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Undersoil heating coils have been laid at BMO Field in Toronto. Grass will be laid in March

Awesome! ~2,000 new seats plus grass is a huge upgrade for TFC. Also, now BMO can really become the permanent home of the national team now.

I know there was talk that Canada would bid on the 2015 Women's World Cup. Is there enough interest in the women's game there that it could maybe justify another expansion to BMO? Just trying to think of ways for them to be able to get some government money for an expansion because by 2015, it wouldn't shock me if they had the demand for 35,000 seats.
 

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Awesome! ~2,000 new seats plus grass is a huge upgrade for TFC. Also, now BMO can really become the permanent home of the national team now.

I know there was talk that Canada would bid on the 2015 Women's World Cup. Is there enough interest in the women's game there that it could maybe justify another expansion to BMO? Just trying to think of ways for them to be able to get some government money for an expansion because by 2015, it wouldn't shock me if they had the demand for 35,000 seats.
No more government money please, at least not for Toronto. I can think of a half dozen or more stadiums that could do with government money more so than BMO.
 

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I know there was talk that Canada would bid on the 2015 Women's World Cup. Is there enough interest in the women's game there that it could maybe justify another expansion to BMO? Just trying to think of ways for them to be able to get some government money for an expansion because by 2015, it wouldn't shock me if they had the demand for 35,000 seats.
In 2002, a crowd of 47,484 saw the FIFA U-19 Women’s World Cup championship match between the U.S. and Canada at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Alberta.

Regarding government money, I agree with Calvin. There are lots of cities that need money for stadium expansion, renovation, or construction more than Toronto.
 

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Awesome! Finally an arena that doesn't look like a tired old box. I saw one for Kansas City that was equally fabulous. I hope this design prevails. No more Bell Centre or GM Place abominations. You'd think Canada would lead the world in arena design, but we have some of the saddest looking arenas on the planet. They're big and do the job, but usually as banal as can be.

I do like the ACC in Toronto, but mostly because of the old Postal Station facade that they preserved.
 

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Awesome! Finally an arena that doesn't look like a tired old box. I saw one for Kansas City that was equally fabulous. I hope this design prevails. No more Bell Centre or GM Place abominations. You'd think Canada would lead the world in arena design, but we have some of the saddest looking arenas on the planet. They're big and do the job, but usually as banal as can be.

I do like the ACC in Toronto, but mostly because of the old Postal Station facade that they preserved.
We kinda had an unfair advantage, though -- we had four of the world's most renowned sports architecture firms -- all based here in KC -- design Sprint Center.

The original plan was even more stunning but was scrapped due to budget constraints.


The Bell Centre was built on a tiny parcel of land that really didn't afford much creativity for a 21k arena.
 

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TFC could, plausibly, expand it themselves. But MLSE is known as being rather tight fisted aren't they?

Toronto is one of the few North American clubs in the black. I think Dallas and Charleston (USL) are the others.
 

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I imagine that Seattle was profitable in their first season. They drew huge crowds by north American soccer standards.

We kinda had an unfair advantage, though -- we had four of the world's most renowned sports architecture firms -- all based here in KC -- design Sprint Center.

The original plan was even more stunning but was scrapped due to budget constraints.


The Bell Centre was built on a tiny parcel of land that really didn't afford much creativity for a 21k arena.
That Kansas City render is gorgeous! The Bell Centre was a huge disappointment. I realize it was a small lot, but you'd think hockey mad Montréal would have demanded a hockey shrine to match the iconic status of their team.
 

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Interesting "RUSSKY DOM" in Vancouver, "SOCHI2014.RU WORLD":

Event Program

Every day from 12.00 to 17.00, activities for Sochi World guests will include: meetings with Russia’s celebrated athletes, as well as autograph signing and photo sessions, entertainment programs, contests, excursions and official project participant and Games Partner events.

In the Omnimax theater, guests will be able to watch sports-themed domestic films and cartoons—the masterpieces of Russian cinema (with English subtitles).

Additionally, on the days of ice hockey competitions, retrospective screenings of ice hockey matches between Russia and Canada will be held in the theater.

On hockey competition days (February 21, 26 and 28, 2010) the Sochi World day program will also include:
- A Table Hockey Tournament
- Games with famous hockey players (for example, «Score a Goal Past Tretyak» and «Best Scorer» with Pavel Bure and others)
- Autograph signings and photo sessions with the stars of Russian and Soviet hockey
- Chant and dance contests among fan groups


In the evenings, guests can enjoy unforgettable performances and jointly celebrate the Olympic victories of our athletes.

Undoubtedly, the highlight and main event will be the transfer ceremony of the Olympic flag to Sochi; for it is from that moment that Sochi will become the official city of the next Winter Games.

