Surrey asking for feedback on new proposed stadium

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Published July 17, 2019 8:12 p.m. ET
Updated July 17, 2019 10:10 p.m. ET
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People in Surrey are being asked to weigh in on plans for a new stadium being proposed for a popular local park.

The city has said it wants to build a "destination sports facility" at Bear Creek Park, and it's now looking for public feedback in an online survey.

The facility envisioned would include a stadium with the capacity to seat 2,200 people, a similar size to the MacLeod Athletic Park grandstand in Langley. The Bear Creek grandstand would also have covered seating.

According to the city, the existing track and field would be upgraded to "international standards," and would have the ability to host national-level and other high profile sporting events.

Universal Athletics Club head coach Jessie Dosanjh said the proposed stadium would be a "great benefit" to the community. Currently, athletes with his club train at the track at Bear Creek.

"It's not only training. We've been hosting so many competitions," Dosanjh told CTV News Vancouver, and pointed out the field is also used for football and soccer.

"This is for our kids. This is for our youth," Dosanjh said, adding there would also be a boost for local restaurants, hotels, and tourism.

Surrey councillor Linda Annis is in favour of the stadium plan, but said the city is also in need of more facilities.

"Bear Creek Park is certainly a good addition. But we're needing to look and fulfill the recreation requirements of the community much more," Annis said.

Thousands of more people are moving to Surrey each year- among them young families - she says, and it doesn't feel like infrastructure is keeping up with the growth.

"It's really important that kids get involved in sport and recreation activities so that they choose a healthy lifestyle," Annis said.

In December, a plan to build a new ice arena in Cloverdale was postponed as part of a budget decision. Many in the community were in favour of moving ahead with the project, including Annis.

"This has been promised for the residents in Cloverdale for a number of years now and we came close to getting it, moving it forward, and of course it got stopped at our last budget season, which I do not think was a good idea," Annis said.

Some changes are on the way already at Bear Creek. The city has said construction on a new walking track is expected to begin this fall. As for the stadium, work is not slated to start until 2022.

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