A name change is coming to one of the Island’s largest venues with Westhills Stadium in Langford becoming Starlight Stadium. Toronto-based Starlight Investments will pay more than $500,000 for the naming rights over five years in what Mayor Stew Young describes as the largest corporate sponsorship in Langford history.
“This is a big deal, for Langford and for Pacific FC,” said Young. “This will really help out the club [financially] during the pandemic.”
Young did not have the sharing breakdown details at hand Saturday, but said Langford will get about 15 per cent of the naming-rights proceeds.
The stadium is home to Pacific FC of the pro soccer Canadian Premier League, the Tokyo Olympics-bound Canadian men’s and women’s rugby sevens teams and the Westshore Rebels of the B.C. Football Conference.
It has also been looked at as a medium-sized venue for the Canadian national men’s soccer team for games against smaller CONCACAF nations in 2022 World Cup qualifying that don’t require stadiums the size of B.C. Place or BMO Field in Toronto.
Two scheduled Canada games against Trinidad and Tobago at Westhills Stadium were cancelled last year due to the pandemic.
The facility is also home to the annual Canada Sevens women’s rugby tournament on the World Series circuit.
Starlight Investments is described on its website as a company “focused on North American multi-family and Canadian commercial real estate.”
Young and PFC are both happy to have it on board. “It’s a big company that has come into Langford for development and is proving to be a good community partner with this naming-rights deal,” said Young.
Other sporting-venue name changes on the Island have included the former Bear Mountain Arena in Colwood, home to the Victoria Grizzlies of the B.C. Hockey League and Victoria Shamrocks of the Western Lacrosse Association, now known as The Q Centre.
The Cowichan Valley Capitals and Alberni Valley Bulldogs of the BCHL play at Island Savings Centre and Weyerhaeuser Arena, respectively.
Royal Athletic Park is re-labelled Wilson’s Group Stadium at Royal Athletic Park each summer for the Victoria HarbourCats’ West Coast League baseball season.
Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre, home to the Victoria Royals of the Western Hockey League, has retained that dual corporate and Second World War-commemoration memorial name since opening in 2005 as a replacement for the old Memorial Arena. The original agreement for the naming rights was for $1.25 million over 10 years.
That was extended in 2014 for another 10 years, running through 2024 for a reported $900,000. The share the City of Victoria receives from the naming rights went up under the current deal. Under the old arrangement, the city received $70,000 over 10 years. Under the current contract, the city gets $90,000 over 10 years.
The renaming is on the agenda for Langford’s council meeting Monday.
“We are thrilled to be working with Starlight Investments as a future partner at our stadium,” said Brad Norris-Jones, vice president of operations for Pacific FC, in a statement.
“This spring we unveil the newly named stadium alongside Starlight, who are fans of both soccer and Langford.”
Pacific FC is among five of eight teams in the CPL, Canada’s domestic pro soccer league, which is entering its third season, and plays in corporately sponsored stadiums.
The others are Cavalry FC at ATCO Field at Spruce Meadows in Calgary, Valour FC at Investors Group Field in Winnipeg, Atletico Ottawa at TD Place Stadium and Forge FC at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton. The other three CPL venues have civic or institutional names – FC Edmonton plays at Clarke Stadium, York United at York University Lions Stadium and HFX at the historic Wanderers Grounds in Halifax.