Giants house-hunting for a new rink during 2010 Olympics
Owner considering playing in Langley, Abbotsford or Victoria
Steve Ewen, The Province
Published: Thursday, November 20, 2008
The Vancouver Giants are looking for a home away from home.
The 2010 Winter Olympics will take over the Pacific Coliseum for an extended period next WHL season.
The Giants are expected to not have access to the rink from early January to early March, and while they'll undoubtedly have a long road trip during that span, owner Ron Toigo admits they could need to play between two and six home games at another venue.
Toigo was in Langley on Monday, checking out the new Langley Events Centre, which should be completed in early 2009.
He said that the Giants were also considering the new Abbotsford Entertainment Sports Centre, which should also be finished in early 2009, and possibly games in Victoria.
"There are a lot of things floating around," said Toigo.
"Once we've figured out all the options available to us, we will figure out logistically how you manage it and what's best for our season-ticket holders."
Toigo also says that the team will use the games as a chance to win over new fans, too.
"It's kind of neat, because it gives us a chance to spread the game around a bit," he explained.
"The Olympics are the Olympics. You can't say any more than that. And we've benefitted from a lot of the improvements to the building. For one season of awkwardness, we're going to have a great building for many years to come."
General manager Scott Bonner added: "I think we'll do some games in other arenas to help build our brand, much like we've done with exhibition games.
"As far as our season-ticket holders go, we hope they'll understand that we have some challenges out of our control, and that we'll do everything possible to accommodate them.
"We're well aware that their support and loyalty are vital to the success of this franchise."
Toigo did say that he had considered Queen's Park Arena in New Westminster, but it wasn't a "fit."
© The Vancouver Province 2008