Victoria's New Stadium

Yeah, admins, I know this might be a lot about another league, but bear with me, the message is CFL-focused, I promise!

As some of you may know, Victoria BC was recently awarded a soccer franchise in the US/Canadian Premier Development League. Their name is Victoria Highlanders FC. A weird name, considering the city's at sea-level, but I digress...

Here's the logo, looks kinda like a chick booting a soccer ball, but whatever:

The point is, there's a fairly wealthy owner and they plan on building this stadium:

I don't know how many seats it has. I know they have plans to eventually reach the USL-1 division, and those teams usually play to between 5-10k people. I also don't know if there's anything on the other side of the pitch.

Anyways, what do we think? With an expandable stadium and eligible owner, could Victoria be a legitimate candidate for a CFL franchise?

not gonna happen.
-the lions wont allow it.
-the CFL needs expansion in the east, not west.
-the stadium is too small.

I have to agree with everything drummer said.

i will 3rd that. if u are going to build a stadium and see if the CFL can exist u gotta aim at over 20,000 min before expanding it.

As a resident, I would love for Victoria to get a CFL team, but it just isn't viable. Victoria has the population of Regina but worse demographics, another team not far away, and only a small portion of the province to draw from.

Well dmont, I have to agree with everyone else on this but, I just love that "Pikemen" logo you have. And at a population of 399,000+ London wouldn't be a bad place for expansion IMHO.

Of course London, Ontario would be a great site for a CFL team.
And that stadium in Victoria can't even be called a stadium.
Its more of an outdoor auditorium.
But can't anybody build a stadium in this country?

Is that a male or a female on the logo?

its male, it just dipicting a highlander in his kilt.

Why wouldn't the lions allow it? How much possible fan support could they be getting from vancouver island? Minus the island, their population base is still enormous. I'm sure the owners could reach some kind of deal. Besides, the Lions have never had a regional rival, might actually be good for fan interest.

Of course eastern expansion is preferable, but with not many billionaires beating down the CFL's doors these days, we can't afford to be all THAT picky.

Yes, THIS stadium is too small, but minus the roof, an expansion could possibly be done similar to Frank Clair in Ottawa. Before the north side went down, there was an upper and lower tier that were completely different structures. Plus, if the other side of the pitch is empty, there's plenty of room for expansion, not to mention the endzones.

I don't know a whole lot about Victoria's demographics, but wikipwdia says the population of vancouver island grew from 656,000 and change in 2001 to over 730,000 in 2004. That seems like enormous growth, though, so who knows?

London would be an AWESOME place for expansion, if you ask me. If they were able to draw from Kitchaloo to Windsor, you're looking at around a million people, I bet. Thanks for the kudos about the logo. Maybe some day!

Found a little more info on the stadium:

[i]Jan 21, 2008

(Langford, BC) Victoria Rebels President Roger Wade is pleased to announce the club will be moving west for the 2009 BC Junior Football season into their new home on the westshore in Langford, a suburb of Victoria. The announcement came at a press conference held to show off the new recreation facilities that include a 3000 permanent seat (and 7000 temporary) venue that will be home to the football Rebels, a new USL professional soccer team (Victoria Highlanders FC) and the training center for Rugby Canada and the National team. Also included in the $15 Million project is a new hockey arena, 16 lane bowling alley, playzone, ponds & trails, beaches at Langfod Lake, mini-golf and twin soccer/baseball fields next to the stadium. A proposed new high school is expected to be located adjacent to the stadium early next decade.

The stadium will be a fan-friendly, full size CFL all weather turf field with corporate suites, modern scoreboard, dressing rooms, trainers rooms, Coaches offices, state of the art concessions (that allow fans to order food & drinks while still viewing the game), storage areas and signage opportunities. The stadium will be built by the city of Langford and will have immediate revenue sharing opportunities for the club.

