Will London build a downtown sports stadium? It's a possibility

Some time next year London city hall will publish its 10-year parks and recreation master plan — and one of the possible projects discussed will be a downtown stadium.

Now, that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen in 10 years, or ever for that matter. What it does mean if the item appears in the long-term master plan for the city is that the pros and cons of a stadium will be discussed - writes lfpress.com

But the fact that a small stadium of not-yet-determined size is needed won’t be enough to get one built.

“The master plan is a revision of the 2009 strategic master plan,” said Scott Stafford, managing director of parks and recreation for city hall. “It will go to council in 2019 and it’s trying to figure out the visions and goals for parks and recreation for the next 10 to 20 years.”

The 2009 master plan saw numerous items implemented — “some small and some very big,” Stafford said. The big items included the Bostwick Community Centre and the East Lions Park Recreation Centre.

City hall continues to seek input from the community for what eventually will find its way into the blueprint.

“They can get involved online. We’ve already had several public meetings,” Stafford said. “We’ve met with all stakeholders, partners and those delivering recreation services to all including school boards to university and colleges, Western Fair, Tourism London and all different volunteer community groups.”

After these meetings Stafford said he believes that a stadium of some sort will be under discussion.

“We’re getting some input now so it will be an item that will be addressed as part of community interest,” he said. “We haven’t got to the point of evaluating all the demographics and all of the sub-studies . . . but it’s something that’s coming forward as an interest in the community.”

It is all a concept at this stage.

“Right now there are certainly some sites we are looking at that are proposed by the community,” Stafford said. “It would be looking to see what partners there would be, what the size, what the scope is and what the need would be. It’s something we will be investigating for sure.

“But we haven’t done the math yet. We’re trying to decide is, is it needed for a greater economic vitality picture for tourism or from a sports perspective?”

The Western Mustangs have TD Stadium for football. The Majors have Labatt Park. While soccer has the BMO Centre, it’s an indoor facility.

The one glaring need is an outdoor soccer stadium with a modest seating capacity. No doubt the facility would be used for other sports as well.

Interest seems to have ratcheted up about a potential stadium with the establishment of the Canadian Premier League, a new national soccer league with seven franchises. The CPL is a hard-pushing organization that’s selling itself as the true Canadian league. Several franchises have been established in cities with Canadian Football League teams.

FC London’s founder and chief operating officer, Ian Campbell, says he had discussions with the league last year but the financial numbers didn’t work out.

“There was the franchise fee, which is in the millions. Then there was the expectation that there would be money lost in the first few years,” Campbell said. “I also think that the travel expenses are going to be really steep. It’s expensive going to places like Victoria.”

But a major outstanding issue here is a stadium. Campbell’s wish list for the continued growth of the sport and FC London includes a dedicated soccer stadium. Right now FC London has a women’s and men’s senior team in League1 Ontario.

While the costs to get into the CPL are high, not having a stadium removes any decision — it’s simply not feasible.

“It’s just too much money,” Campbell said. “But if there were a stadium, now that might change things.”

Coincidentally, Campbell recently moved the offices of his company iCONECT to Bathurst Street. It’s directly across the street from the large parking lot near London Hydro.

“Yes, the city does own that parking lot,” Stafford said.

Read more news of London on our site.

If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
I recommend
No recommendations yet


Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

An EE customer has said she was stalked by an ex-partner who worked at the firm, after he accessed her personal data without permission. Francesca Bonafede's number was switched to a new handset and her address and bank details were accessed. She said the company failed to take the data breach seriously and she had to involve police. EE "sincerely apologised" to Ms Bonafede, and said the employee no longer worked for the company. 'They didn't seem concerne...
West Ham say they have handed over all of their evidence to the police after completing a "thorough and immediate" investigation into racist abuse shouted at Liverpool's Mohamed Salah. The incident happened during Monday's 1-1 draw at London Stadium. Egypt striker Salah, 26, was filmed on a mobile phone from a section of home supporters as he was taking a corner. "The club is unequivocal in its stance - such abuse will not be tolerated," West Ham said in a...
A body seen in the wreckage of the plane carrying Cardiff City footballer Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson has been recovered, investigators said. Remotely operated Vehicles (ROVs) were used in ‘challenging conditions’ to pull the body out of the water ‘in as dignified a way as possible’ the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said on Wednesday night. The body is being taken to Portland to be passed over to the Dorset coroner for examination, t...
The US president, who has repeatedly criticised the military alliance, would meet with heads of state in London, Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg announced on Wednesday. It would be Mr Trump's second visit to Britain since his election, having jetted in amid swathes of protest last July. I am pleased to announce that allies have agreed that the next meeting of Nato heads of state and government will take place in London in December 2019. The meeting...
Rolf Harris was jailed for five years and nine months in 2014 but released on licence in May 2017 Credit: PA Officials are investigating a report that disgraced entertainer Rolf Harris walked onto the grounds of a primary school and waved at pupils. The convicted sex offender went onto the premises of Oldfield Primary School near his home in Bray, Maidenhead, to talk to a sculptor working in the grounds, the Daily Mirror reported. Harris, who was jailed fo...
Two men have been arrested on suspicion of murder after a teenager was stabbed to death. Police and London Ambulance Service were called to Wolsey Court, off Westbridge Road in Battersea, at 7.52pm on Tuesday following reports of a stabbing. A 19-year-old man was found with stab injuries and died at the scene at 8.36pm despite paramedics battling to save his life. The stabbing took place less than half a mile from Prince George's primary school, Thomas's B...
The girl, who has been named Roman by nurses, was found at around 10pm on Thursday in the park in Roman Road in East Ham.  Police said Roman was wrapped in a white towel and placed in the shopping bag on the ground next to a bench in the small children's play park.  The baby was rushed to hospital where she was in a stable condition on Friday morning, the Metropolitan Police said.  Roman was discovered by grandmother-of-one Rima Zvaliauskiene, 50, just 100...
The operation to recover the doomed plane carrying Emiliano Sala off Guernsey could be hampered by days of poor weather as the man brought in by the footballer's family to find him said he could be in the wreckage. The English Channel is being battered by torrential ran, 40mph winds and 10ft waves with the poor conditions set to continue - and worsen - until the end of the week, MailOnline can reveal today. The families of the £15million striker and his pi...
Train passengers are being warned of major disruption after overhead electric wires were damaged near one of London’s busiest stations. Network Rail said services travelling to and from Liverpool Street could be cancelled or revised until 8am on Thursday. Wires between Liverpool Street and Bethnal Green, east London, were damaged, with the outage impacting Greater Anglia, London Overground, Stansted Express and Transport for London Rail services. Passenger...