- Empire Stadium (Vancouver)
Infobox Stadium| stadium_name=Empire Stadium
surface=Natural Grass (1954-1970), Artificial Grass (1970-1993)
owner=City of Vancouver
B.C. Lions(CFL) ( 1954- 1982) Vancouver Whitecaps(NASL) ( 1974- 1982) Vancouver Royals(USA/NASL) ( 1967- 1968) 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games
Empire Stadium was a multipurpose
stadiumthat formerly stood at the Pacific National Exhibitionsite at Hastings Parkin Vancouver, British Columbia. Track and fieldand Canadian football, as well as soccerand musical events, were held in the stadium. The stadium was originally constructed for the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games. The stadium, which sat 32,375 upon opening, but 30,229 after 1974, was Vancouver's venue for both Elvis Presleyand The Beatles. It saw most of its use as the home of the B.C. Lionsof the CFL from 1954- 1982, in which the venue also played host to the first Grey Cupgame held west of Ontario in 1955. Empire Stadium also hosted the Grey Cup game in 1958, 1960, 1963, 1966, 1971, and 1974; seven times in total.
The stadium was also home to the Vancouver Whitecaps of the
North American Soccer Leagueduring the 1970s and early 1980s, as well as the Vancouver Royalsof the same league for their only year of play in 1968.
In 1970, it became the first facility in Canada to have artificial playing surface installed made by
3M, under the brand name " Tartan Turf".
Both the Lions and Whitecaps moved to
BC Place Stadiumfor the 1983season. The stadium was demolished in the early 1990s. The site served as a parking lot for the neighbouring Pacific National Exhibition as well as Playland for many years before being converted to a soccer field and track on the site of the old field. It will most likely be used as a parking lot once again for the 2010 Winter Olympics.
The Miracle Mile
Vancouver hosted the
1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Gamesin 1954at Empire Stadium. The most famous event of the games was the One Mile Race in which both John Landyand Roger Bannisterran the distance in under four minutes. See four-minute milefor a historical perspective on this accomplishment. The race's end is memorialized in a statue of the two (with Landy glancing over his shoulder, thus losing the race), that stood outside the stadium until its demolition. The statue formerly stood near the site of the former stadium but since its demolition the statue has been moved to the PNE entrance plaza at the intersection of Renfrew and Hastings Streets.
* [http://football.ballparks.com/CFL/BC/oldindex.htm Empire Stadium]
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