British Columbia Lions: 1954 to Present
EMPIRE STADIUM (1954-82) BC PLACE (1982-Present)
Capacity: 32,375 Capacity: 59,478
Attendance Records:
 Information not currently available.
Attendance Records:
 Regular Season: 59,478
 - Oct 11, 1985 Winnipeg 31, BC 10
 Playoffs: 59,478
 - Nov 17, 1985 Winnipeg 22, BC 42  (Western Final)
 Grey Cup: 59,621
 - Nov 30, 1986 Hamilton 39, Edmonton 15
Click on images for a larger view.  
Empire Stadium, circa 1954 Empire Stadium, circa 1970 BC Place Stadium; exterior shot BC Place; interior shot
   Another view of     Interior shot of BC 
   Empire Stadium, circa    Place*
       * Thanks to Brian Klassen.

British Columbia gained worldwide attention when the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games were held in Vancouver.  Empire Stadium was built specifically for the Games.  The stadium was the site of the historic Miracle Mile - one of the biggest sport stories of the ddecade.
In 1954, the BC Lions football club became the newest professional team in the province.  Hydroplaning and marathon swimming were two other popular professional sports.  In amateur competition, the Eilers women’s basketball squad dominated at the national level.  The Penticton Vees won the 1955 world amateur hockey championship.
Television came to BC in the 1950s.  The new medium had a big impact on sports.  In 1954, CBC televised the British Empire and Commonwealth Games.  Controversy raged over the issue of Sunday sports.  In 1957, Vancouver residents voted in favor of allowing sports on Sundays.

from BALLPARKS © 1996,1997,1998,1999,2000 by Munsey & Suppes:
Former Tenants: BC Lions (CFL) 1954-1982; Vancouver Whitecaps (NASL)
Other Facts:
Opened: 1954
Surface: Grass 
Capacity: 32,375
Population Base: 2,500,000
Empire Stadium was completed in the summer of 1954 for the British Empire Games. It had 25,000 seats of which 10,000 were under cover, as well as additional facilities for 10,000 standing room. There was ample room for expansion to increase the capacity by completing the oval.
Alex B Findlater of Surrey, B.C. States: "Near the end of it's reign, Empire Stadium seated 37,000 and had artificial grass, being the first stadium in Canada to do so. It was during its tenure the largest stadium in Canada in the 1950s and 60s before the covered and half covered stadiums came into being."
On June 19, 1999 Krammerhead wrote: You have a comment by Alex Findlater of Surrey that states that near the end of empire stadiums reign it seated 37,000. This is untrue. Empire stadium seated 32,375 at its largest size. This information comes from a whitecaps soccer magazine.
Last Updated 4/25/00