City of Delta Blows Chance for a National Training Centre

January 30, 2010 at 6:01 am | Posted in Vancouver Whitecaps | 9 Comments

What is it with the Whitecaps and Municipal politicians?  While the Whitecaps carry on their mission with bold leadership they are often let down by politicians with no guts…  Better to be safe and unspectacular rather than actually achieve something great: this seems to be the credo of this lifeless lot.   The sleepy municipality of Delta has decided to turn down the chance to associate itself with and to participate in something excellent in favour of its own moribund plan.   They have decided to turn down partnership with the Whitecaps in creating a 31 million dollar national soccer training centre in their municipality.  Instead, it has chosen to dedicate 5 million of its own money for playing fields, baseball diamonds and a clubhouse.   Ho, hum…

Delta decided to scuttle the plan because the Whitecaps requested another extension of a financial deadline.  A bit more patience was called for, especially when what Delta would have gotten would have been spectacular.

This will go down in history much like the case of Burnaby and the Olympic speed skating oval.  By fumbling and bungling the city of Burnaby lost the Olympic speed skating oval to the City of Richmond, which had the vision to see a spectacular opportunity when it presented itself.  Richmond now has a world class venue for its people to enjoy. There is no doubt that when the Olympics are over that the speed skating oval will prove to be one of the most valuable of all Olympic legacies.

The City of Delta had the opportunity to have a 31 million dollar national soccer training centre in its municipality. This would have been a centre of excellence for soccer which would have inspired the youth of Delta and brought honour to the municipality.   But no, they have chosen mediocrity instead.  What they will build with their 5 million will not come close to what they would have had if they had gone forward in partnership with the Whitecaps.  Where is the vision among the leaders of Delta?   The City of Delta has only helped to cement its political reputation as a sleepy swamp with no vision for the future.

Delta’s loss will be the gain of another municipality.


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  1. I’m not sure I agree with you, but this had me wondering:

    There is no doubt that when the Olympics are over that the speed skating oval will prove to be one of the most valuable of all Olympic legacies.

    Is there that much demand for speed skating ovals in the Lower Mainland? Is there crunch time at local speed skating ovals, with kids lining up on Friday nights to get their laps in?

    • Build it and they will come… I’m planning to go myself after the Olympics… I fancy wearing one of those all-in-one body suits… Besides, they use the infield space for other sports which are popular in Richmond like badminton, another game I like. I wonder if there are any badminton blogs out there?

  2. It was a dumb decision by Delta to can it…but I’m certain there are other cities willing to say yes to the Whitecaps for the training centre.

    As for the speed skating oval, Brenton, you have to remember that it is also a HUGE community centre for Richmond. The middle of the Oval is large enough to fit 5-6 basketball or futsal courts. Before the Olympics, the gym courts in the middle were booked solid for volleyball and basketball. They also have a high-performance fitness centre, conference rooms, and a running track. In Calgary, there was enough room in the middle of their oval to fit two full-size hockey rinks.

    Getting the oval may turn out to be the smartest thing Richmond has done in years.

  3. ^What he said (about the oval). 🙂

    The caps should approach Surrey. Their mayor seems to have her act together.

  4. Come on WhiteCapsFan, you wrote about Mark Hughes, about Wolverhampton featuring a second string against Man Utd. Now we want to see your John Terry blog!

    • HAHA! Herman… I may just take up your challenge!!!

  5. Honestly,

    this project was at the wrong place (see my blog), so nothing to mourn.

    • They are actually still going to develop playing fields at the same site…

  6. whitecaps should perhaps partner up with SFU (the original location of the oval)

    There might be some synergies with having 1000’s of students nearby who will be potential fans, plus having a natural place for the residency program to study.

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