Vancouver Whitecaps To Host Champions Cup Match At Starlight Stadium
Looks like Langford is going to get a lot of soccer in February.
On early Monday morning, the Vancouver Whitecaps confirmed their dates for the upcoming Round One clash of the Concacaf Champions Cup against Tigres UANL, but with one small wrinkle: the first leg that was expected to be hosted at the Whitecaps’ home ground of BC Place on February 7th will now be hosted at Starlight Stadium, the home ground of Pacific FC instead.
“When Concacaf first confirmed the expanded format and earlier competition dates for the Champions Cup, we learned there was a potential conflict based on another event at BC Place during the same window. Immediately, we explored all possibilities, as well as venue options across British Columbia,” said Whitecaps CEO Axel Schuster in a media release.
Keen researchers will notice that BC Place will be getting ready for the 2024 BC Annual Home + Garden Show that takes place between February 8th and 11th. It is not the first time the Home + Garden show has interfered with Whitecaps scheduling, as last year’s first round Concacaf Champions League tie against Real Espana had to be reshuffled due to the event’s dates last March.
“Ultimately, Starlight Stadium was not only the sole Concacaf approved and available stadium in our province in early February, but the City of Langford has also been extremely welcoming” added Schuster in the release.
“Although our preference is to always play at BC Place, we are excited for this unique opportunity to further connect with our many fans and supporters on Vancouver Island at a stadium we are familiar with.”
This’ll be the second Champions Cup matchup that has had to be rescheduled in the last week to Starlight Stadium, as Cavalry FC had to shift their home-leg match against Orlando City SC on February 21st to Pacific FC’s home due to weather concerns in Alberta.
The last time the Whitecaps were at Starlight Stadium was for the Canadian Championship semi-finals this past season, where the ‘Caps stormed past Pacific FC 3-0 on their route to the championship. Julian Gressel, Ali Ahmed, and Simon Becher were all on the scoresheet.
With the Whitecaps playing in the first Round One window, it is likely that their preseason will begin early on in January, with the player report date set as January 6th. More details on their preseason camp to be revealed.