Bigger seats, 'marshmallow' roof replaced at Vancouver stadium

Oct 2, 2011

Seen around the world as the venue for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, the iconic “marshmallow,” air supported roof is gone, in favor of a $240 million fabric supported retractable covering.

The renovations have been so extensive, including bigger seats for bigger bottoms, that the new BC Place is being marketed as virtually a brand new stadium.

The seating capacity of the stadium has decreased by more than 5,000 seats to 54,500, because the seats have increased in size – some of them by as much as four inches.

Warren Buckley is the President the BC Pavilion Corporation, which is in charge of BC Place. While he shied away from direct discussions on expanding “posteriors” of patrons, he says it was to enhance comfort.

“It’s to react to the degree of comfort patrons are looking for and what it does, it essentially reduces our inventory, but not substantially,” Buckley said.

He says larger seats are becoming the norm in North America.

From marshmallow to masts

 The most noticeable change from outside the stadium will be the new roof, which is supported by 36 “masts.”  Each are fifteen stories tall and weigh 200 tons.

 It will also house the second biggest video screen in North America, which will measure 68-by-38 feet. This is only second to the screen in Cowboy Stadium in Dallas.

The name of the stadium may also change, if corporate sponsorship can be finalized.

On the Web:

Here is a time-lapse video of the deflation of BC Place's old "marshmallow" roof: