The grand opening of the newly expanded Westhills Stadium at City Centre Park is on schedule to take place on Saturday, Aug. 24. (Karissa Gall/News Staff)

The grand opening of the newly expanded Westhills Stadium at City Centre Park is on schedule to take place on Saturday, Aug. 24. (Karissa Gall/News Staff)

PHOTOS: Inside the opening of the expanded Westhills Stadium

The grand opening of the expanded stadium in Langford is on schedule for Aug. 24

When City of Langford Mayor Stew Young was a teenager, he remembers only one arena down at the Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre. Overall, when it came to recreation opportunities, “it wasn’t that good in Langford.”

Fast-forward about four decades and Young, along with City staff and contractors, is busy preparing for “the biggest sporting event opening Langford has ever had.” On Saturday, Aug. 24, before the Pacific FC home game, they host the grand opening of the newly expanded Westhills Stadium at City Centre Park.

Home to the Premier League soccer team, which approached the City in spring 2018, as well as Rugby Canada and the Westshore Rebels football team, the stadium has undergone significant upgrades costing about $8.8 million since Langford City Counil approved the expansion last July. Once complete, the expanded stadium will accommodate 6,000 spectators in the purple or white plastic seats that were added to the new and existing grandstands, on the folding bleachers on the field, or in one of 18 VIP suites.

The new VIP suites added to Westhills Stadium feature windows that easily open and close, televisions that play the ongoing game for instant replays, and expanded outdoor space with filled-in railings.

READ MORE: Westhills Stadium to get more seating

The new purple and white plastic seats and VIP suites are situated in three new, pre-manufactured grandstands from Italian designer BEAR Stadiums and supplier Rubner Holzbau. Approximately 38 containers were shipped to local architects, engineers and construction staff over a four-month time frame and since the Pacific FC season kicked off on April 28, fans have watched the facilities expand.

Grandstand A, one of three new roofed grandstands, has been in use since the team’s first home game. As a result, City staff have been able to collect feedback from fans and players, and tweak construction plans as they continue to work up to the opening deadline.

The City had to install a new fire suppression system at Westhills Stadium due to the increased occupancy as a result of the expansion. (Karissa Gall/News Staff)

For example, after Pacific FC painted its team name on the existing, concrete stand that was constructed about 10 years ago, the City decided to also paint a white maple leaf on the new Grandstand C, on the west side of the grounds. At first, they just painted the purple chairs white, before realizing they would also have to paint the grey concrete between the seats to achieve the desired effect.

Grandstand C will be the last grandstand completed, but that was where the renovations and additions all started in November 2018.

Peat in the area, which is near a pond, had to be excavated and replaced with rapidly-impacted rock. It took about three months to get down to the required compaction.

The area around the pond will be paved with bricks for a family fun zone that will include metal picnic tables, lamps with speakers and Wi-Fi portals, a 25 foot by 16 foot stage, and one of the two new concession stands. Depending on the event, there may be musical performances on the stage in the zone, or food trucks or a bouncy castle.

The area behind the new Grandstand C on the west side of the field will be the Family FUN Zone, with one of two new concessions, seating, a stage and more. Mayor Stew Young said that when a climbing facility is also constructed in the area it will be integrated with the zone. (Karissa Gall/News Staff)

Come fall of next year, there may also be a climbing wall, because “that’s going to be an Olympic sport next year,” Young said, and a Boulderhouse Climbing Gym is planned for integration with the zone.

New additions to the north side of the field at Westhills Stadium include a beer garden, food truck hookups, a DJ area, wooden platforms for broadcasters, a 10-foot fence and flags. (Karissa Gall/News Staff)

Similar to the west side of the grounds, almost everything on the north side was added during the expansion.

After receiving approvals from BC Hydro, a beer garden has been added with hookups for food trucks, picnic tables and a DJ area. Wooden platforms were also constructed for broadcasters, and a 10-foot fence was installed as well as flags.

The new grandstands at Westhills Stadium could be framed in to create additional space in the future, for VIP suites, offices and more. (Karissa Gall/News Staff)

Elsewhere on the grounds, new washrooms were added as well as four water bottle filling stations, two new dressing rooms with skylights, and increased parking. More could be added in the future, too; if needed, the new grandstands could be framed in to create upper flooring.

Two new dressing rooms with skylights have been added to Westhills Stadium as part of its expansion. (Karissa Gall/News Staff)

Located adjacent to the grounds will be the new Sarah Beckett Memorial Playground, which opens on the same day as the expanded stadium. Behind the playground, Young said a Boxing BC training facility and gym will also be added.

Four water bottle filling stations have been added to Westhills Stadium as part of its expansion. (Karissa Gall/News Staff)

“It’s not just stopping with the stadium,” he said. “We’ll now make sure that stuff around the stadium is exciting.”

