Monday, May 15, 2006

Vancouver Overwhelmingly in Favour of Downtown Stadium - City Hall Consultant

A consultant's study, based on public consultation held by the City of Vancouver in March, has confirmed that an overwhelming majority of GVRD residents are in favour of the proposed Whitecaps stadium on the downtown waterfront. Of the 795 people who filled out questionnaires at neighbourhood open houses, 67% said they believe the downtown waterfront is a good location for a stadium. Only 27% were opposed. Among Vancouver residents, 63% were in favour of the downtown stadium.

The report echoes the previous independent study done by the Mustel Group on behalf of the Whitecaps. Their survey indicated that 71% of Vancouverites supported the downtown stadium proposal.

Most striking was was how the consultant's study dispelled the myth that the majority of residents in the immediate area were strongly opposed to the stadium. The Open Houses revealed that 38% of Gastown / Downtown Eastside residents support the proposed location, while 15% like the idea of a downtown stadium, but have concerns about the location. Only 40% of local residents were strongly opposed.

A companion technical report on the project concluded that there are concerns about the conceptual design, but agreed that the issues could be addressed if the Whitecaps re-visited the concept. This could be addressed through the re-zoning process."

"This tells us what the people of Vancouver have been telling us for months," said Friends of Soccer organizer Bill Currie. "They want the Whitecaps stadium built. They want it built downtown, and they want it built now."

Vancouver City Council will decide whether to advance the the project to the re-zoning process on June 15.

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