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Schultz: Renovated B.C. Place among world's best stadiums

Chris Schultz
10/3/2011 6:52:56 PM
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I worry a lot.

I really do.

I worry about this, I worry about that, and I worry about the CFL.

I always have concerns about in stadium attendance, the quality and integrity of the game, if television ratings are improving. And if the ratings aren't improving well then I accept responsibility and start to worry about… ME.

But after being in B.C. Place Stadium last Friday night I no longer have any concerns about the B.C. Lions. As we rode to the stadium Friday morning we joked about what you can get for $500 million dollars.

As we found out, you get a lot.

I always enjoyed playing in B.C. Place. It was my favourite road stadium to experience.

Now, I wish I was still playing.

The newly renovated stadium is sensory overload. The first thing you notice is how bright and filled with natural light the place is.  Then you notice how it changes colours constantly as advertising bands that ring the stadium cycle.

I think I experienced every colour imaginable, and some combinations of colours that I had never imagined.

And yes, the new building is loud. But I like loud. I have always liked loud music, crowds, traffic and so on.

Loud wakes me up, silence puts me to sleep.

Then there is the field. The field is perfect, almost surreal in its perfection. 

And the jumbotron scoreboard hanging above is hypnotic. I was fortunate enough to be at Cowboys Stadium on Monday and B.C. Place on Friday. In physical size, the scoreboard in Dallas is second to none. But the one in B.C. Place is definitely a close second. Both are massive and crystal clear.

The seats are new as well. Gone are the old light blue ones. The new ones are a mix of light burgundy, red and grey patterned with a purpose that I have I have yet to figure out.

The roof is a marvel of technology. When I was at Cowboys Stadium I understood why students study architecture. B.C. place made me understand why students study engineering.

Now, will all of this make a difference in B.C. Lion football?

The answer is yes. The new stadium means instantaneous atmosphere for the ticket holder and instantaneous home field advantage for the Lions.

To all those involved, from the creative side, to the money side, and to the significant human labour: you all deserve a huge pat on the back. It truly is a job well done.

When you see college football stadiums NFL stadiums in the U.S. you see how they set the standard for being impressive and unique. And without reservation, you see how the stadium experience plays a big time factor in the game.

Well B.C. place is big time. It is as impressive as any of the top Stadiums in the U.S. and better than the rest.

There is nothing more important to the Canadian Football League than the CFL fan.

Presenting an atmosphere of sensory overload and of quality like that of B.C. Place makes coming to the stadium and paying your money truly worthwhile. Even if the game is only average or the home team is having an off-night you know you are going to enjoy the evening.

I have great memories of B.C. Place: The 1987 Grey Cup, an Argos-Lions game in 1990 that produced 100 points and many other moments of football excellence.

Now in 2011, I have a new memory of a terrific night and money well spent.

Congratulations to everyone involved with B.C. Place stadium on a job well done.

Chris Schultz

Chris Schultz

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