Vancouver, B.C.�s planned $458-million renovation of BC Place, the province�s largest stadium, already has paid dividends. Las Vegas-based Paragon Gaming announced in March it would lease the property adjacent to build a $450-million entertainment complex, complete with a 24-hour casino, five restaurants and two hotels. Operations are set to start in 2013.

An entertainment complex will abut BC Place by 2013, according to Paragon Gaming’s plan.
Photo: Paragon Gaming
An entertainment complex will abut BC Place by 2013, according to Paragon Gaming�s plan.

The 76,000-sq-meter fabric cover at BC Place—the largest air-supported roof in the world—will soon become the world’s largest cable-supported retractable roof.

Work starts this month with a winterization program. The 27-year-old stadium’s existing roof will be deflated in May. The BC Lions Canadian Football League (CFL) team plays there now, and next year the Vancouver Whitecaps Major League Soccer expansion franchise will take up residence.

Vancouver’s BC Pavilion Corp. (PavCo) accepted more than 160 bids on the project in spring 2009 and signed a fixed contract with PCL Constructors Canada, Edmonton, in October. The project will employ 350 workers on-site.

The new fabric—lightweight and semitranslucent polytetrafluoroethylene —will be affixed to a steel frame. The roof will open and close in 20 minutes by evacuating the air inside the membrane and retracting into a center-hung “garage” inside the scoreboard, says PavCo spokesman Duncan Blomfield.

Construction is scheduled for completion in summer 2011, in time to host the CFL’s Grey Cup title game.