May 20, 2024
  • May 20, 2024
Vancouver FC Kelowna Apple Bowl

CPL Set To Feel Out Kelowna Market With League Match

By on May 7, 2024 1 2297 Views

Playing at the Apple Bowl one day ensures the Canadian Premier League might stay?

Just hours after the Canadian Premier League teased that it’d be making an announcement in Kelowna in tandem with Vancouver FC and city officials, the cat seems to have peeked out of the bag a little early.

An errant Ticketmaster listing has revealed that Vancouver FC looks set to host Cavalry at Kelowna’s Apple Bowl this summer, testing out an Okanagan Valley market in which the league has expressed a longstanding interest.

While the event listing has since been taken down, the fixture seems to fit the bill: on the Canadian Premier League’s own website, tickets are not currently available for that day’s Vancouver FC vs Cavalry fixture, which makes sense if it’s set for a venue swap. It’s also the league’s betting sponsor’s match of the week, so a lot of eyes could be set to take in kickoff in Kelowna.

The multi-purpose stadium is home to the CJFL’s Okanagan Sun, boasting a grandstand that seats 1,054. When combined with aluminum bleachers, that lands the venue with a total capacity around 2,254 – a little under the club’s average home attendance in 2023.

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The venue swap puts the fixture about a four drive from the ‘home crowd’, so it remains to be seen how Vancouver FC fans might feel about the market exploration. It’s also a seven hour drive from Cavalry’s Spruce Meadows, though it’s a beautiful stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway between the two.

The league will be making its announcement at 2:00PM PT tomorrow, with CPL commissioner Mark Noonan, VFC President (and Pacific co-owner) Rob Friend, and City of Kelowna Mayor Tom Dyas all in attendance.

Canadian Premier League Kelowna

It’s been nearly two years since we first reported that an internal Canadian Premier League document stated that franchise rights had already been awarded to an ownership group in Kelowna, though no public announcement regarding such has ever been brought forth.

See Also: Ten Locations For Soccer Clubs In Canada (And Some Honourable Mentions)

That being said, the 2022-produced document also said Kelowna would begin play in 2024 alongside Saskatoon, a project which was officially put on ice after failing to secure a stadium solution and falling into a legal dispute.

The Canadian Premier League will continue on with its formal Kelowna-based announcement tomorrow afternoon, so it’ll be interesting to hear what it has to say about event. Given that the CPL’s commissioner recently backtracked on his expansion targets, it seems footy fans in Kelowna will have to make due with a test-market league match for a good while yet.

1 Comment
  • John Anderson 2 weeks ago

    Hope they can an exhibition in fort McMurray as well this summer

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