Canadian Premier League Making Strides in Calgary, Victoria

Calvary FC stadium rendering

The Canadian Premier League continues to move toward a 2019 launch, with developments out of Calgary and Victoria highlighting its recent news. 

Set to begin play next year, the Canadian Premier League is in the midst of a weeks-long unveiling of its founding clubs. The latest announcement comes from Calgary, Alberta, where Cavalry FC will play its games in a stadium at Spruce Meadows, an equestrian facility that originally opened in 1975. Branding for the club was announced Thursday, as well as details on its stadium plan. The stadium (rendering shown above) will be the result of a renovation of existing facilities.

“It is our sincere pleasure to welcome Cavalry Football Club to the Canadian Premier League as one of our founding clubs and help bring soccer to a whole new level in Canada,” commissioner David Clanachan said in a press statement. “The entire team at Spruce Meadows Sports and Entertainment has worked tirelessly to make the dream of professional men’s soccer in Calgary a reality and they are poised to add yet another chapter to the city’s impressive sports history.”

“Spruce Meadows truly is a story of ‘by Canadians for Canadians’ that has risen from virtually nothing to some degree of prominence and repute on the world stage over the last four decades,” Linda Southern-Heathcott, chair & CEO, Spruce Meadows Sports & Entertainment, said in a press statement. “However, it is about so much more. It is about community, family, youth, and about providing pathways for Canadian athletes. Our vision for the sport of soccer and the CPL ticks all of those boxes. We believe that it is an exquisite fit at the perfect time.”

Meanwhile, there appears to be momentum toward launching a team that will be based in the Greater Victoria, British Columbia area. An official announcement is likely still a few weeks away, but if the plans do move forward, the club would play its home matches at an expanded Westhills Stadium in Langford. More from Times Colonist:

A name associated with the potential Victoria franchise is Island-produced former professional player Josh Simpson, who earned 43 caps with the Canadian national team over two World Cup qualifying campaigns, and played pro soccer in England, Germany, Turkey and Switzerland before suffering a career-ending leg break.

“Yes, I am involved, but nothing is set in stone just yet,” said Simpson, by email, from his home in Zurich, Switzerland.

“It’s very exciting if we can make this a reality. I can certainly give a lot more [information] as soon as I have more certainty on a few points.”

Sources said a memorandum of understanding between the league and potential Victoria team officials is close and that an official announcement is about two weeks away.

Last week, the Canadian Premier League unveiled a York Region, ON-based team that will begin play in 2019. That club, known as York 9 FC, will begin play at York Lions Stadium next year. However, the club hopes to begin construction on a new 12,000-to-15,000 seat stadium within the next three years.

Rendering courtesy Spruce Meadows Ltd.

RELATED STORIES: Stadium at Spruce Meadows Will Host Calgary CPL ClubCanadian Premier League To Unveil Inaugural Lineup; Halifax Signs off on Proposed Canadian Premier League Stadium;  Halifax Could Host Canadian Premier League Squad

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