If proposed Westhills Stadium renovations are approved, the Canadian Premier League will feature a Vancouver Island club in 2019.
The planned Vancouver Island team would be based in Greater Victoria, BC, and be controlled by SixFive Sports & Entertainment. That group is led by a slate that includes former Men’s National Team members Rob Friend and Josh Simpson, along with Vancouver financier Dean Shillington.
On Friday, the league announced that the club has been granted conditional approval. In order for the Vancouver Island team to be given full league membership and launch in 2019, the ownership group and Langford, BC officials will have to finalize an agreement that includes proposed Westhills Stadium renovations. Discussions about that plan will take place over the coming weeks. More from the Times Colonist:
[Langord Mayor Stew] Young said the conditional issues will be dealt with at Westhills Stadium. There is a meeting June 13 between B.C. Hydro, Langford and the province to address a contentious power pole that has so far restricted the building of a second grandstand at Westhills Stadium that would allow for the immediate minimum needed attendance of 5,000.
“The province is supportive to partner with us. They see this as good for the region and good for sports in the province,” said Young.
Young estimated the cost of moving the power pole at about $3 million.
“The ownership group is solid. It’s not about them. It’s now up to us to deliver,” he said.
The CPL has been announcing clubs over the last several weeks, setting the stage for the circuit to begin play in 2019. In its plans for the Vancouver Island club, the CPL believes that it has found a qualified ownership group that can launch a successful operation at a renovated Westhills Stadium.
“We are incredibly excited about the possibilities in Greater Victoria and are confident that a professional team representing Vancouver Island can be an overwhelming success,” CPL commissioner David Clanachan said in a league-issued press statement. “We have a terrific local ownership team with a track record of business success, combined with vast soccer experience and an undeniable passion for the game. With the successful completion of a lease and needed stadium improvements, which will bring Westhills Stadium to CPL standards, the team will officially launch in time for our inaugural season in 2019”.
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