Critics refer to the Olympics as the five ring circus. Certainly, here in Vancouver, Olympic preparations involve hoisting a lot of white canvas tents. Pictured above is BC Place Stadium, which has just been closed to the public(and professional football) to fit it up for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. As I walked by the tent structure in the foreground, I could hear rehearsals underway.
That's the Olympic Village in the distance. It was turned over to VANOC just last month to prep it for the arrival of the athletes.
All of this area is rapidly being fenced off and fitted up with security cameras. The City promises to remove all the video cameras from public areas after the Games. We shall see. Until then, they will see....
It surprises Olympic newbies to learn that a lot of money is being spent on temporary international, national, provincial, native people's and corporate pavilions. Sort of a world's fair for the rich and something to do if you couldn't get actual Olympic tickets.
Here, a storefront in the upscale Heritage District of downtown, is being converted to displays by Canada's Northwest Territories, Yukon and Nunavut.
Across False Creek, Vancouver's Science World & Imax Theatre(the big silver ball) has been leased in its entirety to the Russian government to show off the next winter games in Sochi in 2014.
But the biggest pavilion of them all is Molson Canadian Hockey House. It will not fit in one camera shot. Just try to picture an 81,000 square foot rectangular, white canvas tent, surrounded by acres of asphalt. At $15,000,000, it is the largest, temporary, freestanding pavilion ever built in Canada. Like at the Super Bowl or a Formula One event, entry to the Big Tent will not come cheaply. Tickets ranging from $99 for a half-day in the "fan zone" to $8700 for 17 days access to an executive lounge area with catering by the renowned chef, Wolfgang Puck, first rate music and comedy performances, a chance to meet the Who's Who of NHL and world hockey and all the beer you can drink. Molsons is planning for the consumption of over 350,000 cans of beer.
***They better have portapotties!