Plans for a new 15,000 seat stadium to be built east of Canada Place

Thursday, October 13th, 2005


Illustration of the interior of the proposed sports stadium that would serve as the new home of the Whitecaps in downtown Vancouver. — BCTV NEWS ON GLOBAL

The Vancouver Whitecaps are expected to announce this morning their plans to build a 15,000-seat stadium along Gastown’s waterfront.
   Whitecaps owner Greg Kerfoot has bought 10.5 hectares along Water Street, running from Waterfront Station to Cambie Street over the top of the railroad tracks.
   Team brass have continually declined comment, but Whitecaps president John Rocha and director of soccer operations Bob Lenarduzzi held several meetings about the project with season-ticket holders, potential sponsors and youth soccer groups.
   According to sources, the Whitecaps would like to have the stadium ready for 2007.
Vancouver city staff say the earliest the stadium could be ready is fall 2009.
   The Whitecaps have been coy about the price tag in these meetings, repeatedly saying that “we’re in the early stages — we don’t know yet.”
   The new, 20,000-seat, soccer-specific stadium that Toronto is contemplating has a price tag in the $60-million range and has received financial help from the municipal, provincial and federal governments.
   Sources say the Whitecaps’ stadium will be horseshoe-shaped, with the open portion allowing views of the water and the
North Shore mountains. The Whitecaps are billing it as a “unique design to maximize the setting and reflect Vancouver.”
   They are also calling the facility “the most transit-friendly stadium in North America,” since it’s close to the West Coast Express, SkyTrain and SeaBus.
   It will be expandable to 30,000 seats. The Whitecaps have said they have talked to the B.C. Lions about the possibility of moving there after the 2010 Olympics.
   The Whitecaps have talked to several other potential user groups. They have said they received a strong reaction from the rugby community about the potential of hosting international games there, for instance.
   According to one source, the Whitecaps have talked to several concert promoters and are going to bill the stadium as “the best outdoor concert venue in the country.”
The Vancouver Symphony has reportedly looked at the stadium as a potential summer home.

Comments are closed.