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Tips On Getting into BC Place for Opening Ceremony of the 2010 Olympic Games

Bute at Cordova

I was fortunate enough yesterday to attend the dress rehearsal of the Opening Ceremonies and thought that I would pass on a few tips on entering BC Place for those who are planning to attend either the Opening or Closing Ceremonies and/or any of the ten Victory Ceremonies.

BC Place will open 4 hours prior to the opening ceremonies and 2 hours prior to the Victory Ceremonies.  In my opinion, 60 to 90 minutes before the start of the Opening Ceremonies and 60 minutes or less before the Victory Ceremonies is plenty of time to arrive, get through security, get something to eat or drink and get to your seat.  We arrived on Wednesday at 3:30 for a 5:00 start and got through the security screening in 5 minutes.  Approximately 50,000 people were in attendance so the lines for food were long.

There is no way to enter BC Place directly off of Robson or Beatty Streets.  If you are attending any events use the entrance on Pacific and Carrell. It is a further walk from the West End and Coal Harbour and a bit out of the way but had much less traffic on Wednesday night than the more easily accessible and only other entrance off of Nelson Street.  Also if you do not carry a bag or purse you can go through the Express Security line which is even faster.

Plan like you are going to the airport and you will get through very fast. The system is the same.  There is an 'airport type' scanner for your bags and jackets and you must remove everything from your pockets to walk through the standard metal detector.  The less you have the faster you will get through.

When trying to exit after the event - BE PATIENT!  There are also only two exits off of the BC Place concourse and both involve a set of stairs so it is slow going.

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