COPE park board commissioner Loretta Woodcock is presenting an emergency motion at the January 18 park board meeting, requesting that the City of Vancouver, the PNE and PAVCO provide full support and resources to locate and upgrade, if needed, alternative facilities to support displaced amateur sports groups while the temporary stadium at Empire Bowl closes Empire Field for public use. A few days ago Councilor Louie’s motion was released as part of the council package, indicating that the City will be looking at endorsing the development of a temporary stadium at Empire Bowl by PAVCO and the PNE for use during 2010 and 2011 while BC Place is being renovated.
According to Park Commissioner Woodcock, “the surrounding community and amateur sports groups across the city voiced their disappointment that there was no public consultation prior to the agreement being made, and they expressed concern in finding alternative field space. I am asking the City of Vancouver along with Empire Bowl partners the PNE and PAVCO to provide full support and resources to assist park board staff to locate, and if necessary, upgrade alternative facilities to accomodate displaced amateur sports groups.”
A number of local and city-wide amateur sports teams that use Empire Bowl will be displaced, including MoreSports, Vancouver Youth Soccer Association, Vancouver Metro Men’s and Women’s Soccer Leagues, Old timer’s Soccer League, Crosstown and Vancouver Advertising Slo Pitch, Citywide Sports Softball, and others.
The Park Commissioners — and the COPE City Councillors — learned of the decision on Empire Stadium via a public news release.