The worst kept secret in Vancouver is now public, as details surrounding the temporary home of the BC Lions have been announced. The $14.4 million stadium will sit on the grounds of the former Empire Stadium at the PNE.
Capacity of the temporary stadium is approximately 27,500 seats, including 20,000 individual seats, and 7,400 bench seats. Sideline seating areas will be covered. In addition, a limited number of
private boxes will be created, as well as media facilities, concessions, stadium level lighting, scoreboards, video board and washrooms.
Pav-Co Chair David Podmore says no other location came to mind. “It really is the only site that is suitable in the Lower Mainland that has convenient access by transit and road, and is of sufficient size to accommodate the requirements of the Whitecaps and BC Lions.” The Lions will play their entire 2010 season at the temporary stadium, while the Whitecaps 2011 MLS team will play the first few home games of their season there, before the renovated BC Place (with retractable roof) is completed.
The BC Lions played their first game on those same grounds back in 1954, and stayed there until they moved to BC Place in 1983. The old Empire Stadium was also the original home of the
Vancouver Whitecaps in 1974.