Once complete, he said the gym will host boxing events, too.

“To have a Boxing BC facility right in Langford, you’ll see some really high-level boxing,” he said. “People will come as they did when we had the Super Channel [Championships].”

READ MORE: Slugfest at the 2019 Super Channel Championships

Pacific FC and Rugby Canada have expressed pleasure and pride in their new home stadium.

“Westhills Stadium provides one of the most intimate football [soccer] specific atmospheres in the country,” said Pacific FC president Josh Simpson. “It has been a pleasure working with the City of Langford to make this dream a reality.”

Gareth Rees, director of commercial and program relations for Rugby Canada, echoed Simpson’s sentiments.

“Rugby Canada is very proud of its world-class Center of Excellence based in Langford,” Rees said. “The revamped stadium facility at Westhills now means our events and matches can go to another level and provide a richer environment for athletes and fans alike.”

Ultimately, the expanded stadium and park facilities are meant to increase recreation opportunities and revenue for the community, Young said.

“Langford is now a name that people can relate to great recreation facilities and good athletes as well,” he said. “The opportunities for sports make people move to Langford now.”

Pacific FC is building a new indoor training facility on City-owned land at Kettle Creek, which Mayor Stew Young hopes will make Langford a year-round recreation destination.

READ MORE: Westhills Stadium filled with red and white as Canadian Women’s Rugby Sevens take the pitch

The grand opening of Westhills Stadium on Aug. 24 starts at 1 p.m., with gates opening at the Langford Parkway entrance, along with the fan zone, food trucks and beer garden. Tickets are required for entrance. At 2 p.m. the gates at the Glen Lake Road entrance open and at 2:30 p.m. there will be opening ceremonies, including speeches by Premier John Horgan and Young. At 3 p.m. the Pacific FC game kicks off against Valour FC of Winnipeg.

For tickets visit ticketmaster.ca and for a full list of stadium parking options, visit pacificfc.canpl.ca/parking-at-westhills-stadium.



karissa.gall@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Sooke Fine Arts Show will be online again this year, showcasing unique artworks from Vancouver Island and B.C.’s coastal island artists from July 23 to Aug. 2. (File - Sooke News Mirror)
Sooke Fine Arts Show goes virtual for second year in a row

Art exhibition and show set for July 23 to Aug. 2

Dog owners walk along Fleming Beach on a sunny day (pre-COVID). (Black Press Media file photo)
Deadline nears for licensing your dog in Esquimalt

Pet owners have until Feb. 28 to renew, purchase or transfer licences for 2021

Ownership of SISȻENEM — also known as Halibut Island located east off Sidney Island — has transferred to W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council after The Land Conservancy of British Columbia (TLC) had purchased the island for $1.55 million. (The Land Conservancy/Submitted)
SISȻENEM (Halibut Island) transfers to W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council under historic agreement

The Land Conservancy purchased the 9.67-acre island for $1.55 million with help from unnamed donor

Landis Carmichael is the Goldstream Gazette 2021 Local Hero as the Emergency Services Award winner. (Photo courtesy Landis Carmichael)
29-year-old firefighter has spent almost half his life with Langford department

Landis Carmichael is the 2021 recipient of the Emergency Services Award

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media File Photo)
POLL: Are you struggling with Greater Victoria’s cost of housing?

While Victoria remains one of the most expensive cities in the country… Continue reading

Site C will go ahead, one year later and $5.3 billion more, the NDP announced Feb 26. (BC Hydro image)
B.C. NDP announces Site C will go ahead with new $16B budget

Reviews recommend more oversight, beefed up foundation stability work

The BC Prosecution Service announced last year that it was appointing lawyer Marilyn Sandford as a special prosecutor to review the case, following media inquiries about disclosure issues linked to a pathologist involved in the matter. (Black Press Media files)
Possible miscarriage of justice in B.C. woman’s conviction in toddler drowning: prosecutor

Tammy Bouvette was originally charged with second-degree murder but pleaded guilty in 2013 to the lesser charge

A kid in elementary school wearing a face mask amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Metro Creative)
Union asks why an elementary school mask rule wouldn’t work in B.C. if it does elsewhere

B.C. education minister announced expansion of mask-wearing rules in middle, high school but not elementary students

A pharmacist prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at Village Green Retirement Campus in Federal Way on Jan. 26. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
Canada approves use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine

The country joins more than a dozen others in giving the shot the green light

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools is preparing a rapid response team proposal for submission to the B.C. Ministry of Education. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo school district chosen as Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 rapid response team

Team to consist of SD68 and Island Health staff, according to B.C. Ministry of Education

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Most Read