Thursday, May 18, 2006
GASTOWN FORMS STADIUM NOW!
Gastown Merchants, Businesses, and Residents unite to form Stadium NOW! in support of waterfront stadium for Vancouver
Storyeum and Arthur Griffiths join growing coalition supporting stadium
GASTOWN, BC (May 18, 2006) – Gastown residents, merchants and businesses eager to continue the heritage area’s transformation into a vibrant family-friendly neighbourhood have joined together to form Stadium NOW! in support of the development of the proposed Whitecaps Waterfront Stadium.
As part of Stadium NOW!’s launch, the organization also unveiled www.stadiumnow.org, a new web site which presents factual information and illustrations about the proposed stadium. In addition, the web site provides supporters from Gastown and around Vancouver an opportunity to register their support.
“The fact is, many people in Gastown and Vancouver support the proposed stadium,” said Stadium NOW! founder and Gastown resident John Kostiuk. “After three years of planning and consultation it’s time to move this process forward to the next step, which is moving from the conceptual phase to designing a landmark waterfront stadium. The stadium will bring a much-needed vitality to the Gastown area, along with greater diversity and more people.
In addition to widespread support, the consultant’s report confirmed that there are numerous advantages to building a stadium at the proposed site.
The consultant's Policy and Technical Report concludes on page 63-64 – “The idea of a downtown, waterfront, open-air stadium on a site with a high level of public transit service is exciting… and could help achieve the City’s goals for enhancing Gastown and the surrounding area by drawing in visitors…the idea of decking over the rail yards creates an exciting opportunity to build a bridge over the barrier that separates Gastown from the waterfront.”
Among the businesses supporting Stadium NOW! are Brioche, The Cambie, Rossini’s, Jade, Mintage, Arthur Griffith’s Infotec, Mark James and the Lotus Hotel, and Storyeum, Vancouver’s newest family entertainment attraction which has helped draw hundreds of thousands of tourists and B.C. residents to Gastown since it opened in the neighbourhood in 2004.
“As a newer, growing business in the area, we look for ways of re-inviting the whole community to the Gastown area and for everyone to see the positive improvements which have taken place within the neighborhood over the past few years,” said Brian Veitch, Vice President Storyeum, HXP Inc. “We need events and places, like the stadium, that drive traffic to our attraction, shops and services!”
With its close proximity to transit routes, SkyTrain, SeaBus, and the West Coast Express, the proposed stadium will be one of the most transit friendly ever built anywhere, and its construction offers an excellent way to reclaim the waterfront for public access while preserving the industrial transportation hub.
“We believe like the frontrunner Woodward’s project, that heritage and new construction can complement one another,” said Kostiuk. “A privately financed stadium will be a valuable gathering place in Gastown that will be an exciting venue for various sporting, cultural, and other public events. We feel strongly that City Council should allow the Whitecaps to proceed to the development application phase, and encourage Vancouverites to contact City Council to voice their support.”
For more information and updates on Stadium NOW! please visit www.stadiumnow.org.
Posted by Bill Currie at 4:59 PM