"The Rebels have enjoyed a tremendous history at old RAP, where I played 25 years ago, and this new facility will allow us to develop football in our region and participate in a much more generous revenue sharing program for the club", says an excited Wade. "We will move our entire operation to the westshore and now have a training facility second to none in our league. Of course, this will help recruiting, provide a much better entertainment package for our fan base and allow the team to increase revenues going forward. We can now bid on hosting major football events that can accomodate larger crowds and this area of Langford will be the hub of recreation in the region. It will also benefit youth and varsity football programs in the community."

Construction will start almost immediately with a scheduled opening of April 2009, celebrating the start of the USL soccer season that runs from April through mid July. The Rebels will be the major tenant from July through October and rugby will set up from October until March, making the venue a well used facility for sports fans on the lower island year round. All three organizations were on hand at the press conference and will work together to make the stadium a great place to watch high level sporting events.[/i]

Victoria (metro pop. 330K - about 1/3 larger than Regina) is just as close to Seattle (metro pop. 3.2M) as it is to Vancouver. Travel times by ferry are similar.

I have previously posted real estate statistics for Victoria which show that it is primarily an urban professional population with an average age of about 35, with lots of disposable income. The old fogy legend is a myth. The city has extremely vibrant entertainment, service and tourist industries as well.

It is also home to wealthy publishing baron David Black.

The CFL is "a victim", if you will, of it's own "success", again if you will, of playing in stadiums that can be filled with 30,000-65,000. Which basically eliminates a lot of excellent potential markets for cities that could build first-class 15,000 seaters and pack em in. Oh well, what can you do.
That being said, I still love the CFL as it is, so don't get me wrong here please.

Victoria is happy with the Rebels, rugby, soccer and dog shows. They are so not a CFL expansion site, it is laughable. Ignore the population or demographic statistics. It is another world, and one which doesn't include a CFL franchise. Forget about Kelowna, too...maybe in about 75 years. Red Deer, Saskatoon, London, Quebec, or Halifax make much more sense...but any of those cities would still be the weak sister of the league and require support from the league to compete/survive.

Excellemt posts drummer and XVYS. Victoria will not be even considered for a CFL franchise. I know never is a long time, but I'll go on record as saying Victoria will never get a franchise.

It will be a great Stadium for the Junior Rebels, but no where near a CFL size.

While Victoria is similar to Regina, Regina can draw from the whole Province. Vicroria is stuck on an Island.

Wont happen.

No CFL, but the project sounds like a pretty good deal for $15 million...

Also included in the project is a new hockey arena, 16 lane bowling alley, playzone, ponds & trails, beaches at Langford Lake, mini-golf and twin soccer/baseball fields next to the stadium.

Plus: a 3,000-10,000 seat stadium with full-size CFL all-weather fieldturf field with corporate suites, modern scoreboard, dressing rooms, trainers rooms, Coaches offices, state of the art concessions (that allow fans to order food & drinks while still viewing the game), storage areas and signage opportunities.

Funny that Quebec City can't browbeat the feds into coughing up funds for a new CFL-appropriate stadium. After all, how is it fair that English Canada has 7 CFL teams and Francophone Quebec only one?

QC would be a great CFL city, too

…I think we’d all love a team in QC, problem is the last we heard about it QC themselves didn’t want a team…not the general population necessarily, but their city council was dead set against it, leaning more towards the Arts and Culture side of the entertainment business…

Once again, Victoria's population is too small, too old,(18% of the population is over 65) and it isn't now, nor has it ever been even a mediocre sports town. The region's largest employer (by far I might add, is the provincial government). Their hockey team only half fills a sparkling new arena and gets outdrawn by such hockey hotbeds as Bakersfield and Stockton California. Not to mention there has been zero by way of interest in pursuing a CFL franchise. Rather, the city has been approached by local investors who are interested in the more realistic goal of landing a USL franchise.

Here is what Victoria could pursue. Page 2 of the article should be required reading for those who think Victoria could ever support a CFL team. Even the potential owner talks about setting a goal of 4500 fans to break even and asking for $25 dollar deposits.

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