Has the worm turned? Has Vancouver become a Whitecaps town when the Canucks aren’t playing?
It would sure seem that way.
The Whitecaps are in just their fifth season of operation in the Major League Soccer circuit. The BC Lions are in their 61st season in the Canadian Football League.
I’m not here to throw stones at the Leos, they have been entrenched in the culture of this town and this province for decades. But perhaps that is the problem. Perhaps because the Lions are always here every year and for the most part in contention every year, there has developed a fan apathy for BC Lions football.
The Whitecaps are playing the beautiful game, so culturally they are drawing more diversity in their crowds by default. The Whitecaps are also filling their building with something that any sports franchise wants; kids. Kids are the next generation of fans. Hook the kids and you have a built in cash box for years.
I bring this up for a couple of reasons:
– The Lions and Whitecaps both curtain off the upper bowl at BC Place Stadium, which drives me to distraction that we spent 600 million dollars to upgrade a building that we half use. Count the number of times that the entire building has been used since 2011…you can do it on one hand.
– With said curtains in place, the real telltale sign that the Whitecaps are giving the Lions a run for their money is in the seats. Yesterday afternoon, the Caps drew 20298 for their game vs San Jose. The Lions on a Friday night against the Toronto Argos, drew 20085.
These numbers are virtually deadlocked, so I ask you the question:
If you wanted to invest in the Lions or the Whitecaps right now…who do you choose?
It looks to close to call…or does it?