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The future of BC Place????


Danny Boy

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I don't know where to put this thread so I'll start it here. But last night I went to the Orange Helmet Awards which are the BC Lions fundraiser for amateur football. I'm not a fan but my work bought a table and asked me to go cuz no one else could make it.

Anyways (to make a short story long), I was chatting away with a coworker at the dinner when some BC government guy was busy talking away about useless football stuff when he made a comment that the government is going to make an anouncement this year regarding the future of BC Place. That's all he said. I have no idea what it will entail but I'm assuming there will be a plan unveiled for redevelopment. Anyone else here know what is going on? If so what effect will that have on Kerfoot's plan?

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I'm not sure,but I know Vancouver has changed in a big way with the real estate and it's full steam ahead condo style and throw in the olympics with all that,well you better drop your million down to stay or hit the bricks! BC Place just seems to be in the way.A 60,000 capacity stadium for a 8 team league that might become 7 soon doesn't have a future,An outdoor stadium with with a rapidly growing interest in a world wide game certainly does!

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There has been talk of demolishing BC Place after 2010 for some time. I suspect the provincial government would love to see the land use coverted from a money-bleeding white elephant to a tax generating cluster of highrise condos and perhaps a new stadium built where condos are not practical or on lower priced land, especially if it is done with private money with all the short and long term risk assumed by the private sector.

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From what I can tell, there are no longer plans to demolish BC place stadium anytime soon after the Olympics.

There is much speculation amongst the building/development community with regards to BC place. Some of it points to BC place getting either a replacement roof or a retractable roof in time for the Olympics. Redevelopment of the site and stadium would be funded by the parceling and selling of some stadium lands to developers.

It would be a shame if BC didn't capitalize on the Olympics and get a world class stadium out of it.

If you have time to read the following it provides a good idea of the debates surrounding the project:

http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=144435

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=571700

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A replacement inflated roof maybe - I am not sure what the benefit would be - but a replacement retractable roof would require a radical rebuild because the walls of the stadium were not designed for the kinds of forces and stresses that such a different roof structure would impose. Probably cheaper, quicker, easier and more likely to produce a superior end product in every respect to simply demolish and start again which I doubt is realistically feasible between now and the Olympics.

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I think a simple replacement of the big white roof that's there now is what we'll see. I suppose they could build some sort of retractable roof on stilts or something around the stadium so that it's just hovering over the stadium and not actually being supported by it. But I really dont see the need for a retractable roof. The Lions play what? ~10-12 home games a year? And this is vancouver we're talking about here, so the number of days they'd want it open..... Trade shows and conventions dont need an open roof. Other than maybe big exhibition games the Whitecaps wont play there...

To answer your question, I dont think this will have any effect on the Whitecaps or Kerfoots plan at all. The only possible (but still very unlikely) scenario that I can see would be if the waterfront stadium finally got full aproval but was going to take a few years to build, and MLS gave Vancouver a franchise and wanted them to start playing before the stadium was ready, they could use BC Place as a temp venue. But I highly doubt that would ever happen.

I suppose one thing to draw out of this would be that it should put to rest any ideas of the Whitecaps sharing the new proposed stadium with the Lions. I know neither side has really wated it but it's always been suggested in the media and by people who really dont really understant the concept of a 'soccer specific stadium.' The 'caps want their own stadium, and the Lions seem happy in BC Place.

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BC place is pretty ugly, but I don't think it would be hard give it some upgrades to make it a better place to see a game. Lions and Major whitecaps games could be held there. Also realisticly in the world of sport for a city to be considered a major city it needs a large stadium. a whitecaps stadium simply wouldn't be big enough

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BC place is pretty ugly, but I don't think it would be hard give it some upgrades to make it a better place to see a game. Lions and Major whitecaps games could be held there. Also realisticly in the world of sport for a city to be considered a major city it needs a large stadium. a whitecaps stadium simply wouldn't be big enough

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quote:Originally posted by finchster

BC place is pretty ugly, but I don't think it would be hard give it some upgrades to make it a better place to see a game. Lions and Major whitecaps games could be held there. Also realisticly in the world of sport for a city to be considered a major city it needs a large stadium. a whitecaps stadium simply wouldn't be big enough

No offence to Edmontonians, but I wouldn't consider it major because of Commonwealth. Vancouver still has the Voodoo, the Grizzlies, the Ravens, and a team in AAA baseball. [:P]

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quote:Originally posted by Danny Boy

No offence to Edmontonians, but I wouldn't consider it major because of Commonwealth. Vancouver still has the Voodoo, the Grizzlies, the Ravens, and a team in AAA baseball. [:P]

Well sure but not having a large enough venue for a major event sort of brings down the pristege of a city don't you think?

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Have to wonder what's the point of aiming to open a hole in the roof for an event that takes place in the middle of winter when most people would want it closed and the cold, rain and snow kept out! Strikes me as yet another Olympic boondoggle.

