B.C. Place reno cost more than doubles

The latest numbers are finally in on the ongoing renovation of Vancouver’s B.C. Place, and it’s a bit higher than the $200 million first estimated last year: The new figure is a staggering $523 million, including $458 million to install a retractable roof. “It will be an icon that will be a symbol that will be recognized around the world as Vancouver,” said David Podmore, chair of the provincial BC Pavilion Corporation that owns the dome — presumably speaking of the refurbished stadium, not the price tag.

How all this will be paid for is a bit unclear: The province of British Columbia is lending PavCo the money for the project, which must be paid back within 40 years. PavCo says it’ll do so by selling naming rights and developing land near the stadium — but the naming rights market is in the toilet right now, and the province has estimated that land development would only raise $100 million total. (The government says it will be able to increase the number of dates the stadium is rented out by 20%, and that this would nearly triple revenues; forgive me my skepticism at this math.) I don’t pretend to be an expert on crown corporations, but it seems like there’s at least some risk that PavCo will have to go back to B.C. for a bailout down the road — unless the B.C. Lions and Vancouver Whitecaps are intending to pay really, really high rent.


3 comments on “B.C. Place reno cost more than doubles

  1. I live near BC Place, and it’s an outrage that it costs so much to improve a dilapidated stadium that’s maybe 1/3 – 1/2 full (Upper bowl is closed except for playoff games) for Lions games some 11-12 DAYS PER YEAR– 9 reg season games, 2 exhibiton, 1 playoff game. WhiteCaps will also draw maybe 1/2 the stadium.

    The WhiteCaps had a much cheaper proposed waterfront facility– which would also have been ideal for the Lions– roadblocked by local gov’t and community protest.

    http://thetyee.ca/Views/2006/05/31/Whitecaps/

    For $500 million, they should have created an all-new multi-purpose stadium. BC Place needs to be demolished, and will likely be the subject of many jokes from Olympic visitors.

  2. The previous link contained an image of Waterfront Stadium, which is apparently still on the agenda for the Whitecaps. Here is the wiki entry for it:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whitecaps_Waterfront_Stadium

  3. I’m so happy my provincial government picked this pig over the privately-financed waterfront stadium proposed by the Whitecaps — why get something for free when you can pay $523 million?

    For all the NIMBY’s who attended the city council meetings, I hope you choked on your cornflakes the morning you read this story.

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