Mayor Stew Young said Langford’s planned expansion of Starlight Stadium should be able to attract lots of other events in the future, as Rugby Canada announced the women’s sevens would be moved to Vancouver starting in 2023.
Jamie Levchuk, interim chief executive office of Rugby Canada, said its governing body World Rugby asked them to combine the tournaments for scheduling purposes. Canada was the last leg of the series that held separate men’s and women’s events.
Young said because of this he knew it may happen and he understood the decision, but that it’s unfortunate for local fans.
“It’s really popular and we have a rugby crazy crowd in southern Vancouver Island and especially in Langford. People love their rugby. So we’re excited about still working with them. Obviously, we understand their decision, but we’re a little bit disappointed because it was such fun to have the Women’s Sevens there. But we’ll support their decision and move forward and we’ll look at getting other events, larger events, coming.”
Young said the city’s stadium expansion, which he hoped could be completed within the year, would see the capacity reach 10,000 people, allowing bigger events to be held in Langford.
“We’ll be getting some really big events that will be coming there – concerts and otherwise – so you don’t have to travel to Vancouver to go watch a concert or a game or anything, we’ll try and bring it over.”
Young pointed to events like the women’s rugby 15s game versus Italy in July and said the city has been adding more events at the stadium in recent years. In the coming months, the city is holding its own Canada Day events at the stadium, as well as the Langford Beer Festival in July and Brewery and the Beast in September.