Monday, June 26, 2006

Vancouver Port Authority: "We Support the Stadium in Principle"

The Whitecaps Stadium proposal received a major boost today from an article in the Globe and Mail. On the front page of the BC section, the Vancouver Port Authority publicly announced that they support the stadium and are willing to work with the Whitecaps to sort out key issues.

"We support the stadium in principle," said Anne McMullin, a spokeswoman for the authority. "We see this as an interesting concept and we would like to work with the owner to address issues of road and rail.

But she said the Whitecaps organization must keep in mind that the port has its own development plans for the central waterfront area.

"Of course we wouldn't want the [stadium plan] to impact on any of our opportunities," she said.

The full text of the article can be found here.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Hundreds Show Support For Stadium at Chinatown Night Market

Hundreds Show Support For Stadium at Chinatown Night Market
Friends of Soccer Banner now at over 4000 signatures

Several Hundred citizens showed their support for the Whitecaps Stadium on Saturday night at the Chinatown Night Market on Keefer Street. The Friends of Soccer banner, which now has over 4000 signatures on it, appeared at the Night Market at the invitation of the Vancouver Chinatown Merchants Association. We were also joined by John Kostiuk, founder of Stadium Now and Whitecaps Legend Bob Lenarduzzi. All of us thoroughly enjoyed this colourful event, and were overwhelmed by the warmth and enthusiasm of people towards the stadium.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Whitecaps Stadium – On June 27th, it's up to you...


Since October, I've been trying to send the message through Friends of Soccer that Citizens have the power to make the Whitecaps Stadium a reality. The thousands of you who have responded through your letters, e-mails, postcards, and signatures on the "Build the Stadium Now!" banner have made this effort one of the most gratifying experiences in my life. For those of you who've taken a few minutes of your day to tell a city councillor how important this stadium is to our sport and our city, I want to take this opportunity to say thank you.

But there's still one thing left to do.

Show up.

On Tuesday, June 27, at 7:30 PM, City Council will meet to decide whether the Whitecaps Stadium can move on to the next step, or be delayed for years yet again. If you support the stadium, it's vital for you to be there. They'll be hearing the arguments, both for and against, from Citizens just like yourself. They want to know for certain that the Citizens of Vancouver are behind the stadium, and that they'll support the councillors who show real leadership, vision and courage on this project. Whether you choose to speak, or just watch, your presence at City Hall can make all the difference on June 27.

Please, make plans to be at City Hall on Tuesday evening, even if it's just to support those of us who'll be speaking to Council. If you feel you can make a strong argument for the stadium, then please sign up to speak. Either way, we need you.

For myself, as much as I love the game, the debate on the stadium has never been about soccer. It's about the type of city we want to live in. It's about whether we allow someone to use their own money to create a gathering place for all of the Citizens of Vancouver, or if we decide to make this land yet another exclusive enclave. It's about whether the downtown core is open for all Citizens of Vancouver, or just those who can afford to own there. It's about whether Citizens run Vancouver, or just a select few. By supporting the stadium, you and thousands of Citizens have already stepped forward and told City Council about the Vancouver they want to see.

Thanks once again. I hope to see you on Tuesday, June 27.

Bill Currie
Friends of Soccer

P.S. There are two ways to register to speak at Tuesday's public hearing. Please call Nicole Ludwig, Meeting Coordinator at 604.871.6399, email Or, go to the meeting about 30 minutes early and register to speak at the sign-up table. Speakers are limited to five minutes for their comments, and should be prepared to answer questions from City Council. Your written comments are still welcome as well. Simply e-mail City Council at .


A News Release From Whitecaps FC....


Larry Campbell and Philip Owen agree that City Council should make the stadium a priority

VANCOUVER, B.C. – Former City of Vancouver Mayors Larry Campbell and Philip Owen are speaking out in favour of the proposed Whitecaps Waterfront Stadium. They also encourage City Council to make the project a priority so it will be ready as soon as possible.

“During my tenure as Mayor it became abundantly clear that we are lacking a mid-size outdoor stadium venue in the heart of Vancouver,” said Senator Campbell, who is also in favour of the proposed site. “It is an ideal location for a stadium. It has great access to public transportation, will assist in the on-going revitalization of the area and will be a world-class landmark for the City and Province.”

