Pacific FC's return brings economic boost to West Shore
The T-shirt cannon was being rolled out Wednesday afternoon and the pineapples were being prepped for a team that is on the forefront of post pandemic sport.
“We’re one point away from the top of table and we play Valour who’s leading the league standings tonight, so we could be in first place by the end of the night,” said Brad Norris-Jones, vice president of operations for Pacific FC.
Playing in a Winnipeg-based bubble for 8 games was not how the Langford-based team wanted to begin its season. Now, with COVID-19 restrictions lifting, the West Shore is welcoming back in-person sports and the money it brings.
“Now, for the next 20 games it’s on the road for 10 and at home for 10, so it’s exciting times,” said Norris-Jones.
Those exciting times extend beyond the team itself. Having professional soccer back is an economic kick that the region desperately needs.
“Economic impact would be in the $15 million mark with the transportation, the hotels, food and beverage,” said Norris-Jones. “If we’re not playing, it hurts the city.”
Just down the road from Pacific FC’s Starlight Stadium is MOD Pizza at the Belmont Market. They are expecting to have a busy Wednesday night, as they saw a huge spike in business after the team’s first home game.
“Just seeing that this pandemic is starting to come to an end, we’re starting to see businesses come back to life,” said Jim Hayden, Owner of MOD Pizza. “Just having big organizations like Pacific FC back-up and operating again has truly proven beneficial to us.”
With just under 2,700 fans attending the last game, it’s not just restaurants that are hopeful for the increase in foot traffic.
“I think we might get some browsers for sure,” said Justin Bush, with Jordan’s Flooring on Langford Parkway.
“We definitely do expect to see something whenever there’s a large venue of people coming in,” said Bush. “Especially into a town like Langford.”
Welcoming fans back to live sporting events is an unfamiliar sign of normality for the region.
The Victoria HarbourCats season was scheduled to begin in April, when all the COVID-19 restrictions were in place. That forced the Canadian teams in the West Coast League to cancel their seasons for a second year in a row, but they will be back next year.
“It’s great to have so much support and people understanding that we are going to be able to be back and survive to thrive for 2022,” said Jim Swanson, general manager of the HarbourCats and the Nanaimo Night Owls.
In the meantime, having soccer back on the West Shore has everyone excited.
“I can just go on and on about how important it is to get this back and to have some normal lives for everyone,” said Norris-Jones. “Even though we’re not at capacity, we’re feeling comfortable and excited about where we’re going to go.”
Every game at the Starlight Stadium means more than game on, it’s a sign that slowly we are getting back to normal.
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
Germany's centre-left Social Democrats and outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel 's centre-right bloc both laid claim Sunday to lead the country's next government as projections showed the long-time leader's party heading for its worst-ever result in a national election.
Canada's ambassador to the U.S. says the Chinese government initiated the dialogue to release Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, noting that the U.S. did not make the freedom of the two Canadians a condition of the deferred prosecution agreement reached with Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.
The Conservative Party is facing internal strife as some insiders want to see Erin O'Toole ousted as leader, while newly elected MPs hope for some semblance of unity.
The Americans won back the Ryder Cup and perhaps a whole lot more Sunday, sending a strong message to Europe with a powerful performance from their youngest team in history.
A team of scientists have developed a 3D-printed vaccine patch as a painless way to immunize without the use of a needle while offering a better immune response, according to the study.
American businesses are at a loss to explain why the U.S. continues to deny Canadians the ability to drive across the border for holidays, day trips or shopping excursions -- a restriction the federal Canadian government began easing over the summer for fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents.
Researchers from Rutgers University in New Jersey say smartphone sensor data combined with machine learning could detect whether someone is under the influence of cannabis.
Lines of mourners paid their respects Sunday for Gabby Petito, the 22-year-old whose death on a cross-country trip has sparked a manhunt for her boyfriend.
EXCLUSIVE FOOTAGE | Two Michaels land safely in Canada after nearly three years of detention in China
After spending nearly three years in a Chinese prison, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor have finally landed in Canada. The Prime Minister’s Office confirmed that a Canadian Air Forces passenger plane carrying the two Michaels had landed in Calgary early Saturday morning.