Rules for Visitation

In order to take part in the Sochi World activities, visitors must obtain accreditation (permanent access) or day-passes (single-use access). Day-passes are available at the information desk or at the Accreditation Center at the entrance. For Russian fans, entry passes will be created upon presentation of a Russian passport.












http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/4311302764/













http://sochi2014.com/sch_russianhouse
 

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It's fitting that Vancouver gave Russia an eye catching venue like that to showcase Sochi. Thanks for posting, and good luck to your team next month. We're going to destroy you though. We like beating Russians! GO CANADA GO - THE BIG RED MACHINE!

:colgate:
 

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In the Shadow of the Olympics

In the Shadow of the Olympics

By GREG BISHOP
Published: February 4, 2010
VANCOUVER, British Columbia — In this urban oasis widely considered one of the most livable places in the world, the Downtown Eastside is about 15 square blocks of something else. Unlike some Olympic host cities, Vancouver has not moved out its poor.
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At the corner of Main and Hastings, residents of the poorest postal code in Canada passed a recent Tuesday afternoon. One man lighted a crack pipe, inhaling deeply. Another urinated on a wall. Another burned a book of matches, muttering at the flame. Two men started fighting. One brandished a bicycle seat, the other a salad that spilled onto the sidewalk.

“All that over drugs,” a passer-by said. “Welcome to the Downtown Eastside.”

That scene unfolded five blocks from the site of the opening ceremony for the Winter Olympics, scheduled for next Friday, and a five-minute drive from the athletes’ village.

By bidding for the Olympics, Vancouver invited the world to visit. Now city officials are trying to redirect the international news media spotlight from this blighted neighborhood in the shadows of the picturesque North Shore Mountains.

News accounts throughout the world have zeroed in on the striking juxtaposition of the Downtown Eastside with the Winter Games.

“North America’s festering sore of what do with its homeless and disenfranchised is crystallized in a few short blocks,” The Sunday Times of Australia wrote. The Daily News of Egypt wrote, “Just be careful not to stray too far south of Gastown into the city’s notoriously squalid and poverty-stricken notorious Downtown Eastside, where drugs and prostitution are rampant.”

In response, British Columbia and Vancouver officials opened an information center in the neighborhood, with hopes of managing the way the story is told. Fact sheets are being distributed, and journalists are urged to consider positive developments in the neighborhood.

“Someone can write a negative story by taking a picture of someone in a doorway, but we have some things to celebrate,” Rich Coleman, the minister of Housing and Social Development, told reporters last Friday.

Host cities have long been accused of sanitizing rough areas in the run-up to the Olympics. Government efforts were taken to another level for the 2008 Beijing Games, as historical neighborhoods were bulldozed in a slum-clearance program. Vancouver’s actions, though less drastic, have drawn objections from some community groups; at a protest Monday they called the information center propaganda and whitewashing.

Robert Pickton made the Downtown Eastside infamous because he was suspected of killing dozens of female prostitutes and drug addicts he met here. The police charged Pickton in 2002 with 26 counts of second-degree murder after the remains of young women were found on his suburban pig farm. He was tried and convicted of six murders in 2007.

Here, dealers traffic in heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine. Here, users shoot heroin at the first supervised injection site in North America. Here, beneath the obvious, advocates work for change, business owners attempt revitalization and activists see these Olympics as a catalyst.

“The reason this neighborhood exists is because there is real effort to not just displace it,” said Sam Sullivan, a former mayor of Vancouver. “What’s most visible is not what this place is about. Behind the visible people who clearly have a lot of troubles, there’s a community. Some very intelligent people say this is the cultural heart of the city.”

As a member of the City Council, Sullivan witnessed the Olympic pitch, including the four pages of social goals pledging that the Games would benefit this neighborhood. Among the promises: construction of affordable housing, employment for residents and no displacement, as during previous Olympics, when residents were bused to the suburbs and abandoned.

On some promises, Vancouver has delivered, with renovations and 24-hour shelters, with some 3,000 units of low-income housing, with jobs in construction and maintenance and landscaping.

But the anti-Olympic posters plastered in the neighborhood highlight the opposition to the Games.

Residents who felt exploited said that too much was spent on Olympic-related cost overruns and not enough on social services. They worry they will be displaced. And they worry about the police presence and additional protests and violence during the 17 days of the Games.

Multimedia

Slide Show
'Welcome to the Downtown Eastside'
Related
Rings: Devils and Czechs Await Elias’s Return (February 5, 2010)



Keep up with the latest news as the 2010 Winter Games approach.
Go to the Rings Blog »
Advocates plan a Poverty Olympics on Sunday, the brainchild of four Downtown Eastside groups. Competitions include Skating Around Poverty and Welfare Hurdles. Mascots include a cockroach and a rat.

