The official proposed venues for Vancouver’s second Olympics in 2030

Jun 14 2022, 7:26 pm

More than two years after the idea of rehosting the Olympic Winter Games was first reignited, and after half a year of First Host First Nations-led preliminary planning, the Canadian Olympic Committee’s (COC) feasibility team has revealed the proposed official venue concept for the potential Vancouver 2030 Games bid — now known as BC 2030.

The concept was unveiled during a media event held in Whistler this morning, with leaders of the Squamish, Lil’wat, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh nations in attendance.

“As we navigated the feasibility phase, our Nations worked closely with the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Committees, and our municipal partners, to not only determine if it is possible to host, but to truly explore what it would mean to host an Indigenous-led Olympic and Paralympic Games,” said Musqueam Chief Wayne Sparrow.

“With the release of the Games concept, we can finally begin to share that we are ready to welcome the world back to our territory and create new paths towards reconciliation through sport.”

The first-ever, Indigenous-led Olympics would be held from February 8 to 24, while the Paralympics would be held from March 8 to 17.

As expected, the proposed venue concept for 2030 largely follows the blueprint for 2010, with the major exceptions of the use of Sun Peaks near Kamloops, and Hastings Park in East Vancouver.

Altogether, the BC 2030 Games concept is envisioned as “three circles” — three clusters within Whistler, Metro Vancouver, and Sun Peaks.

Replacing the use of Cypress Mountain from 2010, Sun Peaks will host the freestyle skiing and snowboarding events. After the issues with a lack of snow during the 2010 Games, Cypress Mountain, which is on a relatively low elevation, is not being considered for reuse. While Whistler provides a much closer relocation option, it faces challenges of its own, specifically logistical constraints, hotel room capacity limitations, and the strained Sea to Sky Highway transportation corridor, given that all of 2010 uses the resort municipality experienced will be repeated for 2030.

bc 2030 vancouver olympics venue plan map

Map showing the proposed venue concept plan for the BC 2030 Olympics. Click on the map for an enlarged version. (Canadian Olympic Committee)

Sun Peaks

Sun Peaks Resort (Shutterstock)

The use of Sun Peaks also requires establishing minor Athletes Village and Medals Plaza venues in the area, given the distance from Vancouver and Whistler. Additionally, the use of Sun Peaks and the wider Kamloops area provides added hotel capacity to the overall Games concept. The IOC estimates there is a need for 25,000 hotel rooms to meet the various Winter Games needs, including over 13,000 rooms for media and 5,000 rooms for sponsors. Additionally, 2,500 beds in Vancouver and 6,100 beds in Whistler will be required for Games-time operations workforce — both staff and volunteers.

In 2030, Hastings Park would have a very high profile by essentially functioning as an Olympic Park. In addition to figure skating and short-track speed skating returning to the Pacific Coliseum, the adjacent Hastings Racecourse would be temporarily converted into the venue for freestyle skiing and snowboarding’s Big Air discipline, which is one of the several new disciplines introduced to the Winter Games after 2010.

Hastings Park’s temporary venue for Big Air, backdropped by Burrard Inlet and the North Shore mountains, would be equivalent to the Beijing 2022 venue located in an industrial area backdropped by steel mill cooling towers.

Hastings Park’s new PNE amphitheatre, which is already approved by Vancouver City Council, is set to reach completion in 2026. The $70-million covered outdoor amphitheatre with a spectator capacity of 10,000 seats will replace BC Place Stadium’s previous purpose for the nightly Vancouver medal ceremonies.

hastings racecourse

Aerial of Hastings Racecourse at Hastings Park in Vancouver. (Great Canadian Gaming Corporation)

PNE Amphitheatre cultural spaces

Artistic rendering of the concept for the new PNE Amphitheatre. (PNE)

pne agrodome

Existing condition of PNE’s Agrodome at Hastings Park. (PNE)

Curling facilities will also be held in the existing Agrodome at Hastings Park. The arena will undergo renovations, replacing the 2010 venue that has since been converted into a major community centre in Hillcrest.

But speed skating will return to the Richmond Olympic Oval. The post-2010 conversion of the oval into a community and recreational centre retained the ability to revert the facility back into a speed skating oval.

The Olympic opening and closing ceremonies and the Paralympic opening ceremony will return to BC Place Stadium, but the Paralympic closing ceremony will be held at Hastings Park.

It is anticipated a total of 1.75 million spectator tickets will be made available for the 2030 Olympics — similar to what was offered in 2010. There is noticeably a smaller spectator capacity for all of the sports venues in Whistler compared to the 2010 configuration.

“This exciting concept for a 2030 Olympic and Paralympic Games is about more than building on the successful legacy of the 2010 Games. An Indigenous-led process, based on respect, inclusivity, and community, started with an invitation from the Host First Nations to come to the table, each bringing unique strengths, to create an exceptional Games and to welcome the world in 2030,”  said Tricia Smith, four-time Olympian and COC President.

