The City of Langford says it plans to hold a referendum on whether it should borrow money to expand Starlight Stadium, after Pacific FC did not automatically renew its agreement to operate in the stadium due to its current size.
Pacific FC originally came to Langford and agreed to operate out of Starlight Stadium, on the condition that the seating be expanded to 10,000 seats from its current 6,000, which was inhibited by the hydro pole that was in the way.
The hydro pole has now been moved, at a cost of $4.25 million, but the status of expanding the seating seems to be up in the air.
Council has approved $50,000 to be spent to come up with design renderings to add the additional 4,000 seats.
In 2022, Langford received three proposals to complete the necessary work to the stadium to add the seats. The lowest bid came in at a cost of $10,425,665, with the highest bid coming in at $14,667,256.
However, given the anticipated cost of expanding the seats council has opted to hold a referendum on whether it should borrow money to expand the seating at Starlight Stadium.
“The City has been working closely with Pacific FC (PFC) to negotiate a new Stadium Use Agreement for another five-year term,” the City of Langford said in a Facebook post Friday.
“As part of the negotiations, PFC has stated that the completion of the stadium is critical to the continued growth and long-term viability of the Team and to bring world class events to the region.”
“While negotiations are complex and involve numerous intertwined agreements between the City and PFC, the City has presented a mutually beneficial offer of a new five-year Stadium Use Agreement to PFC. The City is optimistic that this will be finalized in the coming days and that PFC will continue to play in Langford for years to come.”
Langford did not include information on when the referendum would be held.
In January, rumours surfaced that Pacific FC was considering leaving Langford, and at the time the team said this wasn’t the case.
“We are working closely with the City of Langford for the coming season and beyond,” Paul Beirne, the manager director for Pacific FC, told CHEK News in a statement on Jan. 21.
He says Pacific FC looks forward to welcoming fans back to the stadium for their home opener against the Halifax Wanderers on April 13.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with the costs of the proposal received in 2022 when the city issued a Request for Proposal.