“I wholeheartedly support this project,” agreed Owen. “Located in the hub of all five modes of public transportation, this is a visionary project, and is much needed. It will not only be a home for the Whitecaps but will also host international rugby and tennis tournaments, outdoor concerts and numerous community and ethnic festivals.”

A recent Mustel survey shows that the opinion of Owen and Campbell is shared by the majority of Vancouverites, with 71 per cent of residents supporting the project. The Community Consultation Report completed for the City of Vancouver also found strong majority support with 67 per cent approval. Most recently the City of Vancouver Staff Recommendation Policy Report revealed that 78 per cent of the emails and letters received by the City are pro-stadium.

In addition to the overwhelming public support identified in the staff recommendation, the report identified five key requirements that need to be addressed in order for the project to be successful. Campbell and Owen believe that these requirements can be met and that the project should be prioritized.

“I understand there are issues that need to be resolved, and I am confident they can be addressed in a reasonable timeframe,” said Campbell.

“I strongly believe that Vancouver City Council should prioritize the project so it can be ready in time to start seizing both international and local events and hosting opportunities,” added Owen.

On Tuesday, June 27 at 7:30 p.m. Vancouver City Council will hold a special council meeting to decide on the future of the proposed Whitecaps Waterfront Stadium. Supporters of the project are encouraged to communicate their position to the Mayor and Council. For more information on the proposed stadium visit or

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Friends of Soccer Joins Hands With Chinese Community On New Whitecaps Stadium

Grassroots Pro-Stadium Group Invited to Chinatown Night Market

Friends of Soccer, a grassroots movement that supports the proposed Whitecaps Stadium, announced today that they've accepted a generous offer from Vancouver's Chinese Community to participate in the Chinatown Night Market. Friends of Soccer will appear with their "Build The Stadium Now!" banner at the Chinatown Night Market on Saturday, June 24, from 6:30 PM - 11:30 PM. The banner currently has over 3000 signatures from citizens who support the Whitecaps stadium.

"We're honoured to be invited to meet with the people of Chinatown. They have been enthusiastic and generous with their support for the stadium from the start," said Friends of Soccer founder Bill Currie. "Just as our sport unites the people of the world, the Whitecaps Stadium will do the same for our communities. For Vancouver to continue to thrive, we need to have venues that truly reflect the diversity and inclusiveness of our city. We sincerely hope the Whitecaps Stadium will be the first of many."

The Chinese community has strongly endorsed the Whitecaps Stadium proposal through letters of support to the Mayor and City Council. Below are excerpts from letters written to council by the Vancouver Chinatown Merchants Association, S.U.C.C.E.S.S., and the Chinatown Business Improvement Association. (Used with permission)

"Both the City of Vancouver and ourselves have been and continue to be endeavouring on the revitalization of Chinatown and Gastown. We believe this project will serve as a catalyst for the revitalization process. You would concur that for many years, we have been exploring ideas of creating a safe passage for pedestrians to travel between Chinatown and Gastown; a stadium would be the ideal connector since in addition to hosting sporting events, it can also host cultural events." (VCMA)

"We believe the stadium proposed for the west side of Gastown is ideal both in location and its proximity to our Chinatown area and many key areas of Vancouver. The access to public transit, the views of the mountains and water, the interesting heritage of Gastown and Chinatown make this a very favourable destination. As in all major projects, we are certain that the technical aspects can be worked out as the process continues. It will be a world class facility that will make Vancouver very proud." (S.U.C.C.E.S.S.)

"Let's use this generous and fortunate offer to everyone's advantage. Let's build a facility that can capture the energy and spirit of our diverse and wonderful city". (Chinatown BIA)

Friends of Soccer is a grassroots movement that supports soccer projects as well as the Whitecaps Waterfront Stadium. Bill Currie and the Friends of Soccer ( urge all citizens of Vancouver to continue to write, phone and visit City Hall on June 27th to make their voices heard.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

"City Council Has Mandate to Build Stadium."

Friends of Soccer comments at June 14's Stadium Now Media Conference.

"Good morning everyone. Friends of Soccer is a grassroots movement dedicated to providing a voice in this process for citizens. Through letters, e-mails, phone calls to councillors, and through these postcards, Friends of Soccer has been the gateway for over 1000 citizens to contact their elected representatives."

