Canadian Premier League brings Vancouver vs. Calgary match to Kelowna

CPL match in Kelowna. Global News

Fans braved the rainy weather on Sunday, to watch a Canadian Premiere League Match between Vancouver FC and Calgary-based Cavalry FC.

Kelowna is one of the cities in consideration for an expansion team in future seasons.

According to Vancouver FC president Rob Friend, a CPL team could become a reality for the city.

“You see communities like Kelowna that have grown with the sport. I guess this is a great testing ground for [whether this market] can support a CPL team. And after today I think it can,” said Friend.
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The match was held at the Apple Bowl in Kelowna. Friend, who is from the city, said it was special to hold the game there.

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“I put my hand up to the league and said, ‘I want to bring a game to Kelowna.’ I think this market is ready and can support it,” said Friend.

Friend added that participation numbers have increased in the CPL across Canada.

“Participation numbers are much higher, it’s a relevant sport in our country, it’s the most popular sport, I would say, in our country,” said Friend.

“So, you see communities like Kelowna grow with the sport.”

Despite support from the fans, Kelowna would have to build a facility that could properly house a Premiere League team.

“Probably to start with six to eight thousand (seats) is a good-sized venue for us. With the way we are doing it, we can design venues that then can be expanded as the sport and the league grow,” said CPL commissioner, Mark Noonan.

Noonan says the Apple Bowl was a sufficient venue for this one game, however, it’s not a permanent solution, if the league brings a team to the city.

This game will provide statistics for an economic impact study to eamine the revenue and financial impact it would have on the market.

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Games like this one will continue at sites across the country throughout the summer.

Vancouver FC and Cavalry FC ended the game 0-0 on Sunday.

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