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Impressions of BC Place

BC Lions & BC Place
In 2009 we attended 5 BC Lions games at BC Place which is within walking distance of our apartment. In 2010 we ventured to Empire Stadium for one game. The travel time, ridiculous parking prices, huge line ups, disgusting portable washroom trailers and sun in the eyes when sitting on the wrong side of the field were enough to make us not go back. While some people claimed to really enjoy the Empire Field experience we much prefer BC Place.

BC Place Renovations
We were excited to hear about the new roof and renovations and what differences $563 million would make besides a new roof. We decided not to attend the first game and after seeing the tweets and reports about the difficulties the staff were having with the food and beverage concessions we were happy to have stayed home. We decided to go to the last game of the season (which turned out to be a very important game) to watch the Lions take on the Alouettes. The Lions played great and won 43 to 1 advancing to the Western final also to be held at BC Place. Here are some of our impressions of the ‘new’ BC Place…

The skyline has definitely changed. I can’t believe I am saying this but the new steel posts that hold up the roof are much more intrusive on the downtown skyline than the old dome seemed to be. However, the updates to the plaza and the introduction of the Terry Fox memorial are great improvements. The memorial was unveiled on September 16th and is a series of four bronze statues of Fox running westward toward his final goal of the Pacific Ocean. Each statue is larger than the previous one in the series, signifying his growing popularity during his cross-Canada run to raise money for cancer. The four statues show a different position of his unique step-hop gait. The memorial was designed by Vancouver artist and author Douglas Coupland, who became friends with the Fox family while writing a book about Terry. The statues were designed so that people alive 1,000 years from now will still be able to understand the story of a Terry Fox.

View the full photo set here.

Inside Highlights
The roof is a huge improvement. No more dirty white dome. The new material is shiny white and mechanical looking with lots of pulleys and wires. We would have liked to see it open though.

The large center hanging replay screen (four sided and high-def) is a huge improvement over the old end zone screens.

The scoreboards (one on each side of the field) and easy to read and stand-out against the revolving add runner.

The add runner now goes all the way around the stadium between the upper and lower decks but there is also another runner below the first deck. These are both bright and kind of annoying for the fan but definitely give the advertisers their money’s worth.

Flatscreen TV’s in the concourse are also a nice addition.

Inside Lowlights
The grey, grey and more grey painted cement is still your first impression as you walk up the ramps into the stadium. It would have been nice to cover some of this grey with murals of some type. Surely local artists deserved a small portion of the $560+ million spent.

The washrooms are still the same. Enough said.

Bud and Bud Light are everywhere (what is this – American Football or NFL night?). It took us until after meeting a friend at half time to realize that Keith’s India Pale Ale and Stanley Park Amber Ale were available at a few select concessions with little signage to say so.

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