"We heard about the formation of Stadium Now and offered to help in any way we could to spread the word about the growing support for the stadium in Gastown, and to provide information to folks so they could make an informed decision."

"Today, for the first time ever we are unveiling our “BUILD THE STADIUM NOW” banner which is making its way across our City. We look forward to giving your supporters a chance to add names to the over 2,500 who have already expressed their desire to see the stadium built NOW in Gastown."

"Throughout this process, citizens of Vancouver have shown overwhelming support for the stadium and have given our City Council a mandate to build it now. The Whitecaps have been open, transparent and cooperative and their vision to work with communities on the issues is outstanding. We are honoured to bring the banner “home” and then continue its journey until we reach City Hall on June 27th."


Stadium NOW! asks City Council to prioritize Whitecaps Waterfront Stadium

From Stadium Now!

GASTOWN, B.C. – Stadium NOW!, a collection of Gastown business, merchants and residents, continues to increase membership, pledges to maintain open communication with the Whitecaps and asks City Council to prioritize the project.

“I formed Stadium NOW! to give a voice to the growing support in Gastown for the Whitecaps Waterfront Stadium,” said John Kostiuk, resident of Gastown and founder of Stadium NOW!. “Today we have close to 30 groups, including commercial property owners, residents, retailers, restaurants and pubs that are informed and engaged in open dialogue with the Whitecaps to ensure that Gastown receives the best stadium possible.”

Stadium NOW! members live, own businesses or own property in the immediate vicinity of the proposed site and have taken a proactive approach by participating in the civic process while actively providing accurate information regarding the waterfront stadium.

Arni May, Owner of Rossini's Restaurant and Jazz Club and member of Stadium NOW! echoes the sentiments of many of the Stadium NOW! supporters and welcome the Whitecaps to the neighbourhood. “As we say at Rossini's, ‘Welcome to the family'. You are now a part of our community, and we will treat you like family. This means we won't always agree, but we'll get through it because we're all in this together. Through our conversations with the Whitecaps we believe that the requirements identified by the City can be met and together we will build a stadium which will be a great benefit for everyone.”

In addition to the growing support in Gastown, Friends of Soccer, a grassroots movement made up of soccer enthusiast, are working with Stadium NOW! in order to spread the word about the stadium.

“We heard about the formation of Stadium NOW! and offered to help provide information to folks so they could make an informed decision,” said Bill Currie, founder of Friends of Soccer. “To date we have received tremendous support from all over the Lower Mainland including Gastown. Last week Friends of Soccer submitted over 600 written postcards to Council and Mayor and on June 27 we will present the ‘BUILD THE STADIUM NOW' banner which has well over 2,500 signatures.”

Stadium NOW! and Friends of Soccer both believe the project provides a foundation for the ongoing reinvigoration of Gastown, and urge Mayor and Council to move the project forward and prioritize it on June 27, 2006. For more information visit and

Thursday, June 08, 2006

A Guide to Speaking to City Council at The June 27 City Hall Meeting

Some people have asked how they can arrange to speak to City Council in favour of the stadium proposal on June 27. I highly encourage you to do so! City Council needs to hear from all of us, and especially so on the day of the big vote.

Below are the instructions on how to register to speak. It comes directly from the City Hall Website.

You are encouraged to contact members of Vancouver City Council individually about issues of concern.

The Mayor and Councillors are accessible via mail, fax, phone or e-mail. You can write to Mayor and Council at:

City of Vancouver
453 West 12th Avenue
Vancouver, B.C. V5Y 1V4


Another way to participate in local government is to present your opinions to City Council at a meeting. Anyone may ask to speak to Council. It's called being a "delegation." However, you can only speak about an item that is on the agenda for that particular meeting. More information on how to speak to Council.

City Council conducts most of its official functions in six types of meetings. The Whitecaps Stadium meeting is a:

Special Council Meetings (see Meetings Schedule).
This meeting is open for the public to attend. Members of the public are also welcome to speak at these meetings (with some stipulations).

How do I speak to Council?

Anyone may ask to speak to Council. It's called being a "delegation." However, you can only speak about an item that is on the agenda for that particular meeting.

Special Council Meetings
Council can also hold a Special Council Meeting on any subject on which it wishes to hear speakers. This is the type of meeting that is scheduled for June 27

How do I register to speak at a Special Council Meeting?
There are two ways to register to speak at a public hearing:

  • For information about the council meeting, or to register to speak, please call Nicole Ludwig, Meeting Coordinator at 604.871.6399, email

  • Go to the meeting about 30 minutes early and register to speak at the sign-up table.

