Is this the end of the Vancouver Giants? Well, more specifically, the Giants in Vancouver?
The team is reportedly set to announce a long suspected move to Langley (though word is they’ll keep Vancouver in the name).
To get to the bottom of the news, we spoke with Global BC’s Jay Durant on separating rumour from reality.
Durant says at the end of the day, the move is all about money.
“It’s been rumoured for quite some time the Giants have been sort of kicking tires at the business model out in Langley, and it all comes down to dollars and cents, they can save money by going out there, they figure about $300,000 a year. It seemed inevitable when it comes down to the business side of things.”
But will the prospect of Vancouver fans needing to drive to Langley hurt the team?
Durant doesn’t think so. He admits it will be tougher for fans from Vancouver to make the game, but he thinks there’s enough serious supporters who would make the trek. But he says on the other side of the equation…
“What this does is open it up to people in that area, Langley, and a little further east, to give them a chance to take in some Junior hockey, which would have been a lot more challenging for them to come into Vancouver.”
Durant says moving the family-friendly club to the suburbs could even mean a bump in attendance, which has been sliding badly in recent years.
The team is down to an average of just 3,300 fans this year; back in 2007 when they won the Memorial Cup, it was more than double that at 8,700.
Durant says the new building holds 5,200 – which could make for a good atmosphere.
“It will be full for the most part, you would hope, if a number of fans open up to having the team out there as well as Vancouver fans who will make the commute out.”
We’ll find out all the concrete details, when the club makes its formal announcement at the Langley Events Centre tomorrow.