Saturday, June 15, 2024

Langford clarifies upcoming referendum to gauge interest in Starlight Stadium expansion


Controversy has been surrounding Langford’s Starlight Stadium and Pacific FC’s looming deal over stadium use and the proposed expansion of the stadium. 

Over the weekend, various news outlets covered a story regarding the potential of a Starlight Stadium expansion. 

On Monday, February 12th, the City turned to social media to set the record straight.

The City explained in their post that back in September of 2022, city council and staff called for proposals to be submitted for a new northern grandstand at Starlight Stadium which would add around 4,000 seats.

By October 2022, they closed their calls for proposals with the lowest bid being for a 4,022 seat that would cost just over $10.4 million where the highest bid was for a 3,846 seat grandstand that would cost over $14.6 million. 

At that time, the City of Langford had only budgeted $4.5 million for the expansion, which is why the stadium was not expanded.

However, being that these proposals came in two years ago, they are now out of date. 

This past Friday, February 9th, city council announced that in this year’s budget, $50,000 would be put towards new designs for a new grandstand at Starlight Stadium which would add at least 2,000 seats. 

When this decision was made, council also decided that a referendum would be held in order to hear whether it is a decision that the constituents of the city would support spending taxpayer money on. 

“Council believes a referendum will ensure that all residents can have their voice heard on this significant investment,” the City said in their post. 

At the same time, Langford also offered a new five year stadium use agreement proposal to Pacific FC that they say is mutually beneficial to both parties. 

The referendum is controversial because the City has already been increasing property taxes as the city sprawls and requires more services and infrastructure. 

In the comments section on Langford’s posts, over one hundred people have voiced their concerns over additional taxes and the way the city council has been making decisions. 

In these comments, many people criticize the state the city was left in by Stew Young, former mayor of Langford, while others call for his return in the next election saying he would have secured a deal already. 

Although an official date hasn’t been set yet for this referendum, the City of Langford believes it will allow for them to definitively either commit to the expansion, or kibosh the project. 

Curtis Blandy

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