With Vancouver currently featuring two football clubs, two hockey clubs, a baseball, gridirion, and lacrosse club, plus three colleges, four if you count Abbotsford, it's getting harder and harder to make a schedule that will appeal to everyone. There's bound to be overlap, and in the Lions 2015 schedule, that's definitely the case.
The Leos will take to the turf at BC Place on the fourth of July at 7:00 PM when they host the Saskatchewan Roughriders. But five hours before that, Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 will host Seattle Sounders FC 2 at Thunderbird Stadium. With the demise of the U23s and Victoria Highlanders FC, perhaps the stewards of the Juan de Fuca Plate will award it to the best Cascadian Club in the United League, but that's a question for another day.
Three weeks later, on July 24th, the Lions will welcome the Toronto Argonauts. But again, there is some overlap. The Vancouver Canadians will be taking on the Tri-City Dust Devils at Baily Stadium six hours earlier, and Whitecaps FC 2 host Tulsa Roughnecks FC at the same time as the Lions match with Toronto.
On August 6th, the Edmonton Eskimos come to town, but the Canadians host the Spokane Indians at exactly the same time. Fortunately for the Vancouver supporter, there will be only one more issue, which takes place on September 13th, when Ottawa comes to BC Place at 1:00 PM, while Orange County Blues FC visit Thunderbird Stadium at 3:00 PM.
"We believe that this year's schedule has a little something for everyone,” said Lions President and CEO Dennis Skulsky. "We're going to experiment with some unique game nights during the summer and continue with our traditional Friday and Saturday dates after Labour Day."
The "thursday dates in August will provide our fans with the opportunity to enjoy great [gridirion] football games during the week, while also allowing them to plan summer weekend activities that may take them out of town," added Skulsky.
It's a shame that didn't apply to October, when Vancouver can expect a sizable contingent of Whitecaps supporters to make the trip down to San Jose for a Major League clash with the Earthquakes. On the same day, the Lions play host to the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
"Two home games versus Saskatchewan certainly makes this year’s home schedule pretty special," added Skulsky. "We've seen a significant rivalry building with the 'Riders over the past few years and our fans really make it an electric atmosphere for those games."
One match, a preseason tilt with the Edmonton Eskimos, has been announced, but the date, time, and venue remains to be determined. That's because BC Place will be unavailable due to the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup.
"We are looking at a couple different solutions for that date and we'll be communicating our plans when we have something more concrete in place," said Skulsky.
Swangard Stadium currently has a capacity of 5,288, though it has been temporarily expanded in the past to 10,000, that is still a far cry from the 28,011 that the Lions averaged last year, and the cost would be prohibitive.
Another option would be Thunderbird Stadium, which currently seats 3,500, but with some creative use of the surrounding grass embankment, it might accommodate an additional 5,000 spectators, putting the number up to 8,500.
Westhills Stadium in Langford is another possibility, but it only seats around 3,000. If the Lions were to head to the Island, there are bigger options like Centennial Stadium, which has 5,000 seats.
"For right now, we've just been served notice that we don't have a defined date or time yet, but I'm sure that'll be worked out soon," said Edmonton Eskimos President and CEO Len Rhodes regarding the fixture.
2015 BRITISH COLUMBIA LIONS FIXTURE LIST
|Friday||12 June||6:30 PM||Calgary Stampeders||v||British Columbia Lions|
|British Columbia Lions||v||Edmonton Eskimos|
|Saturday||4 July||3:00 PM||Ottawa Redblacks||v||British Columbia Lions|
|Friday||10 July||7:00 PM||British Columbia Lions||v||Saskatchewan Roughriders|
|Friday||17 July||7:00 PM||Saskatchewan Roughriders||v||British Columbia Lions|
|Friday||24 July||7:00 PM||British Columbia Lions||v||Toronto Argonauts|
|Thursday||30 July||5:30 PM||Winnipeg Blue Bombers||v||British Columbia Lions|
|Thursday||6 August||7:00 PM||British Columbia Lions||v||Edmonton Eskimos|
|Saturday||15 August||4:00 PM||Hamilton Tiger-Cats||v||British Columbia Lions|
|Thursday||20 August||7:00 PM||British Columbia Lions||v||Montreal Alouettes|
|Thursday||3 September||4:30 PM||Montreal Alouettes||v||British Columbia Lions|
|Sunday||13 September||1:00 PM||British Columbia Lions||v||Ottawa Redblacks|
|Friday||18 September||6:00 PM||Calgary Stampeders||v||British Columbia Lions|
|Saturday||26 September||1:00 PM||Edmonton Eskimos||v||British Columbia Lions|
|Saturday||3 October||4:00 PM||British Columbia Lions||v||Saskatchewan Roughriders|
|Saturday||10 October||7:00 PM||British Columbia Lions||v||Winnipeg Blue Bombers|
|Saturday||17 October||4:00 PM||Edmonton Eskimos||v||British Columbia Lions|
|Friday||23 October||7:00 PM||British Columbia Lions||v||Hamilton Tiger-Cats|
|Friday||30 October||4:00 PM||Toronto Argonauts||v||British Columbia Lions|
|Saturday||7 November||4:00 PM||British Columbia Lions||v||Calgary Stampeders|