World’s Largest Mass Timber Roof to House 2026 FIFA Live Site?

Huge mass timber roof is part of a push by the Canadian government utilise mass timber construction in future infrastructure.

Mon 26 Feb 24


A new 10,000-seat Amphitheatre that has made global headlines for having the world’s largest clear-span timber roof has been earmarked to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup Fan Festival ‘live site.’

That is according to the Vancouver-based Daily Hive, which confirmed that the City of Vancouver is recommending that FIFA and partners use the $104m PNE Amphitheatre – due to commence construction in the coming months – to coincide with seven matches (including a Round of 16 fixture) slated for Vancouver.

Featuring a striking mass timber curved roof, Shelly Forest, President and CEO of the Pacific National Exhibition, said, “The arena will be a jewel in Vancouver’s crown of spectacular venues,” before adding “that there will be another venue like this anywhere in Canada or around the world.”

Footage courtesy of @pneplayland

According to Vancouver-based Revery Architecture, who designed the venue, the project’s unique roof structure will be one of the most extended clear-span roofs in the world when completed.

Venelin Kokalov of Revery Architecture explained its approach:

“Our architectural solution was an elegant structure covering the arena, gracefully landing on three points into the landscape.”

“This gesture will frame vistas to the mountains and the surrounding context, creating transparency at the human level and an intimate atmosphere under the warmth of the wood.”

Mass-timber structure specialists Fast + Epp Structural Engineers, who are at the forefront of the Canadian push towards mass timber adoption, are responsible for the mass timer design.

Their design consists of six-barrel vaulted segments intersecting at diagonal planes, creating a clear span of 105 meters from one buttress tip to the other.

According to Robert Jackson, a partner at Fast + Epp Structural Engineers, “the design form is inspired by the shell of the 1956 CNIT building in Paris,” before adding that the new venue will host up to 75 events annually.

Artistic rendering of the new PNE Amphitheatre. (Image Credit: Revery Architecture and PNE)

The decision to use the PNE Amphitheatre will help the City recover some of the costs from the massive build – with the City estimating during the bidding process that the 2026 FIFA Fan Festival would cost between $10 million to $20 million to stage.

In 2022, the British Columbian provincial government indicated that the planning”, staging, and hosting the 2026 FIFA World Cup in Vancouver would cost between $240 million and $260 million. 

The push to utilise the new venue – slated to open in early 2026 – comes after the City of Vancouver agreed to increase loan financing for the project.

Vancouver will host seven games for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, but is it ready – footage courtesy of @CBCVancouver.

According to Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim, “The PNE is home to some of the best and most iconic summer experiences our city offers,” adding that “once completed, the new Amphitheatre will be a world-leading performance facility.”

The additional investment will allow the PNE to repay its loan to the City of Vancouver in a shorter timeframe on account of expected increases in revenue.

“This decision is a win for Vancouver taxpayers, a win for Vancouver’s arts and culture sector, and a win for the future of the PNE,” said Councillor Sarah Kirby-Yung, PNE Chair.

“There is an unmistakable magic and excitement that comes with watching performances at the PNE…”tnew investment will make the PNE Amphitheatre a truly world-class venue.”


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    Wood Central is Australia’s first and only dedicated platform covering wood-based media across all digital platforms. Our vision is to develop an integrated platform for media, events, education, and products that connect, inform, and inspire the people and organisations who work in and promote forestry, timber, and fibre.


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