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quote:Originally posted by Richard

Strikes me as yet another Olympic boondoggle.

Not necessarily... BC Place doesn't have the same connection to the Olympics as the Big Owe which was constructed specifically for the games and never got the proper roof. BC Place is 25 year old structure that needs upgrades to host the Olympics.

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http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=9639952c-aa59-4849-bef0-1fdc28acad78&k=83682

New roof by 2010

Crown corporation that runs BC Place studying options

Jeff Lee, Vancouver Sun

Published: Wednesday, March 05, 2008

There will be a new roof on BC Place in time for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

But whether it will be the familiar air-supported roof that has graced Vancouver's skyline for 25 years, or a more modern open-centre roof has not yet been decided.

David Podmore, the chairman of PavCo, which owns BC Place, confirmed Wednesday the Crown corporation plans to replace the roof in the next 700 days, in time for the opening ceremonies of the Olympics.

The BC Place roof, shown here ripped open in January 2007, will be replaced by 2010, according to the Crown corporation that runs the stadium.View Larger Image View Larger Image

The BC Place roof, shown here ripped open in January 2007, will be replaced by 2010, according to the Crown corporation that runs the stadium.

He said the corporation is looking at a number of options: an identical inflated teflon dome, a rigid covering, a fixed fabric roof, a retractable fabric roof, or one with an open centre.

Podmore would not say how much the new roof would cost, but pledged it will be recovered through the development of condominium towers on property Pavco owns at the corners of the stadium.

That project, which has not yet received city council approval, is still in the concept stage and would not start until after the Games, he said.

A report assessing the options for the roof is nearly complete and will be sent to the provincial cabinet within a month, he said.

If he had his choice, Podmore said, he'd swap the air-supported dome for a more efficient retractable open-centre roof that would free Pavco of crippling energy bills that exceed $1.4 million a year.

"I think it is pretty obvious that if we could get rid of the air-supported feature, that would be great. It does impose constraints on the building in terms of what you can do," he said.

"I think if we are able to get there, we would more than likely cover the seating and hopefully have an opening over the centre field."

Podmore said Pavco's choices will be limited to options that can be completed in time for the Games.

"Obviously, we wouldn't undertake it if we weren't confident it could be done."

He also said only proven technology will be chosen.

"There are different systems around the world. I will tell you that we are looking at proven technology," he said. "We don't really want to invent something."

Because BC Place was built to support an inflatable roof, changing the roof system would also require structural changes and upgrades, including "beefing up" support structures, he said.

"The technical answer is that this building is designed to work in compression, so that everything is working to pull that building in," Podmore explained.

"If you introduce a system that places a load on that compression ring, the tendency is that is pushing the building out."

An engineering assessment of the building is being done. Pavco has also hired Dominion Construction as a construction manager.

Pavco officials began exploring options for a new roof last summer, following the accidental deflation of the dome in January 2007 when an end panel blew out. The accident sharpened debate about whether the stadium should be torn down or retained.

Ultimately, the government decided the province needs a stadium the size of BC Place and that it made no economic sense to take it down.

"I think the accident, if it did anything, was to make a lot of people think about this building," Podmore said. "My own impression is that people sort of ignored the building and that it brought them to think about it and realize it's a pretty valuable building."

Pavco asked for tenders for replacing the current roof from the three companies in the world that build air-supported structures - Bird Air, Fabri-tec and Hi-Tec. But it also decided to look at whether a more modern form of roof could be built.

"We have those bids and we are currently evaluating them. We are also looking at other options," Podmore said. "We are trying to assess the full range of options for the building, what the cost of those might be and the timetable for construction."

Warren Buckley, the CEO of Pavco, said the corporation looked at a number of stadiums around the world, including the Pusan Dome in Korea, the new Durban soccer arena and the Commerce Bank stadium in Frankfurt, as well as Wimbledon, which is being covered with a retractable roof.

All of those use technology that didn't exist when BC Place was built in 1983.

"I think the reality is that there are other treatments and opportunities for us now that didn't exist before that are really quite exciting," he said.

By converting to a retractable roof, Pavco would eliminate a major drain on its finances. Podmore said the cost of keeping the roof inflated is roughly the same as the corporation's $1.4 million annual deficit, which is covered by provincial taxpayers.

Podmore said the decision to replace the roof isn't being driven by the Olympics, but rather by the fact the teflon dome is at the end of its functional lifespan.

"It served us really well and it shouldn't be a surprise to anybody that it needs to be replaced. It's no different than your own home," he said. "There is a maximum of about four years before we have to replace it. So what we are endeavouring to do is to replace it before the Games."

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Interesting tidbit as well from that first article "Canucks Fan" posted:

"Podmore said that he plans to replace all the seats and the main floor slab, which has been damaged over the years and to update electrical plugs and wiring."

Replace the main floor slab? Maybe they could install natural grass?

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As for grass, I doubt it would be practical because, as a publicly owned facility that needs to maximise revenue generation, BC place is heavily used for all kinds of non-sports events that very much mitigate against having a reasonable quality natural grass pitch.

Really only privately owned facilities can afford the luxury of natural grass because they can limit the wear and tear. Most of the major club stadia in Europe that have immaculate grass pitches are jealously protected and used at most for only one game a week, no practices and definitely no concerts or trade shows. Other than that one 90 minute game a week the only people permitted on the pitch are the grounds staff.

Besides, have you ever looked closely at the damage a gridiron football game, especially a pro level one, does to a grass pitch groomed for soccer? Swangard is almost unplayable the day after a football game, especially for a pro level soccer match.

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http://www.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/news/story.html?id=4a39da76-43ee-47e5-b115-059ba8658833&k=68042

Retractable BC Place roof could cost $150 million

Jeff Lee, Vancouver Sun

Published: Thursday, March 06, 2008

Replacing the inflated roof at BC Place with a retractable one would cost $150 million or more and be one of the most ambitious retrofits of an air-supported stadium roof, according to the primary supplier of such systems in North America.

Peter Fervoy, the business development manager for Minneapolis-based Uni-Systems, said his company has already been asked by Birdair, the manufacturer of BC Place's signature Teflon-coated roof, to supply detailed information about how a retractable roof could be installed on the iconic Vancouver building.

And a Birdair official confirmed Thursday that PavCo, the Crown corporation that owns the world's largest air-supported stadium, is also considering new "green building" technologies including photo-voltaic solar panels with which to generate electricity.

Fervoy didn't know how much it would cost to replace BC Place's 500,000-square-foot soft-top roof with a rigid structure, but said his company has installed many of the fabric and retractable roofs on new football stadiums built in the U.S. On average, those roofs cost about $150 million each.

Even if BC Place opts to install a fixed fabric roof without a retractable section, the cost would likely start at around $100 million, he said.

"That would be a good starting point," Fervoy said, adding that changing the roof system on an existing stadium would be more complicated than on one being built new.

On Wednesday David Podmore, the chairman of PavCo, confirmed the corporation is exploring replacing the 26-year-old dome with a number of options, including a fabric structure that could include retractable panels. Regardless of whether a new roof system is used or the existing fabric is replaced, PavCo still intends to finish it in time for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

He would not discuss the cost of a new or replacement roof, saying a feasibility report has not been completed.

Tourism Minister Stan Hagen said Thursday he expects PavCo to submit the report to cabinet within a month. He confirmed the province intends to replace the roof before the Olympics.

Fervoy said PavCo requires the new roof to be finished by November 2009, when the building would be turned over to the Vancouver Organizing Committee. Meeting such a tight schedule is possible but difficult, he said, especially since companies doing such work are extremely busy right now.

"It would require an extremely aggressive schedule to complete," he said. The average time it takes to design and install such roofs is about 36 months, although Uni-Systems has done it in as little as eight months.

"We get excited anytime we hear the words "retractable roof," period," he said.

Bill Barden, Birdair's director of architectural development, said there has never been a total replacement of an air-supported roof system the size of BC Place.

In 1999, Birdair replaced the roof of Syracuse University's Carrier stadium, which is roughly two-thirds the size of BC Place.

Birdair has installed fabric roofs on more than 65 stadiums, including a sister dome to Vancouver's, the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, Ind.

That building will be demolished later this year when construction is complete on a new stadium using a retractable Uni-System roof.

Barden said PavCo asked Birdair for a quote on replacing the existing system. It wanted information on new technologies, including solar panels and rain and wastewater recovery systems. He did not want to disclose the bid price Birdair submitted, noting that two other competitors, Hightex Group and Fabritec Structures, had also submitted bids.

London-based Hightex installed the fabric on the Pusan Stadium, Berlin Stadium and a soccer stadium in South Africa, three projects PavCo said it looked at when considering a replacement system.

California-based Fabritec deals mostly with smaller fabric applications.

Warren Buckley, the CEO of PavCo, also clarified Thursday that although PavCo is considering a new fabric roof over seating with an open centre, it would still require a retractable covering because the stadium is used heavily for trade shows. A permanently open stadium roof such as the one in Munich, Germany would not work.

"A constant, permanent hole in the middle of the roof would not be considered," Buckley said.

"We've looked at it, but when you consider the number of trade shows we have, it would just kill our business. And the last time I looked, it's not sunny every time the B.C. Lions play."

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Seems I was right when I speculated earlier in this thread that it would probably be cheaper and easier to demolish the stadium and start afresh than try to retrofit it with a retractable roof. Never heard such a dumb, wasteful idea.

Also, the comment at the bottom of the Vancouver Sun piece about heavy use for trade shows rather supports my argument that even with a retractable roof natural grass would be a non-starter.

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