The Big Green has a long and storied history in Vancouver.
It’s one of the oldest recreational sports venues in North America, and the one that brought you the Stanley Cup, the Winter Classic, and countless games over the years.
But now, as the stadium’s name is being renewed, many are wondering when the green will be back.
The stadium’s future is in question after a deal was struck with the city of Vancouver for $1.6 billion in public funds to help pay for renovations.
That means the stadium will be able to accommodate the influx of thousands of tourists from other parts of the world, and it could become an international destination.
The deal includes $100 million from the BC Lions, who will be responsible for providing security, but that’s not a deal-breaker for Vancouver.
In fact, it may be the only way the stadium could survive in the long term, says the Vancouver Sun.
“There’s no other option,” says the paper.
In exchange for the funding, the City of Vancouver is looking for proposals from private parties to bring the venue back to life.
But while there are some potential new businesses that have expressed interest in the facility, there are also some who say it’s too much of a risk.
“The city needs to get back to basics and find something to help the stadium survive, rather than putting the stadium up for sale,” says Rob Leach, a real estate agent with the company that owns the venue.
Leach says he is “100 per cent” opposed to the stadium being sold and has already started discussing the options with the B.C. government.
“We’re not looking to sell it or to put it on the market,” he says.
“We’re trying to find ways to help this city.”
But there are concerns about what could happen if a new buyer is found, and if the stadium becomes a tourist attraction.
Leatherneck Properties, a Vancouver developer who is one of several groups that has expressed interest, says there are plenty of options in Vancouver for a new owner, but says the biggest problem is the city’s refusal to invest in the stadium.
“There’s a lot of things in play that would require a lot more capital to make sure this thing is a success,” he tells CBC News.
Leak says the only viable option would be a new development that would involve the city, private investors, and some private financing.
He adds that if the city decided to make the deal, it should offer a “fair and balanced offer” that would also include “the fact that we are still a very viable place to live.”
He also says that while the deal is a win-win for all parties involved, it could come at the expense of the city.
“If the City is able to make a deal with the developers and the city and the province, then that would be great,” he said.
But Leach says that would not be the case if the team were to be sold, because the City has an interest in preserving the venue as a recreational facility.””
If it is not possible, then the city would have to come in and pay for this thing out of its own pocket.”
But Leach says that would not be the case if the team were to be sold, because the City has an interest in preserving the venue as a recreational facility.
“I think the City needs to be focused on the long-term,” he adds.
“This is a big, huge piece of the stadium and the whole stadium system.”
He adds: “I think if they were to sell the stadium, they’d be making a good financial offer to a group of people who are very passionate about the stadium.”
The city’s bid has been put on hold indefinitely, but it could return to the table once more funding is secured.