This weekend was a big one in stadium news for Vancouver, B.C. First, the newly renovated—for a mere $563 million—BC Place Stadium opened on Friday to host the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League. Then, the Vancouver Whitecaps of the MLS vacated the temporary Empire Field and played its first game in BC Place on Sunday.

BC Place now features a retractable roof, which owners claim will draw concerts and other events to the city at all times of the year. Gone is the old air-supported Teflon-fabric roof, now with a Tenara-fabric roof held up by 36 masts and adjoining cables in what amounts to 18 separate suspension bridges in a ring-like formation around the circumference of the downtown stadium.

The new roof takes 20 minutes to open or close and can pull into a space over the large video scoreboard in the center of the stadium.

The building also got a new façade and an upgraded interior.

Early returns have fans happy with the new renovations, even though a looming strike may have presented some staffing challenges at the Friday football game that drew an estimated 40,000 to the 63,000-seat venue.

And for Empire Field? It was all along designed to be temporary. So, while the artificial turf and lights will remain, the stadium itself will get boxed back up and returned to Europe, likely for use in another stadium.

The majority of the parts for Empire Field were shipped over in 2009 in preparation for the February 2010 Winter Olympics in and around Vancouver. Much of the stadium pieces remained in town after the Olympics, while an additional 70 shipping containers full of equipment made the trip from Switzerland via Montreal for the one-year life of Empire Field.

While Whitecaps fans continue to long for a new soccer-only venue on the waterfront (the club has plans, of course, but, alas, no funding), the new BC Place—which could get its new name from a new sponsor anytime this month—will serve their needs ala Century Link Field in Seattle indefinitely.

In both instances, the upper bowls of the football venues get a tarp to make the space more intimate for the small soccer crowds.

Whether hosting soccer crowds, football fans or even the promised bevy of concerts, the new BC Place provides a striking new look to the skyline. But now it needs the revenue to make it all worthwhile.