Richmond Olympic Oval

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Built: 2008

Capacity: 8,000

Area: 512,000 square feet

Capabilities: Home to speed skating during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, the Oval will re-open to public programming in the Spring of 2010 offering a complete range of sports medicine and wellness services, a 23,000 square foot fitness center, and multi-functional space to accommodate ice, track, and court sports

LEED Certification Target: Gold


Institution of Structural Engineers top Sports and Leisure Building, 2009

Institution of Structural Engineers Commendation for Sustainable structures, 2009

Innovation in Architecture Award of Excellence from the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada

Institutional Design Award from the BC Wood WORKS!/Canadian Wood Council

Green Building Practices Award from the Globe Foundation and World Green Building Council

Sustainability Star from the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC)

BC Steel Design Award of Excellence in Engineering from the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction, 2009


Richmond Olympic Oval

The Richmond Olympic Oval is a world class athletic facility and home to long track speed skating during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Post-Games, the Oval will become an international centre of excellence for sports and wellness.


Build a model facility for future Games and international events using recycled materials, while minimizing electricity and water consumption through conservation and recapture in time for test events prior to the Games.


The City of Richmond has delivered on a bold list of initiatives, including, but not limited to, meeting the challenge stated, and transforming Richmond City Centre into a dynamic urban core. The transformation will see Richmond embrace its waterfront connection and enhance the City’s financial and economic positions through increased livability, development, tourism and business retention.

The Oval’s green attributes are reflected nearly everywhere you look. The roof is constructed of reclaimed wood that was damaged during British Columbia’s devastating Pine Beetle Infestation. The Oval salvaged enough of this discarded wood to construct its 2 hectare roof (100 meters X 200 meters), easily the largest reuse of Pine Beetle wood in the world.

Rainwater is captured from the Oval’s immense roof. The intricate collection system allows for the best use of the water, which when not needed inside for the sanitary systems, will irrigate surrounding trees and landscaping, where marsh plants act as natural purifiers in outdoor ponds.

An athletic facility of this magnitude, despite its innovative construction, still uses a lot of energy for operations. The City of Richmond targeted the ice making activities as an opportunity to save on overall energy consumption. The heat energy created by making ice is recaptured and reused for other necessities in the Oval, such as heating domestic water and heating and cooling systems.


Since the inception of the Oval project, the City of Richmond has focused on one major objective: to ensure the OVAL will leave a legacy of community involvement and sports excellence for years beyond the Games. After the Games, the Oval will expand to its permanent full-use model with the capability of hosting both summer and winter sports simultaneously.

In support of the Oval’s objective to become an inspiring environment for athletes of all skill levels to progress towards their own personal podiums, the vast majority of the Oval’s operating hours will be dedicated to community programming. Many of these programs will be highly integrated with coaching/training from our high performance user groups to help inspire our next generation of sporting heroes.

A giant sheet of ice, occupying the east third of the Oval’s field of play, will give the Oval tremendous flexibility for on-ice programming. An adaptive board system will make it possible to transform the ice into multiple configurations including, international or North American ice hockey, figure skating, short track speed skating, ice sledge hockey or a “Big Ice Concept.” The Big Ice will facilitate hosting community skating events as well as skill development programs aimed at hockey players, figure skaters and short track speed skaters. 

The Oval’s pre-Games set-up of 4 hardwood courts will expand by two, allowing for numerous court sports such as basketball, indoor soccer, volleyball, badminton, handball, floorball and many more. Additional composite courts for badminton and volleyball will also be added. A 200m training track for walking, jogging or sprint activities, will be joined by a 110m spike-proof sprint lane- a one-of-a-kind indoor training element found nowhere else in Canada.

16,000 square feet of the Oval will be transformed post Games into a sport science research and sport medicine/rehabilitation space, including everything from physio and massage therapies to Eastern therapies representative of the Oval’s local community. This, along with specific high performance attributes will make the Oval an excellent resource and training location for some of the world’s top athletes.

To learn more about the expanse of programming and facilities, including the fitness centre, sport and event hosting, rowing and paddling centre and child care services, visit: