Saturday, August 11, 2007

"Vancouver bureaucracy is quickly becoming a laughing stock." - Sportsnet

While the battle for the stadium continues, I think it's worth noting that it's not only Vancouver that's involved. In fact, the whole country is watching. People across Canada understand how important this stadium is for soccer in this country. And it turns out they are as perplexed and frustrated with the delays as we are.

Gerry Dobson is the well-known host of English Premier League soccer on Roger's Sportsnet. Below is an excerpt from Gerry Dobson's latest weekly column.

“Vancouver and Montreal will not make the next MLS expansion. The league will go to 16 teams in 2009, but they'll both be American. The head office loves a balanced league which means one in the west (Seattle) and one in the east (Philadelphia). Montreal and Vancouver will both get their shot two years later. That's assuming Vancouver get their stadium built. City Hall had better get moving. The Vancouver bureaucracy is quickly becoming a laughing stock. Whitecaps owner Greg Kerfoot is sitting there with the land, the money, and the willpower to do good things for the sport in Vancouver and the politicians are sitting there with their thumbs you know where. No stadium, no MLS franchise. Simple as that. Couldn't they play at BC Place? No, only as a stop gap measure IF a deal for a new facility is ironclad and a shovel ready to start digging. Meanwhile in Montreal, their new stadium is already being built. There is a chance Montreal could actually get in first. If they want it. Two years ago you couldn't have dreamed that as a possibility. On the other hand, two years ago you couldn't have dreamed what's happening in Toronto either.”

You can read the entire column here.