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BC Place Stadium Details
Major League Soccer’s Vancouver Whitecaps play their home games at BC Place in Vancouver, British Columbia. The stadium opened in 1983 and is a multipurpose stadium designed to host both football and soccer. In addition to the Whitecaps, the Canadian Football League’s BC Lions also play at BC Place. BC Place was a major venue during the Vancouver-hosted 2010 Winter Olympics: it hosted both the opening and closing ceremonies.
After the Olympics, BC Place underwent extensive $551 million renovations. The renovations added a new polytan FIFA 2-Star Recommended playing surface, a new high-definition scoreboard (the second largest in the world), new suites and club areas, and over a thousand new high definition TV screens. The largest renovation, however, was to the stadium’s roof. Renovations upgraded the roof — previously an inflatable, air-supported roof — with the world’s largest cable-supported fabric roof. The roof can open or close over the field of play, but the seats in the stadium are always covered. The roof takes about 20 minutes to open and close.
BC Place has hosted the CFL Grey Cup nine times, most recently in 2014. Also in 2014, the BC Place hosted the NHL’s Heritage Classic—with the roof closed—between the Ottawa Senators and the Vancouver Canucks. In 2015, the United States won the FIFA Women’s World Cup at BC Place. The stadium also holds concerts, including Metallica and Guns N Roses in 2017.
The Whitecaps have played at BC Place since 2011. In the 2012 season, BC Place hosted its first MLS playoff game, and the Whitecaps became the first Canadian MLS team to play in the playoffs. The Whitecaps last qualified for the MLS Cup Playoffs in 2015. BC Place has a maximum capacity of 54,500, but the capacity is reduced to 22,120 for Whitecaps matches. The club uses white sails to block the upper bowl, creating a more intimate environment for soccer.
Where’s the best place to sit at BC Place?
The seating area at BC place wraps all the way around the playing field, so pay attention when you’re buying tickets to whether your section is on the sidelines or behind one of the goals and buy according to your preference. The Whitecaps block off the upper bowl, so any tickets you buy will be for the lower level.
The Whitecaps’ Supporters Group, called the Southsiders, sits in sections 249-254 — in the stadium’s southeast corner. If you sit in any of those sections, be prepared to spend the game on your feet: the Southsiders stand and sing throughout the game.
Tips and Tricks
Public transportation is a good option for getting to BC Place. If you’re taking the Skytrain, take the Expo Line to the Stadium-Chinatown stop. If you’re coming from the west, take the Canada Line to Yaletown-Roundhouse Station. It is about a five minute walk from each station to the stadium. The SeaBus also travels to BC Place, and it’s a unique way to get around Vancouver. This passenger ferry connects Vancouver’s North Shore to the downtown area. If you’re traveling form the North Shore, you’ll exit at the Waterfront station and then take the Skytrain from there.
Dress for the weather outside. Even though the retractable roof may be closed, it’s best to treat BC Place as an open-air stadium.
There is a wide variety of food options at BC place. Beast on Fire (sections 217 and 237) offers “carvery-style” sandwiches with choices like slow-roasted prime rib and smoked brisket. And when in Canada, do as the Canadians do and eat poutine. You can find Poutinerie locations at sections 212 and 239. There are many other options available, including vegan and gluten friendly, if you have any dietary restrictions.