NBA, MLB and the World Cup? Vancouver party pledges sports hat trick if elected
The NBA, Major League Baseball and the FIFA World Cup all in Vancouver?
One Vancouver political party is making some big promises in the hopes of scoring the sports-fan vote in the city’s upcoming civic election.
The sports bonanza was pledged in a Saturday news release from the Vancouver 1st party, headed by mayoral candidate Fred Harding.
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“Building a world-class NBA stadium in South Vancouver will start a surge of strategic building aimed at establishing a new second core of density designed around principles of transit access, inclusivity, affordability and sustainability,” says the release.
“This privately funded stadium will create thousands of jobs and energize small business.”
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Vancouver’s previous, short-lived NBA experience ended in 2001, when the Vancouver Grizzlies moved to Memphis after just six seasons.
But Vancouver 1st’s sports promises don’t end there. The party says it will also pursue bringing Major League Baseball to Vancouver, arguing the city is the largest in North America without an MLB pro baseball team.
“For such an athletic city, a state-of-the-art stadium is past due. The infrastructure project will include cleaning up of the Fraser River waterfront,” it said.
The MLB commissioner cited Vancouver as a possible site for an expansion team earlier this year, with the lack of a venue cited as its largest drawback.
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On top of basketball and baseball, the party is promising to work on returning Vancouver to the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
Canada, the U.S. and Mexico won the host rights to the tournament earlier this year, but Vancouver dropped out after the NDP government refused to sign on, citing concerns over unknown costs.
Along with the sports promises, the party is also pledging to revitalize Granville Street, making it pedestrian-only and partially covered with an atrium modeled after examples in Las Vegas and Beijing.
“A refurbished Granville Street will become our own ‘Champs de Lysee’ [sic] where our amazing artists and artisans will thrive,” it said.
The big-ticket offerings are not the first populist promise Vancouver 1st has made in the election without a clear path for implementation.
Last week, the party promised to create rental housing priced at $400 for a bachelor suite, $900 for a one-bedroom and $1,300 for a two-bedroom unit.
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