Progress continues at BC Place, where this past week, the last of the 36 masts that will support the stadium's new retractable roof was raised into position.
Each mast is 50 metres in length and weighs approximately 240 tonnes. All 36 masts were assembled inside the stadium, then lifted into position by crane over the past few months.
The next major portion of the project is to install and tension the cable net that is being suspended from the masts. This will support the new fabric roof, which will be the largest of its kind in the world. The retractable centre portion of the roof is the size of the playing field at BC Place, and will be made of flexible Tenara fabric. The outer permanently-fixed portion of the roof will be made of PTFE Coated Fiberglass, and will cover all of the seating in all weather.
The newly renovated stadium remains on schedule to re-open this fall, where it will be the new home of Major League soccer club Vancouver Whitecaps FC and the BC Lions Football Club of the Canadian Football League.
Whitecaps FC and BC Place have a long and proud history. The 'Caps opened the stadium back on June 20, 1983, with the very first event held there. On that day, 60,243 fans filled the new stadium to cheer on Vancouver to a 2-1 win over Seattle Sounders, with legendary striker Peter Beardsley scoring twice in the North American Soccer League clash.
Even before that, Whitecaps FC president, and then player Bobby Lenarduzzi, was one of 16 VIPs who turned on the giant fans on November 14, 1982, to raise the original air-supported roof for the first time. That event changed Vancouver's skyline for the decades that followed.
Now, with the last of the 36 masts raised at BC Place, that skyline is once again something new.
Explore the new BC Place and find your perfect seats for the 2011 MLS season by checking out our 'Virtual Venue' feature.
For more information on BC Place Stadium, please visit www.bcplacestadium.com.