Monday, October 26, 2009

A new roof for a familiar landmark

It's too bad that the work won't begin before that Government renovation tax credit program ends, because at 400 million dollars to refurbish, putting the new roof on BC Place would have garnered a lot of tax credit.

The BC Place Corporation announced last week that the big marshmallow in downtown Vancouver is going to look remarkably different by the time 2011 comes around. As BC Place becomes home to the largest cable, fabric fully-retractable roof in the world, a fairly fascinating looking bit of technology that will replace the current Teflon, air supported topping.

The stadium has hosted Canadian football, exhibition baseball, some of the biggest names in the music industry, tractor pulls and monster truck shows to name a few, and with the new roof in place, BC Place suggests that an extra 41 event days will be available for the venue.

The new design certainly adds a new dimension the iconic structure that has dominated the visuals of downtown Vancouver for the 23 year old reminder of the days of Expo 86.

The original cost of construction for BC Place was around 126 million dollars, to give you an idea as to how much more things cost these days, the cost of the roof replacement project alone will come in somewhere around 458 million dollars up from the original estimate of 365 mil.

For those concerned about those rising costs, there is good news, the cost of financing the project will be arranged through the leasing of BC Pavilion corporation property that surrounds the stadium. At the initial phase of the project however, the costs will be funded by a 40-year $458 million loan to PavCo from the province .
The construction schedule however will be rather disruptive, the stadium will be undergo its refit shortly after the closing ceremonies of the 2010 Olympic games, meaning it will be unavailable for the BC Lions for the 2010 CFL season, requiring the need for a temporary stadium, reported to be planned for the old Empire Stadium site at the PNE, which could we suspect also be the home for any of.

The outline of the plans for the upgrade can be found at the BC Place website under the heading of Vision 2011.
It's going to be quite a modernistic site and remarkable sight for that matter, when the reopening (and first closing of the roof) takes place, too bad about that tax credit window though, could have helped with the budgeting we would think...

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