BC Place

It’s the union’s fault – Pavco’s truthiness

The stadium soon to be named Telus Park opened to CFL fans Friday but the facility was troubled with inadequate concessions and services. Early Saturday, CKWX News reported:

“The line-ups were too long, the toilets overflowed and some of the concessions ran out of food and beer. News1130 was flooded with complaints from angry BC Lions fans who were not impressed with the grand re-opening of BC Place…

“Sarah tells us she missed the entire 1st quarter because she was stuck in a concession line-up and when she reached the front she was told they were sold out of food and beer.”

BC Place GM Howard Crosley admitted they were short on staff, that not all employees were properly trained and needed supplies were not all delivered before the game.

“Some people didn’t know how the beer systems worked properly and we were having some difficulties with that. For a start-up, it was a little bit of a difficult situation and the fact that two-thirds of our staff was new. It’s a tough learning curve in a new live environment and we will be better tomorrow.”

From BC Place website

However, by Sunday, the Pavco line had been revised. Realization set in that executives don’t earn half a million bucks a year, grab 6-figure bonuses and publicly admit to making mistakes.

The new line was that no problems had been the fault of Pavco or their contractors. Chair David Podmore claimed a lot of staff members simply did not show up for work and far more fans attended than had been anticipated. The latter statement was an outright lie because BC Place knew September 27 that BC Lions ticket sales had already exceeded 40,000. They trumpeted that fact on the stadium website.

Adrian Dishington, spokesman for the stadium’s concession contractor, blamed the union for staff shortages.

“We are unfortunately governed by a union [collective-bargaining] contract..”

Yes, troubles came from low wage part-timers flogging $10.50 plastic cups of beer. The $300 an hour executives performed faultlessly.

Categories: BC Place, Labour, Pavco

4 replies »

  1. Seems to me that some manager failed to have or call in extra workers in anticipation of a sold out crowd, i.e The manager should have erred on the side of having extra workers rather than too few.


  2. Unless the 20% that “didn't show up” were bringing burgers, chicken fingers and cans of beer, it wouldn't have made much difference.

    A lot of the staff I saw who were working the counters looked shell shocked, completely unprepared to deal with the crowds. When a keg would run out, no one seemed to know what to do about it.

    There were some staff members who looked like they knew what they were doing – probably the ones that had worked the games at Empire. But there wasn't much they could do about the no food, no beer, no large “stadium size” cups etc.

    The best you could hope for at the concessions on the upper level was a barely warmed hot dog on a cold bun, and draft Budweiser. The lower level seemed to have all the food as well as Alexander Keith's and Stella in cans. Should have bought food while we were down there, but had to make our way to our seats in the nose bleeds.

    This attempt to deflect blame on to the union is just pathetic, especially given the BCGEU strike vote. It's obvious what Dishington is trying to do here.

    This is no different than the non-story from last week about the teachers Pro D day at the retreat. Just an attempt to bash the union and get public sympathy on their side.

    The stadium looked great, btw, which it should considering the price tag.


  3. I do not doubt that the stadium looks great – so does the new convention centre – but, as an architect friend said, “Give me a budget without cost limits and I will guarantee you an award winning building design.”

    Gordon Campbell loved monuments but cared too little about non-glamorous needs of society. We saw him constantly in pictures, Brezhnev like, during the Olympics, waving his red mitts and swooning to applause. At the same time, his government was rejecting funding requests from modest, volunteer run substance abuse treatment centres.


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