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Surrey Mayor proposes 60,000-seat stadium to rival Vancouver

Doug McCallum, the Mayor of the Canadian city of Surrey, has proposed an ambitious plan to build a new 60,000-seat sports stadium.

Speaking during a groundbreaking ceremony for a new ice arena complex yesterday (Wednesday), McCallum said a multi-use stadium is in the pipeline for Surrey, which does not have a major-league team.

Surrey is located around 30km from Vancouver and McCallum has predicted that his city will be “bigger” than its neighbour within the coming years, which would justify the need for a major new stadium. McCallum is currently running for re-election as Mayor of Surrey.

A 60,000-seat venue in Surrey would be the largest stadium in Canada. The current largest is the Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, which seats 56,000 people.

“We are going to build a 60,000-person arena in Surrey,” McCallum said, according to local newspaper The Province. “It will be a multi-use arena for all sports.

“The city is a very big city, we’ll be bigger than Vancouver in four or five years. We need a sports stadium so we’re going to build a sports stadium in the next few years.”

He added: “We’re going to do something very unique with it, to protect our environment, this stadium will have a park around it. We won’t have any cars at it, people will have to take SkyTrain or rapid buses.”

McCallum said the stadium could also be used by film production companies.

Vancouver is home to the 54,000-capacity BC Place (pictured), which was recently confirmed as a host venue for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. BC Place serves as the home of Major League Soccer’s Vancouver Whitecaps and Canadian Football League team the BC Lions.

The Province reports that McCallum has previously held talks with the Lions over the team’s strong fan base in Surrey, suggesting that there would be an appetite for a major stadium in the city.

Vancouver is also home to the NHL’s Canucks, and McCallum said that talks have been held with the franchise over whether they would be interested in placing an affiliate team at any future venue in Surrey.

Anita Huberman, president and chief executive of the Surrey Board of Trade, said that there is “currently no plan and no consultations” for such a stadium, adding that McCallum’s announcement caught the body by surprise.

She added: “I might support it, the Surrey Board of Trade might support it … but we want to know how much more property taxes will business have to pay? We need a performing arts centre, a convention centre. More tourism assets to make our city a destination. We need more hotels. There is no development plan for Surrey. That’s what we need to hear from all of our candidates.”

Image: Aditya Chinchure on Unsplash