“Sport brings us together and this project can be an example of reconciliation and how we can work together to make us all better.”

There are no plans for any new-build permanent sports venues, but some upgrades of existing facilities and temporary new venues are proposed.

Proposed 2030 sports competition venues:

  • Reuse of 2010 venues:
    • Rogers Arena — ice hockey (Vancouver): 18,000 capacity
    • UBC Thunderbird Arena — ice hockey (Vancouver): 6,000 capacity
    • Pacific Coliseum — figure skating/short-track speed skating (Hastings Park, Vancouver): 15,700 capacity
    • Richmond Olympic Oval — speed skating (Richmond): 6,000 capacity
    • Whistler Olympic Park — biathlon, cross-country skiing, ski jumping, & nordic combined (Whistler): 4,000 capacity in each of the three stadiums
    • Whistler Sliding Centre — bobsleigh, skeleton & luge (Whistler): 4,000 capacity
    • Whistler Creekside — alpine skiing speed events (Whistler): 4,000 capacity
  • Different from 2010:
    • Agrodome — curling (Hastings Park, Vancouver): 3,200 capacity
    • Hastings Racecourse — freestyle skiing/snowboard’s big air (Hastings Park, Vancouver): 20,000 capacity
    • Sun Peaks — freestyle skiing/snowboard’s cross, slopestyle, parallel giant, slalom, halfpipe moguls, and aerials (near Kamloops): two stadiums with 4,000 and 3,000 capacities, respectively
    • Whistler Ptarmigan — alpine skiing technical events (Whistler): 3,000 capacity

Major 2030 non-competition venues:

  • Reuse of 2010 venues:
    • BC Place Stadium (Vancouver): Opening and Closing Ceremonies
    • Vancouver Convention Centre (Vancouver): International Broadcast Centre & Main Press Centre
    • Whistler Conference Centre (Whistler): Mountain Broadcast Centre
    • Whistler Celebration Stage (Whistler): Whistler Medals Plaza
  • Different from 2010:
    • Vancouver Medals Plaza (Vancouver): PNE Amphitheatre at Hastings Park; already funded for a 2026 completion
    • Sun Peaks Medals Plaza (Sun Peaks/Kamloops): TBD

2030 Athletes Villages:

Cost estimates for staging the 2030 Games will be released in July, but the release of the concept details today focuses on the overarching vision. The concept still requires the financial backing of the provincial and federal governments.

The required major Athletes Village in Vancouver will use the already-planned redevelopments of the MST Development Corporation, the for-profit development company of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh nations. It could be located either within a phase of the Jericho Lands redevelopment in West Point Grey or in a phase within the Heather Lands redevelopment on the Cambie Corridor.

The Heather Lands redevelopment is most advanced, with City Council recently approving the site-wide rezoning application for the project. However, the Jericho Lands, which is currently in the policy statement proposal stage, could potentially be strategically tied in with a plan to expedite the proposed Arbutus to UBC extension of SkyTrain’s Millennium Line.

jericho lands vancouver concept plan

Option 2 Weave concept for Jericho Lands. (MST Development Corporation/Canada Lands Company)

heather lands vancouver mst development corporation 2022

Heather Lands redevelopment, Vancouver. (Dialog/Canada Lands Company/MST Development Corporation)

The proposed location of the Whistler Athletes Village has yet to be determined, but the golf driving range is a potential option. It is anticipated the preferred village site in Whistler will be identified later this summer.

Later this year, the city councils of Vancouver and Whistler and the respective councils of each participating First Nation will vote on whether or not to proceed with the bid.

“Today’s unveiling of a hosting concept for a proposed 2030 Winter Olympic bid is another step in an Indigenous-led process that has put reconciliation at its core,” said Vancouver mayor Kennedy Stewart.

“I am excited to see the robust consultation phase begin in each host community around this Games concept. It is an opportunity not only to engage around the idea of hosting the Olympics but, more importantly, the idea of working in true partnership with the First Peoples of these lands to build a more sustainable, equitable, and just future for all.”

As the IOC has reformed the bid process to significantly lower costs and risks, eliminating local bid committees and placing the onus on the National Olympic Committees, the COC is effectively the de facto bid committee for BC 2030. So far, the COC has privately self-funded the full cost of the $2.5 million feasibility planning phase, which concludes this month.

If all councils approve the bid, the feasibility stage will transition into the engagement phase between June and November 2022, with a final decision on whether or not to proceed required by December 2022 — when the IOC is expected to begin its “targeted dialogue” stage.

The international bidding phase with the IOC is expected to occur between December 2022 and April 2023. The IOC is anticipated to select the 2030 host city in May 2023 during the IOC Session held in Mumbai, India.

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