Police and emergency crews responded early Sunday morning to a serious crash at the University of British Columbia’s Point Grey campus.
Students, faculty and community members joined a fundraiser at Vancouver Career College in Abbotsford on Saturday to benefit a baby girl in need of a heart transplant.
B.C.’s northernmost health authority has declared a COVID-19 outbreak in a primary care unit at a hospital in Prince George, the region’s largest city.
Alberta's former chief medical officer of health and a critical care physician penned a letter Sunday urging action from the province to slow community spread of COVID-19.
After a summer of record-breaking heat, most Alberta farmers have harvested their crops ahead of schedule while yields for some crops are significantly below normal levels.
With Alberta’s health care system now the focus of a military mission, the people who work within it are reaching a breaking point as stress compounds with negative patient interactions.
The Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers will kick off their preseason campaigns Sunday, but it's action outside of the lines that many Albertan eyes are focused on.
Both the province and Alberta Health Services (AHS) have outlined the policy for medical exemptions for COVID-19 vaccinations on their websites, but there are no rules about religious exemptions at present.
Firefighters made quick work of a blaze that broke out at the back of a building in southwest Calgary.
A midtown Toronto restaurant says it will not accept unvaccinated guests inside, even if they have a medical exemption.
Ontario's daily COVID-19 case counts are lower than what many experts had expected by now, and while they point to a number of factors for the relative relief, they say now is not the time to ease up on those measures.
Health officials in Ontario are reporting another 653 cases of COVID-19 Sunday as well as six additional deaths related to the disease.
A man was found dead with bullet wounds Sunday afternoon following a shooting in Montreal's Rivière-des-Prairies–Pointe-aux-Trembles borough.
Baseball fans in Montreal will want to look on a right field wall of Tropicana Field during the MLB playoffs when the Tampa Bay Rays play, as a new sign will feature future plans the team has to split regular season games.
The CTV Montreal News at 6 p.m. has been pre-empted due to NFL football. Watch the broadcast above.
Dalhousie University says it's taking disciplinary action against students who took part in a rowdy party Saturday night that drew thousands to the city's south end.
New Brunswick is announcing another COVID-19-related death, as well as 82 new cases on Sunday.
Nova Scotia is scheduled to move into Phase 5 of its recovery plan on October 4 if all goes according to plan.
A man is dead after being shot in the North End early Sunday morning.
Winnipeg's best frisbee players, along with a host of newbies, filled Kilcona Park Sunday morning to take part in an annual disc golf tournament.
As Canada prepares to recognize the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Thursday, the desire to hear from residential school survivors has soared across the country.
Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Health reported 552 new COVID-19 cases and 436 recoveries, bringing active cases in the province to a record-breaking 4,864.
After scorching temperatures this past summer, farmers are wrapping up their harvest with the majority of them facing lower than expected yields.
Frontline healthcare workers in Prince Albert choreographed a music video in an effort to boost hospital morale.
A young man is in critical condition in hospital following an assault, according to police.
A flood warning has been issued by the Lower Thames Conservation Authority.
The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) is reporting 18 new COVID-19 cases Sunday.
A special structure is going up behind the Anishinabek Discovery Centre in Sault Ste. Marie. A group of volunteers gathered over the weekend to build a teaching lodge, which will serve as a centre for traditional learning.
Four females from a Saskatchewan First Nation passed through Sudbury on Sunday as they bike to Ottawa for their 'Honoring Our Children Journey.'
Fall Fun Days at Aidie Creek Gardens in Englehart, Ont. is all about being out on the farm.
‘It was much more tame than normal’: Gathering restrictions temper homecoming weekend in Waterloo Region
Thousands of students and alumni came through Waterloo Region over the weekend to partake in homecomings at nearby universities, and Waterloo’s mayor said COVID-19 restrictions appear to have been obeyed.
Health officials in Waterloo Region logged 27 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday.
Conestoga College is mourning the death of 18-year-old Joshua Bennett from Etobicoke who police identified as the man found dead in Kitchener on Friday morning.