Saturday, January 23, 2010

Timeline: B.C. Place and VANOC's long, strange trip

B.C. Place Stadium is owned by the taxpayers of British Columbia. It is the biggest room in western Canada and is arguably the most important building in Canada because it will host the 2010 Winter Olympics' opening ceremony on Feb. 12. The ceremony will attract the biggest worldwide TV audience of the Games and will feature every nation entered.

B.C. Place is also a building rife with controversy. Read on and enjoy bonus content by clicking the dates.

July 2/03: Vancouver chosen in Prague by the International Olympic Committee to host the 2010 Winter Olympics. Opening and closing ceremonies planned for B.C. Place Stadium.

Nov. 13/06: Janitorial worker collapses on the job in B.C. Place Stadium, dies later in hospital. WorkSafeBC not told for almost two years.

Jan. 5/07: B.C. Place Stadium roof ripped and collapsed under snow after heating system not used.

Sept. 20/07: David Atkins Enterprises Productions hired for 2010 Winter Olympics opening and closing ceremonies.

May 16/08: Premier Gordon Campbell announced retractable roof delayed until after the Games.

July 8/08: Atkins’ original Ceremonies Capital Works report issued to B.C. Pavilion Corp.

Jan. 9/09: PavCo announced $365 million retractable roof and interior renovations.

Feb. 5/09: VANOC CFO John McLaughlin invoiced B.C. government $3.5 million for B.C. Place construction.

March 26/09: McLaughlin asked B.C. government for more money for ceremonies.

April 14/09: version 13 of Atkins’ Ceremonies Capital Works report.

May 13/09: Workers cover hole in the middle of B.C. Place floor. Sources say it's where the Olympic flame cauldron will be.

May 20/09: VANOC board secretly approved $8.3 million extra for B.C. Place ceremonies construction.

June 16/09: VANOC quarterly report listed B.C. Place budget at $12.1 million.

Oct. 23/09: PavCo chairman David Podmore said retractable roof to cost $458 million.

Oct. 29/09: Tourism minister Kevin Krueger said interior renovation budget is $105 million.

Jan. 14/09: B.C. Place roof flattening because of weight of lights and speakers for 2010 Olympics ceremonies. Rainwater pools on top and floods like a waterfall into drainage hole on roof.

Jan. 19/10: Aggreko-supplied VANOC diesel-generator spills 200 litres of fuel at B.C. Place's east airlock doors. Vancouver Fire and Rescue and its hazardous materials team responds.

Feb. 12/10: B.C. Place to host first indoor opening ceremony in Olympic history.

May 2010: B.C. Place roof to be deflated.

June 2010: B.C. Lions to play in temporary stadium on former site of Empire Stadium.

Late July 2011: B.C. Place to reopen with retractable roof.

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