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

Photo: City of Langford/Facebook
Langford’s Starlight Stadium.

The Pacific Football Club (Pacific FC) has found itself being kicked around in a social media controversy between city councillors and the City of Langford.

Pacific FC, which is based in Langford and is Vancouver Island’s only professional soccer team, has been caught in the online drama that’s being spread by different sources.

Recent posts on Facebook and other social media platforms have created some confusion around the future of Pacific FC in Langford. The team plays out of Starlight Stadium on Langford Parkway and joined the Canadian Premier League back in 2018.

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Colwood councillor Ian Ward took to Facebook on Jan. 18, indicating there were some contractual issues between the club and the city. He called the process “hostile” and noted that it would likely force Pacific FC to move to Victoria.

“Langford Council has demonstrated ideological opposition to turf fields and expansion of sports facilities previously, and now I have it on good authority that their ‘hostile’ approach has forced the Westshore’s favourite soccer club to explore leaving,” wrote Ward.

The City of Langford, however, says it’s “deeply concerned” over these statements and has a long-established partnership with Pacific FC with no desire for that to change.

A new contract for another five-year term is in the works, and it’s expected the process will “be completed soon,” according to the city in its own Facebook post.

“As the community is well aware, the City has invested significantly into the development of a Stadium that meets the needs of high-performance sports teams, with a proven history of attracting international sports events,” wrote Langford on Jan. 19.

“The City remains committed to investing in the Stadium as demonstrated by the relocation of the hydro pole in 2023 at a significant cost to the City,” it added.

“Given the City’s meaningful partnership with PFC, and the ongoing commitment to this regionally utilized venue, the City does not believe that a neighbouring community would enter into discussions with a team that is already located in Greater Victoria.”

Keith Yacucha, a councillor in Langford, also took to Facebook on Jan. 19 to say he was saddened to hear rumours were circulating online.

“It is sad to see some people spreading unfounded rumours about our PFC team. These rumours only hurt the spirit of our players and fans,” he said.

“As a loyal supporter of local professional sport, I want to let you know that the city is fully behind our PFC team and their efforts to achieve excellence for our community.”

Soccer team speaks with CHEK

Paul Beirne, the manager director for Pacific FC, says Starlight Stadium in Langford has been the team’s home for the past five seasons and will continue to be.

“We are working closely with the City of Langford for the coming season and beyond,” Beirne told CHEK News in a statement Sunday.

He says Pacific FC looks forward to welcoming fans back to the stadium for their home opener against the Halifax Wanderers on April 13. The team posts updates about its 2024 roster on its website here.

Ethan Morneau

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