The City of Langford has reached out to the BC Lions to figure out why it lost out on the bid to host the first Touchdown Pacific game, but remains hopeful it will be chosen for any future opportunities.
In January 2023, Langford, the Canadian Football League’s commissioner and representatives from the BC Lions held an event in Langford, announcing the league was eyeing Starlight Stadium to host the first Touchdown Pacific game.
Then, in November 2023, the CFL, BC Lions and City of Victoria announced it would be held in Victoria’s Royal Athletic Park.
In a statement on Facebook, Langford posted that it learned the game was being awarded to Victoria in July, and at the time had asked the president of the BC Lions asking what the determining factors in the decision were.
“When the City heard the news of the game being awarded to the City of Victoria, staff reached out to the President of the BC Lions to understand the determining factors related to this decision,” the statement says. “Staff have yet to hear back.”
The statement says the BC Hydro pole that had prevented the stadium seating being expanded has been moved, though the exact potential seating capacity has yet to be determined though it is expected to be between 8,000 to 10,000 seats.
“Langford Council remains committed to the activation of Starlight Stadium in creative ways to maximize capacity to continue to attract high-performance sports matches and concerts,” Langford’s statement says. “The City will provide a further update on this matter if it learns more from the BC Lions and will remain in active discussions with the franchise for a future game.”
When the game was announced to be hosted in Victoria, it was indicated that Royal Athletic Park is expected to be able to be expanded to allow for 10,000 to 14,000 seats.
Touchdown Pacific is the latest installment in the Touchdown Series, following five Touchdown Atlantic events that celebrated Canadian football and deepened its imprint throughout the East Coast.
The 2023 edition generated over $10M in overall economic impact, benefitting businesses and communities across the region.
It’s expecting to bring similar revenue to the Greater Victoria region.
“We anticipate thousands will attend this big-ticket event, generating significant economic benefits for Victoria and the South Island and providing the BC Lions a great opportunity to host their fan base in Vancouver Island, and beyond,” Lana Popham, minister of tourism, arts and culture, said.
-With files from CHEK’s Jordan Cunningham and Mackenzie Read