Friday, May 02, 2008

A letter to send to your teammates

Stadium Supporter Mike Meade has written a great letter that you can send to your teammates and Soccer Association. Feel free to cut, paste and use it. The pressure from players, coaches and fans on the federal government is starting to snowball, and it's on the verge of going nationwide! Now's the time to jump on the bandwagon and get involved!

Parents / friends / people with interest in soccer,

I am writing you as a concerned Canadian Citizen who loves the Beautiful game of soccer, but frustrated with the current state of our game in this country, and urging you to help in any way possible to try and advance a cause that is common to us all: making it the best it can be.

As you may or may not be aware, The Vancouver Whitecaps Football Club has been on the record as willing to finance and proceed with construction of a soccer specific stadium located in the Vancouver area. The intent of the stadium, among others, is to be the home of Whitecaps FC teams, as well as a suitable BC based host venue for International caliber games, and World Cup Qualifiers. The Whitecaps are also on the record as stating that it is their desire to have their club playing in the top Professional league in North America, which is widely considered to be the MLS. The MLS has expressed a strong desire to expand to Vancouver, with the major stumbling block being the lack of a suitable facility.

Soccer in this country was never stronger at both an international level and grass-roots level than it was in 1986, when Canada qualified for the World Cup. The competitive level of play, training, and preparation that our team required to qualify for that tournament was due mostly to the fact that the core of the squad had been playing in the North American Soccer League, which folded due to financial mismanagement in 1984. Despite the league folding, the success of Canada’s Senior Men’s team was largely credited to the NASL, where our best players could get the level of competition they needed to be world class players.

Since 1994, the United States has become an International Power in the game, while Canada’s teams have slowly slid down the FIFA standing, failing to qualify for every World Cup since 1986. There has not been a strong domestic league in Canada since the NASL folded; our best players are forced to either play overseas at the lower divisional ranks, or quit the game at the elite level and get real jobs. Meanwhile, the MLS in the United States has provided a strong domestic league, that compensates its players well enough to make a living, and allows the core of American elite players to compete at home at a fairly high level.

The MLS has proven its value as a competitive league, but Canadians are still restricted from playing in US Cities due to import ratios. The only team w/ out import restrictions is Toronto. Realistically, Canada needs three MLS teams to make a significant impact on our elite international competitiveness. Montreal is imminent. In Vancouver, the opportunity is slipping away due to a Crown Corporation standing in the way of shovel hitting the ground. Again, the proposed Waterfront Stadium is to be financed PRIVATELY! Whitecaps owner Greg Kerfoot OWNS THE LAND!

What does this have to do with your kid playing at the house club level? Everything!

Follow the dominos…the better sports are run at the highest levels, the better they are at the grassroots. The benefits to our youth players is a very long list, not to mention the benefits of our city gaining a world class facility without spending public money. The trickle down effect from having the Whitecaps playing in the MLS will mean an increase in their revenues, and flow down to an increase in both their boys and girls development programs.

I am asking anyone who has just a bit of passion about this as I do to please SPEAK UP, and petition our politicians. Send your local MP, or all the relevant MPs (as I have), a letter demanding they put pressure on the Crown Corporation to work in good faith w/ the Whitecaps and move this project forward.

Some key contacts who I'm sure will love to hear from their you:

 Lawrence Cannon: Minister responsible for Transport Canada, which oversees the Port Authority that is presently stonewalling the land transfer with the Caps.

 David Emerson: MP for Vancouver Kingsway & current Federal Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver–Whistler Olympics.

Also, following is a list of Vancouver Area MPs (Liberal and Conservative members selected only):


Ed Fast

Delta-Richmond East

John Cummins


Mark Warawa

Newton-North Delta

Sukh Dhaliwal

North Vancouver

Don Bell

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam

James Moore


Raymond Chan

South Surrey - White Rock - Langley

Russ Hiebert

Vancouver Centre

Honourable Hedy Fry

Vancouver Kingsway

Hon. Emerson, David

Vancouver Quadra

Honourable Stephen Owen

Vancouver South

Honourable Ujjal Dosanjh

West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast

Blair Wilson

Many thanks for taking the time to read this. I hope you can lend your voice to the cause.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Correction to Sukh Dhaliwal's email: or