Sunday, May 21, 2006

Top Opponent Admits Downtown Waterfront Stadium Workable

The chief spokesman for the Gastown Neighbourhood Coalition has told The Province Newspaper that he could envision a stadium fitting in with the downtown Waterfront lands. Jon Stovell is quoted as saying in Sunday's paper, "If they could find a way to get the stadium farther away and less bulky...I believe a stadium could be quite nicely incorporated into the Waterfront."

"But they're going to have to get together with other property owners and get a larger footprint."

In previous statements, the coalition had always claimed that a stadium on any part of the railway lands would destroy Gastown's heritage. This was in spite of the fact that not one of Gastown's heritage buildings would be destroyed in the construction process, and that there are several examples of stadiums successfully co-existing with heritage sites throughout the world.

The Whitecaps have yet to complete the design of the stadium, and have pledged to take the concerns of the City Hall consultant's report into account. A formal design won't be submitted unless City Council allows the proposal to go to the re-zoning stage on June 15.

The Province article, which can be found on page A15, focusses on the new Stadium Now group which has risen in Gastown. Stadium Now was formed last week by a group of Gastown residents & merchants who believe the new stadium will bring immense benefits to the area. They have already been successful in dispelling the myth that Gastown residents are universally opposed to the project.

"I thought it would be good to get the word out that there are people in the neighbourhood (who) are not being represented by the other coalitions and their own business society.", said Stadium Now founder John Kostiuk. The City Hall consultant report revealed that 38% of area residents are in favour of the stadium, while 15% support the concept of a downtown stadium but have concerns. 40% of area residents who participated in the City Hall open houses were opposed.

To support Gastown residents and merchants in their quest for the stadium, please visit

Subscribers to the The Vancouver Province can read the article at

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