Langford Mayor Scott Goodmanson speaks outside Langford City Hall on Jan. 6. (Bailey Moreton/News Staff)

Langford Mayor Scott Goodmanson speaks outside Langford City Hall on Jan. 6. (Bailey Moreton/News Staff)

Victoria area pushing to attract the BC Lions for a regular-season home game

Similar one-off games have been held in Halifax last year, CFL team ‘intrigued’

Langford’s Starlight Stadium may play host to the BC Lions down the line as work on expanding the capacity continues.

Work began in October on moving the BC Hydro Pole from the north side of Starlight Stadium, which had been standing in the way of any seating expansion. That move could pave the way for BC Lions to host a one-off game at the stadium.

“No one’s going to jump higher than me in City Hall,” said Mayor Scott Goodmanson, a self-proclaimed football fan.

He said discussions were in the early stages but were something the city would be working on for the future.

“We are intrigued at the possibility of supporting a neutral site game somewhere down the line,” a spokesperson for the BC Lions said in an email.

In October 2021, Langford council approved the move “to ensure public safety, and provide unrestricted access to the Stadium for both community and professional user groups,” according to a statement put out by the City of Langford.

The work is set to be completed by March 31, avoiding any impacts to the start of the new season for Pacific FC, who currently play at the stadium.

There’s no set capacity yet for an expanded stadium, with Paul Beirne, managing director of Pacific FC, saying the club were excited by the opportunity, but would likely use some of the mobile bleachers they already have on-site at the stadium come the new season – as there are already at each end of the field.

A similar one-off game was held in Nova Scotia in 2022 and is planned again this year with defending Grey Cup champion Toronto Argonauts playing the Saskatchewan Roughriders in Halifax on July 29. A CFL study estimated the game brought in more than $12.7 million in overall economic activity across Nova Scotia.

Goodmanson said if a CFL game comes to Langford, it could pave the way for other bigger events, noting he’d be excited international soccer teams be brought to Langford when the men’s 2026 Fifa World Cup comes to Vancouver.

Marie Lapointe, senior spokesperson for the provincial said the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport work is ongoing on how to “maximize the benefits of this tournament for all British Columbians.”

“As the largest tournament in the history of FIFA, involving 16 host cities across North America, the level of coordination for this event is unprecedented. Discussions are ongoing with FIFA, Canada Soccer and other partners, and decisions about training camps for the event itself will be forthcoming and made in collaboration with our partners.”

ALSO READ: Work to move Langford’s Starlight Stadium hydro pole begins


@moreton_bailey
bailey.moreton@goldstreamgazette.com

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