade panels have been installed just above the concrete ring beam to create a new ETFE light display. This display will show a variety of colours and will be customized for Whitecaps FC matches.
Among the changes in the stands are wider, more modern seats, which now include cupholders. Other selections available include:
- Club Seats
1,300 premium club seats are available with two spacious club lounges on Level 3. These centre-field seats provide great sightlines along with cushions, as well as full food and beverage service and a dedicated stadium entrance so you can skip lines.
- Pitchside Seats
The first three rows are moveable loge seating which will bring fans right down to floor level, closer to the action. Fans in this area will also be treated to a loge lounge, as well as their own food court.
50 newly designed and refurbished guest suites are now available. These include unique hospitality amenities, such as a private suite entrance and concierge service, making for a comfortable experience while enjoying the match.
- Seating Capacity
The soccer-specific configuration at Whitecaps FC matches is 21,000, with a flexible draping system covering the upper bowl to create a more intimate and electric atmosphere.
There are four retail locations situated on the Level 2 concourse. Each of them will be open as gates open on match days.
The stadium is located in the heart of downtown Vancouver, directly next to Rogers Arena, home of the Vancouver Canucks. Though parking is available in the area, it is often limited during special events. Another way to get to the stadium is by public transportation via skytrain, bus, SeaBus or West Coast Express train.
Find more information at http://www.bcplacestadium.com/index.php/getting-here.html
For those fans who would like to ride their bike to the stadium, complimentary and secure parking is provided by The Bike Valet located outside the stadium next to gate F. For more details, visit thebicyclevalet.ca.
Getting into the stadium has also been made easier with the removal of airlocks and revolving doors and the addition of eight high-traffic access ramps. Once you’re in, you can find your way around with the help of distinct concourse colours to assist wayfinding. There are also new reserved areas for people with disabilities integrated into the main stadium seating, as well as new slip-resistant surfaces for the safety of all stadium-goers.
- Environment and Sustainability
The new roof results in much greater energy efficient, saving 25 percent on energy costs (or about $350,000 per year). New energy-efficient sports lighting has also been built in, allowing brighter lights and using 40% less energy. Other initiatives include expanded recycling and carbon neutral operations that aim to improve carbon management and shrink actual emissions year after year.
- Overall Upgrades
Included among the stadium’s improvements are 40 upgraded concessions with expanded menus and faster service, as well as 52 upgraded washrooms and various improvements to media facilities, dressing rooms and general public areas. Also included are upgrades to the exterior plazas and a new Terry Fox Memorial.
For more information on BC Place, please visit bcplace2011.com.
Additional Images (click to enlarge)