“To the rest of the world, it’s like we’ve got this lepers colony that we just don’t look at,” said Valerie Coles, director of the InnerChange Foundation, which works on the Downtown Eastside. “We’re allowing it to go on without a viable program in place.”

Inside his office at the Chinese Cultural Center, Tung Chan, chief executive of the nonprofit group Success, opened the blinds and gestured toward an alley. Junkies from the Downtown Eastside sometimes run through there, sometimes naked, at all hours, and each morning an employee is sent to collect the used needles lying on the ground. Every door at the center is locked. Chan’s blinds are mostly closed.

But Chan is one of several local businessmen and advocates working to improve the Downtown Eastside, a neighborhood between Chinatown and the Gastown district. Another group is Vandu, or the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users, which fills its board exclusively with addicts past and present.

InnerChange started a study in early 2007 to examine drug addiction not as a moral or social issue, but as a health matter. The research, published in August in The New England Journal of Medicine, found that addicts given heroin in a clinical setting committed fewer crimes and cost the government less in social services. Some weaned their habit with substitution drugs like methadone. Others learned to maintain their addiction.

Revitalization efforts are under way. Woodward’s department store, which went bankrupt in 1993, was turned into more than 500 condominiums, with 200 specified for low-income housing. All of the units sold quickly, despite the location.

One of the few large private art galleries in Canada recently opened in the neighborhood, a short walk from the supervised injection site. The owners also opened a hair salon and will open a cafe.

“It’s our block,” Carey Fouks said as he gave a tour of the art gallery. “It’s our neighborhood.”

The question lingers: Will these efforts yield significant and lasting change? The advocates say they believe the Olympics can boost their efforts, by highlighting the problems in Canada’s poorest postal code and speeding up the recovery process.

“We are who we are,” Sullivan said. “We’re not busing anybody out. We’re proud of what people will see, the work that’s being done. We’re not hiding anything.”







http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/05/sports/olympics/05eastside.html?pagewanted=2&hpw
 

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Vancouver has one of the worst, if not worst heroin problems on the continent. I'm glad they're not trying to shove social problems under the carpet like they do in other Olympic cities. Hopefully, Rio will do the same.
 

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What's with snow in mountains? I heared it's +12 C and still raining.
International media aren't doing their job properly. Yes, it's +12C in Vancouver, but it's below zero and full of snow in the mountains where the skiing will take place. Snow in Vancouver would be nice, but it's not necessary for the speed skating, hockey, figure skating, and curling which take place there.
 

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I dont know what its like in the rest of the world, but the Winter olympics here really have struggled to gain any attention from the media here in Australia. The interest level is extremely small and it seems lower than past Winter Olympics have been. No idea why thats the case but there appears to be missing excitement. This country has a love for any sports it seems but this time around, just flat.

in regards to the legacy of the Winter Olympics, have there been positive financial and long term benifits for host cities? I know that Summer Olympics have a very varied history of legacy after the games, but do not know of the Winter Olympic benifit.

The venues look good and I think overall, in comparison to Beijing, the venues of this years games arenot out to make some grand political statement and are well thought out.

BC looks amazing, the landscapes are truely amazing and is definately my favourite part of Canada. Good luck YVR!
 

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^^

Because a lot fewer countries participate,...how can most of the countries in the middle part of the globe participate if maybe they've never seen snow in their lives? That's a reason for a lack of global interest,...now, local interest............well, how many people do you know who own ice skates or skis? I'd say it's a very small minority, maybe I'm wrong.

Still, I for one, always follow winter Olympics,..in fact,..all world events.
 

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Sports is sports. People around the world who genuinely love competition and the Olympics will be interested. People from warmer parts of the world with a passing interest in sports will not. It's true that fewer countries compete in the WOG, though. I believe there will only be 80 countries sending teams to Vancouver.

How many people do I know that own skates and skis? I live in Canada, and I know only 3 people with skates (myself included), and no one who owns skiis.
 

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International media aren't doing their job properly. Yes, it's +12C in Vancouver, but it's below zero and full of snow in the mountains where the skiing will take place. Snow in Vancouver would be nice, but it's not necessary for the speed skating, hockey, figure skating, and curling which take place there.
No one in the media is complaining about skiing at Whistler, because Whistler is indeed full of snow.

But snow is needed in West Vancouver at Cypress Mountain, site of several outdoor sports that do require snow like Snowboarding and Ski Moguls. Looking at the weather forecast, there is legitimate concern about this.

Here's to hoping things go smoothly. I'm sure Vancouver won't dissapoint.
 
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