On Wednesday, the BC Lions, Canadian Football League and the City of Victoria will be making a “major” announcement.
The announcement with representatives from BC Lions and the CFL will be made at 11:30 a.m. at the Victoria Conference Centre.
Randy Ambrosie, the CFL commissioner; Amar Doman, owner of BC Lions; Duane Vienneau, president of the BC Lions; Rick Campbell, co-general manager and head coach of the BC Lions; Sean Whyte, a BC Lions player; Marianne Alto, mayor of Victoria; and Paul Nursey, CEO of Destination Greater Victoria will all be on hand for the announcement.
CHEK News has received unconfirmed reports that the Lions will host a neutral site game vs. the Ottawa Red Blacks at Royal Athletic Park.
The CFL has stated that in order to keep neutral site games viable, minimum seating capacity must be around 10,000. An expansion of that size is not unprecedented at Royal Athletic Park. For the 2007 FIFA U20 World Cup, an extra 9,500 seats were added.
In January this year, the CFL announced it was considering a “Touchdown Pacific” series potentially starting in Langford in 2024. It is unclear if this previous announcement is related to the upcoming one on Wednesday, but a spokesperson for the City of Langford confirms that the city has not been in talks with the Lions.
The Lions did release the following statement late Tuesday afternoon: “Victoria has always been a passionate Lions market with a strong Lions season ticket base. We are always intrigued at the possibilities to grow our brand there.”
The league has hosted a “Touchdown Atlantic” series on the east coast since 2005, with the goal of bringing a regular season game to communities that don’t have a home team.
The event has grown in popularity over the series’ eight-year run, according to CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie.
He told CHEK News in January that the 2022 event in Wolfville, N.S., had a $12.7-million economic impact on the community, bringing football fans from across Canada.
The CFL was eyeing a 2024 start to the series, but did note the current seating capacity at Starlight Stadium was insufficient for the series’ needs.
With files from CHEK’s Mackenzie Read