The exciting launch of a new era for the Highlanders (more on that later) has been tempered by the recent revelations about the future of Royal Athletic Park as a venue for summer events after 2012 (see T-C Article)
It was a recently made public in another T-C article that a "Vancouver businessman" is trying to bring a West Coast League team to Victoria starting in 2013. According to that article by Cleve Dheensaw, negotiations have been going on for over a year and yet there has been no public discussion of the most startling and controversial proposal from this potential team. It has been proposed that this team be given exclusive use of RAP for the whole summer.
Yep, no Highlanders, no Victoria United, nothing that would require the outfield fence to be removed for the whole summer.
You read that right. they would ban soccer from RAP because a hypothetical baseball team cannot be bothered to use readily available technology called "wheels" to move the fence for games.
The Victoria Seals were able to move the fence.
With this in mind I have sent the following to current and potential members of Victoria City Council in the upcoming election and will post their responses here.
Subject: Save Our Stadium!
I wish it to be known that as a voter in Victoria and as a member of the Lake Side Buoys supporters club, I am opposed to the ban on soccer in the summertime at Royal Athletic Park being proposed by a group looking to bring a new baseball franchise to Victoria. I am further opposed to secret negotiations that would allow a takeover of a historic community facility by private interests.
RAP has hosted soccer games for over one hundred years including teams like Chelsea, Rangers, the Canadian National team and more recently the Youth World Cup. Currently Victoria United and Victoria Highlanders FC play at Royal Athletic and it is inconceivable that these successful teams should be forced to vacate their home field in the name of convenience for a team that has never played in this facility and does not in fact even exist at this time.
Royal Athletic Park has for decades been a multi-use facility and I see no good reason why this should be abandoned.
Will you agree that sharing of these community-owned facilities should be equitable and respectful of all interests?
I request that you make your position know on this issue as soon as possible. I do not see how I can support a candidate in the upcoming municipal election who will not publicly support soccer and defend community interests.
Your response (or lack thereof) will be posted publicly on the website for the Lake Side Buoys (www.lakesidebuoys.org).
Ted Godwin, James Bay
President, Lake Side Buoys
In case you are moved to contact the current councillors and candidates feel free to borrow from my letter above and send to the emails below.
Current Mayor and Council: Dean Fortin <email@example.com>, Marianne Alto <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Chris Coleman <email@example.com>, Lynn Hunter <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Phillipe Lucas <email@example.com>, John Luton <firstname.lastname@example.org >, Pam Madoff <email@example.com>, Charlayne Thornton-Joe <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Geoff Young <email@example.com>,
Candidates: Paul Brown <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Steve Filipovic <email@example.com> , David Shebib <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Saul Andersen <email@example.com>, Shellie Gudgeon <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Aaron Hall <email@example.com>, Lisa Helps <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Rose Henry <email@example.com>, Ben Isitt <Ben@Isitt.ca>, Robin Kimpton <RobinKimpton@Gmail.Com>, Suhki Lalli <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Linda McGrew <email@example.com>, Sean Murray <firstname.lastname@example.org>, John C Turner <email@example.com>, Jon Valentine <firstname.lastname@example.org>,