Thunderbird Stadium

Vancouver, British Columbia | C.1967

Photo Credit: @manoletta

Thunderbird Stadium is an outdoor sports field on the University Endowment Lands west of Vancouver, Canada. It is primarily used for soccer, American football and rugby by the University of British Columbia’s various teams.

The school decided to build this stadium in 1967, after concluding that the out-of-date Varsity Stadium needed to be replaced. University officials surmised that the campus was likely to grow southward, so it made sense to build the new stadium near the southwest corner of campus.

The stadium was designed by the award-winning Yugoslavian architect Vladimir Plavsic, himself a student of UBC who would go on to design a number of landmarks in Vancouver and around the world. Plavsic was a brilliant architecture student who also spoke five languages, played the trumpet, was a world champion swimmer and water polo player as well as a renowned sailor who helped Canada win its first international racing trophies.

The stadium was opened on October 7, 1967, unveiling twelve 24-meter-high concrete support towers, all topped with thunderbird statues. The main grandstand can seat 3,500, and the surrounding grass embankment can accommodate an additional 8,000 spectators.

In addition to being a sports facility, the stadium has also been used for concerts and festivals including Ozzfest, Lilith Fair and the Lollapalooza music festival in 1992, which featured performances by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ice Cube and Pearl Jam.

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