Mark Village On Westhills Stadium Renovation: ‘It’s Like The Kop’
This Saturday won’t be a regular home game for Pacific FC: when the club hosts Valour FC on August 24, the Vancouver Isle side will play its first-ever game in the newly-renovated form of Westhills Stadium.
Pacific FC goalkeeper Mark Village happens to be a Liverpool fan, and he likened the most recently completed grandstand to The Kop. That’s one of the four stands at Anfield, and it comes with a fierce reputation: it’s where the most vocal Liverpool supporters congregate and contribute to a matchday atmosphere that is the stuff of legend.
The new behind-goal grandstand at Westhills Stadium doesn’t have a nickname of its own yet, and is obviously smaller than the Kop itself – but if Pacific FC can manage to fill it, Village expects it to lend a tremendous atmosphere to the club’s home in Langford.
I’m hoping that we can fill it. Pacific FC has set it up so well, you’ve probably seen some promotions of people saying it’s so tight to the field, you’re literally right there at the action. That’s exactly what you want from a professional league like this. You want people to be right there, to hear the player’s screaming at eachother or hearing a crunching tackle. You’re literally right there. I think Pacific FC have done a very nice job of setting up the stadium and making it look very pretty for us to play on. It’s a stage for us. It’s exciting.Mark VIllage
To get to this point, Westhills Stadium has undergone some $8.8 million worth of upgrades since the city council approved of the expansion. The three new roofed grandstands are prefabricated by BEAR Stadiums and its supplier, Rubner Holzbau. They were then shipped over to British Columbia, where they have been assembled over the last four months.
To go along with a capacity increase that now allows the Canadian Premier League club to host some 6,200 fans, the city has also installed new washrooms, water bottle stations, dressing rooms, and parking.
The next stage of renovation for Westhills Stadium will see the infamous hydro pole next to the beer garden removed (pending city approval), which would then allow the club to build bleachers on the other sideline of the field. It will also allow OneSoccer to use a scissor lift to give better angles for matches streamed at Westhills Stadium. That’s all in the planning stages for now.
The Canadian Premier League recorded a pretty nice hype video to mark this year’s impressive renovations:
The ownership group behind Pacific FC has continued to invest in the club, too: club CEO Rob Friend recently confirmed that two new signings are awaiting their respective international transfer clearances, while the club is also helping to build the largest indoor fieldhouse in British Columbia so that players have a place to train year-round.
Pacific FC are entering tomorrow’s match on good terms: the club recorded a 2-0 away win over York9 FC last week, with Mark Village securing a clean sheet, Terran Campbell going top in the golden boot race, and Zach Verhoven getting himself on the scoresheet for his birthday.
With both Pacific FC and Valour FC trying to etch their way into the top half of the fall season table, it’s bound to be a fiery night at Westhills Stadium this Saturday. If Pacific FC can find a way to fill up all those brand new seats, it’s going to be a noisy one, too.