Pacific FC signs one-year contract with Langford, city hopes for more

Pacific FC signs one-year contract with Langford, city hopes for more
Starlight Stadium in Langford is pictured.

The City of Langford has inked a deal with Pacific FC to keep the football club playing at Starlight Stadium for another year, though the city says it’s hoping to secure a longer term contract moving forward.

On Wednesday, Langford city council said it had approved a one-year stadium use agreement with Pacific FC.

The announcement came after there were rumours that the soccer team was moving out of the West Shore community, after it did not renew another five-year contract in June.

The city was quick to respond, saying those rumours were unfounded. Now, it says it’s working with the soccer team to try to reach a new long-term deal.

SEE PREVIOUS: ‘Unfounded rumours’: Pacific FC not moving out of Starlight Stadium, says city

“While the city would have preferred a new five-year agreement to solidify PFC’s long-term future in Langford, at PFC’s request, the city agreed to a one-year term to allow the parties to negotiate more fully on a longer-term contract,” said the municipality on Wednesday.

Thursday at Starlight Stadium, the two sides met to announce new gameday changes, including food options for fans, but discussions centred on the lease agreement.

“We just did a one-year deal to buy time. Time was the only factor that was getting in the way,” said PFC managing director Paul Beirne.

“Five years would have been ideal,” said Langford Mayor Scott Goodmanson. “It is what it is. They want to discuss the ITC and you know what? Things are different now than they were five years ago.”

Part of the negotiations include the use of the Island Training Centre (ITC) in Langford.

The ITC was built in 2019 on municipal land as part of a partnership agreement with Pacific FC. The agreement required Pacific FC to only pay $1 per year for use of the facility, as long as it could be used for youth soccer development and other community programs as well.

Use of the ITC is also part the stadium use agreement negotiations, which would “ensure the team remains in Langford for at least 10-years and provides a way to recoup some of the $2 million investment contributed to the facility by the city,” said the municipality on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the city is still considering expanding Starlight Stadium.

In February, the city said it was thinking of launching a referendum on expanding the stadium with an additional 4,000 seats.

“The City of Langford and PFC have a longstanding, collaborative partnership, and we’re excited to see the contract signed,” said Goodmanson in the release Wednesday.

“PFC brings an array of community benefits related to economic development and social impact. Council recognizes this and greatly values Pacific FC’s presence, and contribution to the community,” he said.

Pacific FC’s sixth season in the Canadian Premier League kicks off Saturday at  Starlight Stadium as they face the Halifax Wanderers at 4 p.m.

“We’re very excited,” said centre back Thomas Meilleur-Giguere. “It’s gonna be a good game and hopefully a lot of fans in the crowd notice that and hopefully we win.”

With files from CHEK’s Jordan Cunningham

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