B.C. Place: the interview - The Vancouver Courier

Stadium reminisces about 2007 collapse, Pam Anderson

Bob Mackin

Back in June 2003, when the future looked uncertain for B.C. Place Stadium, the Vancouver Courier published an exclusive interview with the air-supported Teflon-coated fibreglas roof. Weeks later, Vancouver won the bid for the 2010 Winter Olympics, which gave the stadium a new lease on life. At least until after the Games. Now the 25-year old big top is at another crossroads, awaiting replacement in time for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Courier: What was it like on Jan. 5, 2007 when you ripped and collapsed?

The Roof: The day of the "controlled deflation?" Who came up with that euphemism--some NPA spin doctor? It was painful when it happened, but it wasn't a total shock. Some rocket scientist thought he'd save some money and score a bonus cheque from the government by neglecting to turn on the heat. Maybe he had Christmas credit card bills outstanding? So the heat wasn't turned on to melt the damn snow. How easy could it have been? Maybe he was going to get around to it after watching the World Junior Hockey final on TSN. The surgery took a lot out of me and I still have stretch marks. But they got me back up in one piece. They kept the heat on most of the time last winter to avoid a repeat episode.

Courier: That was a lowlight. How about the highlights since we last talked?

The Roof: Well, that answer is simple. Two words. Pamela Anderson. So what if the Lions lost the Western final in 2005, Pammy returned for the Grey Cup. That put some extra wind in my sail, if you know what I mean. She was discovered under my cover in 1989 at a Lions' game and look what she did since then. Weddings, divorces, Playboy photo shoots, Baywatch, a sex video and Borat. A well-rounded career, eh?

Courier: Well-rounded indeed. Nice. Now, a serious question. What will happen when they replace you?

The Roof: Well, for one thing, the rest of the building can share the magic. Look out Floor, here comes guano! I'm hoping they'll find a way to put me out to pasture. Cut me up into pieces and turn me into patio umbrellas for a golf course? Maybe a gig on a cruise ship? Just don't put me on the S.S. Norwalk Virus.

Courier: When we talked in June 2003, management was giving you at least five good years before replacement. So maybe this is all according to plan?

The Roof: But didn't tourism and sport minister Olga Ilich tell the world back in 2006 that I had another two decades of life left in me? I was hoping for a simpler overhaul. I really wanted to sit back and enjoy the Olympics in 2010. I'm certain they can find a way to keep me from being singed by the sacred flame. Maybe all I need is a roof canal. Am I good or what? The next Dane Cook? Nah, I'm Dome Cook, comedy superstar!

Courier: What about the future of the stadium without you?

The Roof: Well, I won't be around for the controversy. Maybe some will even miss the good old days of me when the bills come rolling in. They'll call it Big Owe, Part Deux. Maybe they'll find some new tenants. Wouldn't it be nice if the Whitecaps returned? Sure was nice when they paid a visit last November with the Los Angeles Beckhams. Just like old times. Remember June 20, 1983 when they filled the joint? The mayor doesn't seem to give a damn about Whitecaps Waterfront Stadium. Maybe the powers that be can convince Greg Kerfoot to invest here and make it soccer friendly?

Courier: VANOC officials were under you in February, discussing plans for the opening and closing ceremonies. Care to offer any hints?

The Roof: I've taken the VANOC oath of secrecy.

Courier: Can you recite the VANOC oath of secrecy?

The Roof: That's such a secret, I don't even know it myself.

© Vancouver Courier 2008