Province confirms new BC Place roof


A fixed-priced contract for the construction of a new, retractable roof on BC Place has been signed between the BC Pavilion Corporation (PavCo) and PCL Constructors Canada Inc, announced Kevin Krueger, Minister of Tourism Culture and the Arts and David Podmore, PavCo chair, today.

As first announced in May 2008, a new retractable roof will be built after the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The project will be completed by the summer of 2011, in time for the 2011 Grey Cup. The total capital cost for the retractable roof project will be $458 million. The final budget for the roof project is based on a competitive bidding process, including a fixed-price contract for construction with PCL, as well as engineering costs. An appropriate contingency fund has been allocated.

“This investment in our future is expected to create 3,000 person years of employment and ensure British Columbia has a world-class stadium for decades to come,” said Krueger. “A new retractable roof will allow PavCo to attract a broader range of sporting and entertainment events, and continue to host the province’s largest consumer shows and cultural events that benefit Vancouver and our entire province. It will also allow us to provide a revitalized home to the BC Lions and allow for the establishment of the first season of the Vancouver Whitecaps as a Major League Soccer franchise in 2011.”

Once complete, the roof will be the largest cable-supported, fully-retractable, fabric roof in the world at more than four hectares (10 acres). The design allows for the fabric roof to retract into the centre of the roof opening and be hidden inside a suspended, four-sided electronic video board, without compromising sightlines. The roof will be able to open or close within 20 minutes.


BC Place 2011

In May 2008 the Province gave the go-ahead for PavCo, the Crown corporation that operates the stadium, to pursue design and planning for a new retractable roof after the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. PavCo was also asked to pursue a fixed-price contract and guaranteed timeline to complete the roof upgrade. In September of this year, the government asked PavCo, to re-submit an updated business case taking into account the new economic and fiscal situation.

“We are very pleased to have entered into a fixed-price contract to redevelop this British Columbia landmark and, in doing so, create valuable jobs in our community and build upon a lasting legacy for our residents,” says Podmore. “As we said in May 2008, this project will facilitate further development on the lands adjacent to BC Place that will return significant benefits to the Province and create and support thousands of jobs that depend on BC Place. Those discussions are in the final stages.”

Along with economic and cultural benefits, there are significant environmental and cost-saving benefits to this project. A retractable roof on BC Place will cut energy costs by one-quarter, $350,000 annually, and a further $100,000 annually will be saved through operational savings. These reductions will support ongoing provincial strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

This project is in addition to interior refurbishments that have already been completed, essentially creating a new building from the old and reducing the impact on the environment. The project will be funded by the Province under the existing capital plan with no impact to existing projects under the Province’s capital plan.

Details of construction timing will be announced in the coming weeks. This redevelopment project will not impact the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games or the Opening Ceremony for the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games, which will be held in BC Place. It will also be the venue for nightly medal presentations and cultural events.

BC Place opened in 1983 and averages over 200 event-days a year, generating an economic impact of $58 million annually. A retractable roof will attract an additional 41 event-days to Vancouver per year. These additional events will increase the annual economic impact of the stadium to $100 million per year.