B.C. Place turf contract went to highest bidder, PavCo documents reveal

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      The Burnaby company given a $1.32-million contract to install B.C. Place Stadium’s new artificial-turf field in late May was the highest bidder, documents released by B.C. Pavilion Corporation (PavCo) confirm.

      An evaluation by PavCo’s bid committee gave Polytan LigaTurf distributor Centaur Products just 5.41 out of 10 for its proposed price. Competing company FieldTurf’s bid got a 10 out of 10, followed by AstroTurf Canada (8.78) and UBU Sports (8.21). The price evaluation (no bids were shown in actual dollar amounts) was worth 12.5 percent of the overall tally by the three-member bid committee, B.C. Place operations director Brian Griffin, PavCo finance director Kim Campbell, and consultant Robert Johnston.

      Documents released after a freedom-of-information request show the committee gave Centaur 82.51 overall, better than FieldTurf (67.75), UBU (50.76), and AstroTurf (42.23). Centaur scored highest on PavCo’s evaluation of the proposed artificial-turf systems and the companies’ ability to meet the construction schedule, criteria worth a combined 40 percent.

      The B.C. Place installation cost more than Shaw Sports’ $800,000 turf-installation job at Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium earlier this year, the cost of which was split with the Canadian Soccer Association. For the B.C. Place project, the CSA contributed $400,000 and Rugby Canada kicked in $100,000.

      PavCo’s March 27 letters to the three losing bidders said Centaur/Polytan “was the only product certified to meet both FIFA 2 Star and World Rugby Regulation 22 specifications as tested on the existing Elastic-layer at B.C. Place Stadium; a mandatory criteria of the RFP [request for proposals]”. Johnston wrote the tendering documents that required the reuse of Centaur’s Polytan-supplied elastic layer, installed in B.C. Place in 2011.

      In the bid evaluation, however, all four proposals were deemed compatible with the existing e-layer, but the bid committee ruled that only Centaur met FIFA and World Rugby requirements—even though FieldTurf’s Revolution surface is FIFA– and World Rugby–recognized. FieldTurf vice president Darren Gill declined to comment. Centaur president David Wilson, PavCo CEO Ken Cretney, and PavCo chair Stuart McLaughlin did not respond to interview requests.

      The CSA, Vancouver Whitecaps, and B.C. Lions preferred Centaur’s bid over FieldTurf, but the documents show there was no Rugby Canada input. FieldTurf and Centaur got full marks for having six or more professional soccer or football installations, while FieldTurf appeared to be the only company with a plan to dispose of the old turf, eventually hauled away by the City of Surrey.

      FIFA claimed that the B.C. Place field met its 2 Star standard on June 6. Neither FIFA, Polytan, nor tester Sports Labs would release the performance-testing report. During the first round of the Women’s World Cup, Japan midfielder Aya Miyama complained that dribbling was difficult, while United States striker Abby Wambach said balls were taking unusual bounces. Despite the region’s summertime water restrictions, the field was watered extensively under an exception for health and safety reasons. Crews, however, could not solve the visible seams in time for the United States’ 5-2 championship victory over Japan on July 5.

      Meanwhile, PavCo is refusing to release its rental agreement with FIFA, claiming that public disclosure would harm the business interests of both the Crown corporation and the scandal-plagued world soccer governing body.

      The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner ordered PavCo to release the B.C. Lions’ rent contract in April, because there was no evidence that the release of a negotiated contract would harm either the stadium or the Canadian Football League team.

      Field Evaluation BCPC440

      Bid Loser LettersBCPC439a





      Jul 15, 2015 at 5:22pm

      I'm puzzled by the bidding process. A mandatory condition precedent was that a bidder's proposed product be tested on the existing e-layer at BC Place Stadium in accordance with FIFA-2 Star specifications. How would that be possible unless the product was installed at BC Place on the existing e-layer? Wouldn't the consultant that prepared the bid documents know that only one bidder could comply?

      The awarded contract was apparently for $1.3 million. The way the bid prices were awarded points, the low bidder could have bid half that amount and only be rewarded with a paltry 4 point advantage on a 100 point overall evaluation. It's clear that Pavco didn't care about the cost. How many other public supply and install projects are you aware of where price was a 12% consideration? It would indicate a targeted award or an inability by the consultant to properly detail the requirement.

      The refusal to reveal the test results on the installed field is very curious. If the field passed the required testing, what is the problem with releasing the test results? At the very least, Pavco should be prepared to give the date and time of the testing, and the name of the accredited firm that conducted the testing. Refusal to do so raises a red flag with me.

      Leaky Tarp Roof

      Jul 15, 2015 at 5:29pm

      This should not be a surprise given the $565+ Million for a Leaky Tarp Roof & renovation.

      As usual we the BC Public get hosed or Turfed in this context.

      This is also Corporate Welfare for the owners of the Sports teams using the facility.

      Keep Focus

      Jul 16, 2015 at 10:20am

      The 565+ Million for a Leaky Tarp Roof & renovation was a huge waste of cash. The liberals should have been punished for that roof. That would have been enough for 2 years of a 0.5 VAT increase.

      This 1.32 Million is a drop of the bucket.


      Jul 16, 2015 at 10:26am

      Why does the very mention of the word "Translink" have people foaming at the mouth with rage, but this travesty results in nary a peep?


      Jul 16, 2015 at 2:43pm

      Could be because unlike Translink, this facility actually works, brings millions of dollars weekly to downtown Vancouver and makes over a million people happy every year. It also brings life to an otherwise dismal part of downtown. On top of it, the world loves it and considers it one of the most beautiful stadiums on the planet.

      The verdict is in...money very well spent.

      the real question

      Jul 16, 2015 at 3:13pm

      Was the contract awarded to the correct bidder? Low price doesn't mean the bidder can deliver on it... we all know that right? It does no good to save money on a field that can't be delivered until after the event. Now some projects don't have such hard deadlines, say a fate gate system.

      Barry William Teske

      Jul 16, 2015 at 6:21pm

      Doing business with a corrupt organization like FIFA makes us complicit.
      Thanx BC.
      We now know where the money isn't going.


      Jul 16, 2015 at 8:07pm

      The low bidder has installed fields all over North America, including the home fields of the last two Super Bowl champions. The low bidder has a quality product in use at many NFL and NCAA facilities, ready access to the materials and technicians necessary, and a proven record of on-time delivery. The high bidder apparently had to bring in product and technicians from overseas.

      Why did Pavco pay double? And why won't they release details of the date, time, and personnel conducting the successful FIFA compliance testing announced on June 6th?


      Jul 16, 2015 at 9:47pm

      Some research shows that FieldTurf (low bidder) is the type of Field used by the Calgary Stampeders, New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, Indiannapolis Colts, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers (host of last years MLS all star game) to name but a few. Apparently FieldTurf is not good enough for the Lions or Whitecaps, but it is good enough for the current Grey Cup Champions, the last two Super Bowl Champions and two of the top MLS teams? Seriously?

      I read that the new Polytan field was supposed to look great on HD television. It's the exact opposite! Like the article states, viewers can clearly see the noticeable lines where the field panels are joined together. The Fields in Edmonton and Winnipeg had far more consistent color, no visible seams and looked WAY better.

      All the talk here of the stadium bringing in millions etc, etc, is beside the point. The fact is, that when any organization spends this kind of money, there needs to be a process in place whereby all bids are considered fairly and in the end, the owner gets good value for money spent. In this case, the owner paid more than they should have for a field that has noticeable flaws. Does not sound like good value to me.