The City of New Westminster is analyzing the feasibility of refurbishing Queen's Park to host a Whitecaps FC USL Division 1 team. This would bring a high-caliber professional soccer team to our New Westminster backyard. What great news for local soccer fans!
Just as importantly, it would add a high-quality soccer facility that can be used for youth sports and other user groups. The Whitecaps will only use the stadium on game days. The refurbished stadium will also allow the community to proudly carry-on traditional events in upgraded facilities, e.g. May Day, Movie Night, Anvil battery, etc.
While some outstanding questions remain, the City's proposed plan would include a commitment to a much-needed second turf field in beautiful and central Queen's Park. Community groups, including youth soccer, will be the primary users of the stadium field, new turf field, stadium storage and change room facilities. Along with the Queen's Park East turf field, which was built with significant funding from Royal City Youth Soccer Club (RCYSC), New West can stop envying other cities' facilities and finally have a home soccer complex to be proud of. Moreover, RCYSC can look forward to more collaboration with the Whitecaps on training and events. In short, this project promises to be of great benefit for the local soccer community.
The City must decide whether to approve this development by September 15. To succeed:
(1) The baseball community must be treated fairly and get fast-track access to a new city facility that's supports their capacity requirements.
(2) The Whitecaps leasing agreement, existing City budgets, and tangible economic spin-off must cover the costs of the project.
There is a minority of residents that are against this proposal for a variety of reasons. Dissenters can often have the loudest voice and could derail this unique and golden opportunity for soccer in New Westminster. The hard truth of the matter is that there is no professional baseball organization willing to pay a commercial lease to recoup stadium renovation costs but there is one for soccer.
Therefore, this online petition has been posted so that City staff and Council understand that there is a clear majority of New Westminster residents, voters, neighbours and local soccer fans that support the development of soccer facilities in Queen's Park.
We also need each of you to register your support via the City's official channel:
We hope that many of the voting-age family members and friends of the approximately 1200 registered New West youth players add their names and support to this list! We expect the Sept 15 council votes will be fresh memory to the voters on this list when the municipal election has started in a couple of months.