Here are some tips about speaking to Council:

  • Keep your presentation brief. Council may have to hear numerous presentations, especially on controversial issues. For everyone to be heard, and a decision to be made, Council limits speaking time to five minutes each (except at Public Hearings).

  • Council may ask you questions after your presentation.

  • If you need audio-visual equipment for your presentation, arrange for it well ahead of time by calling the City Clerk's Office at 604-873-7276.

  • If you are bringing written submissions for Council, please bring at least 15 copies with you.

If you do not wish to speak to Council but still want to express your views, you may submit a letter or other written document. Unless you are taking copies to the meeting, written submissions should reach the City Clerk's Office at least one day before the meeting to be sure they can be distributed in time.

Council Decisions

City Council has made a decision when members of Council vote on a motion. A motion will be made on all issues that require a decision or direction from City Council.

If you have made a presentation to City Council, you will receive correspondence in the mail outlining the decision that was reached. Decisions of City Council are available one week following the meeting through the City Clerk's office and on the City's website.

Contact the City Clerk's Office at 604-873-7276 if you are not clear on what has been decided.

Edits from website

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Whitecaps in tune With "Stadiums of the Future"

Now that we're on the eve of the World Cup, I thought I'd point out an interesting article from the BBC that talks about how stadiums are now being designed throughout Europe. It includes interesting comments from renowned architect Rod Sheard. I urge everyone, especially City Councillors, to read it and take note:

"The big change that's happened in recent years, and will be a real change in the next 20, is that city planners have started to realise how important these buildings are in city centres. ...Back in the 60s and 70s, they were felt to be 'bad neighbour' buildings and were pushed out of town, and disconnected from the transport infrastructure, meaning they had to be surrounded by a swathe of car parks...People now realise that was a totally wrong model, and that these are great buildings to have in a city centre. That is pretty well recognised as the model for the future."

The full text of the article can be found here.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Vancouver Sun Endorses Whitecaps Stadium by 2010!

A Vancouver Sun editorial in Saturday's paper urges City Hall to expedite the Whitecaps Stadium project so it can be ready in time for 2010.

"...there should be enough time to do it if councillors don't dither. City Hall staff has already demonstrated that when given the ball it can Bend it like Beckham. Council should fast-track the redevelopment plan and execute it before the world arrives in 2010."

Here's the link:

Here's The Link!

Thursday, June 01, 2006



June 1, 2006

Friends of Soccer call for expedited process

The City Hall policy report on the proposed Whitecaps Waterfront Stadium was unveiled on Wednesday. It revealed that 78% of Lower Mainland residents who contacted the City Planning department are in favour of building the stadium on the downtown waterfront. The report also set out a series of requirements the Whitecaps need to address to move the project forward,

The recommendations were:

• Provision of an adequate street network
• Resolution of risks and liability associated with dangerous goods in the rail lands
• Reconfiguration of the stadium structure to ensure a better ‘fit’ with Gastown
• Resolution of impacts on the livability of residential areas south of the rail lands and impacts on future Port Lands development

“In all, this is very positive news,” said Friends of Soccer founder Bill Currie. “The Whitecaps now know exactly what they need to do to move forward, and they seem confident that they can partner with all of the stakeholders involved. We support the Whitecaps completely in this endeavour, and trust that the last six months will help expedite the process as the stadium moves towards the re-zoning phase.”

“Every step of the way, the Whitecaps have been open and transparent, and the Citizens of Vancouver responded by showing overwhelming support for this much needed facility. It's an incredible gift to the City from the Whitecaps, and we should exhaust every option possible to ensure that the stadium is built in time for 2010. I encourage everyone to contact City Council and tell your politicians to show real leadership on this issue. Let's get a certain time frame for the process and capture this opportunity that will bring a world class facility to our world class city.”

City Council will hold a special meeting on the stadium proposal on June 27. Bill Currie and the Friends of Soccer ( urge all citizens of Vancouver to continue to write, phone and visit City Hall on June 27th to make their voices heard. Friends of Soccer is a grassroots movement that supports soccer projects as well as the Whitecaps Waterfront Stadium.