Thursday, May 18, 2006

Friends of Soccer Teams up With Stadium Now!

Friends of Soccer announced today that they'll be teaming up with the new Gastown residents & merchants group Stadium Now to support the Whitecaps Waterfront Stadium.

"When we met with Gastown residents and merchants earlier this week, we offered our complete support for their efforts to truly represent the views of local residents. A large number of Gastown merchants and residents want to see all of the benefits the Whitecaps Stadium will bring to their neighbourhood, and we'll be working together to see that it happens.", said Friends Of Soccer organizer Bill Currie.

"Our first goal is to encourage the people of Vancouver and the Lower Mainland to support the merchants who are taking this courageous stand in favour of Gastown. If there was ever a time to have a meal in Gastown, browse the shops, or take in the great show at Storyeum, that time is now! Just look for the Stadium Now poster in the Window."

Friends of Soccer will continue its campaign in favour of the stadium with an appearance Thursday at a Heritage Vancouver forum. The panel discussion "Gastown up against the wall: The Whitecaps Stadium Proposal" takes place on Thursday, May 18 at 7:30 PM at the Vancouver Museum (1100 Chestnut St. in Kitsilano). The Panel features Whitecaps President John Rocha.


pookey said...

I attended the Thursday, Heritage Vancouver forum and was impress with the quality of the discussion and can appreciate the apprehension of a few of the Gast town residents. Embracing change is always difficult especially when it means shifting ones focus from “how it impacts me” to the broader good of the community. I praise the city officials and the Whitecaps franchise for the transparency in this development proposal.

I am opposed public financing for sport / entertainment stadium. This proposed stadium is privately fund resulting in an estimated $30 million dollar savings in tax dollars from across all levels of government. Including annual tax revenue generated from sales and land.

One of the key elements in turning a disadvantage neighborhood around is to strengthen the local economy. If this project is approved, it would bring new residents and office workers to the stadium district and boost the economy of Gastown. I take offense to a strata representative speaking for 44 residents who argued that they may be adversely impact from the loss of their view. At least they own a home; I wonder how many people of their neighborhood have a place to sleep at night let along know where their next meal will come from. The additional tax base will generate the much needed detox/drug centers, law enforcement and community services. I hate to say it, but it is not all about you and your 44 residence, it’s about the neighborhood.

This forum was hosted by Heritage Vancouver. It’s laughable to listen to participants at the “Heritage Vancouver forum “oppose the Stadium project because it does not fit the Gastown Heritage. Yet many people spoke about getting rid of the railways. Let’s not forget that for almost 120 years Canadian Pacific Railway has been part of the fabric of this great nation. I believe that stadium proposal strengthens the neighborhood without displacing the heritage character of the community. If I were a resident of Gastown I would be requesting the Whitecaps to build a connector to the much under used Crab Park.

There were legitimate concerns regarding noise levels. Aside from choosing to live in a lively neighborhood, there are plenty successful stadium developments that have environmentally sustainable design. For example, reducing the impact of noise on the surrounding evnviroment was one of the key considerations in the design of Brisbane Football Stadium. The 52, 000 –seat stadium is set in the heart of an inner city residential area. It is time to set aside your differences become a partner with the Whitecaps and build a stadium reflects the neighborhood with an environmentally sustainable design. Who is to say, that the Whitecap owner will be so generous next time? There is only so much bureaucracy that one can take.


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