The Canadian Premiere League (CPL) has granted a conditional club to Greater Victoria.
But according to Langford Mayor Stew Young, it’s not a done deal just yet. The problem is a hydro pole that needs to be moved to accommodate more seating at Westhills Stadium.
The club is conditional upon being able to move that pole, which sits across from the current stadium seating. Young said the initial deadline to determine if they were to get the club was May 31, but due to delayed meetings with B.C. Hydro, they are hoping to have an answer by June 13.
In an effort to move the process along, Young said they pitched B.C. Hydro the idea of building stands in the right of way around the pole, allowing them to eventually move the pole in a few years.
Westhills Stadium has a capacity of 1,718 seats and Young said the City has agreed with CPL to increase the capacity to 8,000 seats if they can secure the team.
Private owners of the club include former men’s national team members Rob Friend and Josh Simpson, and a Vancouver financier Dean Shillington.
“With 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,” said David Clanachan, CPL commissioner, in a statement.
He added the ownership group carries experience in business and on the soccer pitch that would help make a team in Greater Victoria successful.
There are eight teams that will compete in the inaugural season. Hamilton and Winnipeg were first to receive teams, and York, Halifax, Edmonton, Ottawa, Calgary and Victoria (conditionally) followed suit.