“According to an archived 1958 article from the Vancouver Sun, a 25-man crew spent 13 days constructing the ski jump on the north end of Empire Stadium. It was billed as the fourth largest in the world and the largest in the country.
The jump’s structure was built of 22.5 kms of tubular steel and had a landing area with a width of 12-metres (40 feet). A pair of machines were brought in to convert 300-pound blocks of ice into snow-like substance for the jump and landing pad. The ski jumpers would glide down, slide onto the field and into a pile of straw at the stadium’s south end.
The ticketed attraction was carried out as an 3-day Centennial Invitational Tournament that brought in ski jumpers from around the world. However, it proved to be a financial disaster with only 24,928 paying customers.
Over 60,000 people ”freeloaded from parked cars, camp chairs and apple boxes. Sloping streets above the [east side of the] stadium provided strategic locations for field glasses,” reported the Sun. 40,000 paying spectators were required for the event to break even on its $42,000 costs.
The take-offs and landings made by the athletes were not without incident either. On opening night, of the total 62 jumps made there were 24 spills including one of serious nature which resulted in lacerations to the face.” – vancitybuzz.com
Image: City of Vancouver Archives