Even with a flat performance on the pitch, Sunday’s Vancouver Whitecaps match was one to remember.
That’s because the club and their supporters returned downtown and played their first-ever Major League Soccer match at the newly-renovated B.C. Place stadium.
Enjoy these photos taken by Southsider Devon Rowcliffe (a big thank you to him for submitting shots of the supporters pre-match march through the downtown core) and Canadian Press’ Daryl Dyck.
The response to the new stadium seems to be overwhelmingly positive and I certainly got the impression that fans won’t have much trouble blowing the lid off the place once the Whitecaps field a team capable of providing supporters with something to cheer about.
Here are my thoughts, which were printed in Monday’s Metro:
The newly renovated and re-opened B.C. Place comes with no shortage of enviable amenities.
Being downtown is great, as is having a concession stand and bathroom virtually outside every section.
It’s all shiny stuff.
But the biggest improvement at the Vancouver Whitecaps’ new home is the way noise carries and reverberates throughout the stadium.
As beautiful as Empire Field’s setting was, one of the major complaints from supporters was the fact it was sometimes impossible to hear chanting and cheers from just a couple sections away.
Suddenly there’s a buzz at Whitecaps games.
Chants emanating from the Southsiders could be clearly heard throughout the stadium, and others had no problem joining in on at least clapping to the beat if they didn’t know the words.
Certainly, having 500 boisterous Portland Timbers fans on hand help the atmosphere as well.
The only thing holding the atmosphere back Sunday was the last-place Whitecaps themselves.
There simply wasn’t a lot of cheer about during the tame 1-0 loss to their Cascadia rivals.
Still, one gets the sense that if the product on the pitch was more exciting, B.C. Place could turn out to be a bustling, intimidating arena.