Future of professional soccer in the Westshore up in the air due to hydro pole

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The mayor of Langford says a local bid for a professional soccer franchise hinges on their ability to add more seating at Westhills Stadium.

Mayor Stew Young says a local group has entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Canadian Premier League, but it's contingent on adding a significant number of seats. Young says he'd like to add grandstands to accommodate 3,000 more fans on the north side of the field, but a hydro pole is complicating the effort.

“Basically they’ve approved us, we’ve signed a memorandum of understanding subject to getting the stands on the other side,” Young said. “We’re there we just have to move the pole, or hydro gives us the authority to encroach on their easement. It’s a very wide easement underneath where the pole is, but as long as we don’t put the stands under the power lines themselves, we think we can just put them in behind that and then build 3,000 stands there.”

Young said the city can build temporary seats for now, to allow the company more time to move the hydro pole.

He says talks are underway with the province and BC Hydro, but time is running out.

“I’d say we’ve probably got about 10 days left to figure out how to get hydro to approve those stands in there at least, and then maybe the pole later,” Young said. “We’ve got 10 days left on the M.O.U. and so if we don’t get that done and it’s not solved then unfortunately we won’t be getting soccer here.”

The Canadian Premier League says its inaugural season in operation will begin next spring. So far, Calgary and York have been confirmed as host cities.

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