Surrey mayoral candidate Jinny Sims promises 10,000 seater outdoor stadium
Surrey will get a new large-scale outdoor stadium in its city center area if the Surrey Forward party, led by mayoral candidate Jinny Sims, forms a majority on council.
Sims made a new campaign platform promise to build a new entertainment district in the area of Tom Binnie Park – the location of the BC Lions training ground, next to Whalley Athletic Park and Chuck Bailey Recreation Center.
There would be a new 10,000-seat outdoor stadium, as well as a new performing arts center with a main theater seating 800–1,400 and a smaller secondary theater seating 200–400.
The outdoor stadium would be built to attract a professional soccer team, such as a Canadian Premier League style club. It would be built in early 2026 so that it could be used for friendly training matches and a training facility for a national team warming up for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, which will be co-hosted by the BC Vancouver Stadium Square.
The performing arts center provides Surrey with the new capacity to host large traveling shows, including Broadway shows and musical acts, cultural dance performances and community theatre, which would support the development of dance and local professional theatre.
With the outdoor stadium and performing arts center as anchor locations, the entertainment district would also contain new office buildings and residential towers, as well as commercial uses such as restaurants and nightlife venues. to stimulate activity.
If the 2030 Winter Olympics are held in British Columbia, Sims adds, the entertainment district could play a role in hosting cultural events in support of the Games.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to put Surrey in the eyes of the world, an opportunity we cannot pass up on short-sighted politicians fighting over decisions made over the past decade,” he said. she said of the opportunity of Surrey’s potential role. at the 2030 Games.
Current status of Tom Binnie Park and BC Lions Training Facility:
For illustrative purposes only, not the actual design: Concept for an outdoor stadium with a mix of uses replacing Tom Binnie Park and the BC Lions Training Facility:
The Sims’ 10,000-seat outdoor stadium concept stands in stark contrast to outgoing Safe Surrey Coalition Mayor Doug McCallum’s platform promise to build a 60,000-seat outdoor stadium. Critics of McCallum’s large stadium concept deemed it financially and economically unfeasible and that it would lack provincial government support because it would directly compete with the provincially owned and funded BC Place Stadium, which seats approximately 55,000.
Gordie Hogg, the rival mayoral candidate for the Surrey First party, had previously criticized McCallum’s proposal, saying “Surrey would be saddled with a white elephant that would cost taxpayers an arm and a leg every year.”
The entire Sim project would be executed by reforming the City of Surrey’s 100% private development company, the Surrey City Development Corporation (SCDC). In 2020, McCallum and his party disbanded the SCDC and incorporated its real estate portfolio into municipal government. SCDC was responsible for the development of 3 Civic Plaza and Hotel and a significant part of the Campbell Heights Industrial Park, and at the time of disbanding was also working on two major redevelopment projects adjacent to Surrey Central Station and the Railway Station Gateway. This includes a large office and institutional development replacing the closed North Surrey Leisure Center next to Surrey Central Station.
Sim states that SCDC will be reconstituted, and its first project will be to build the entertainment district and its varied mix of uses.
“We can create a process whereby the soccer field, entertainment district, offices and residences will be completed by the Surrey City Development Corporation. And the Civic Arts Center will be funded by the SCDC’s net return of investment to minimize taxpayer investment,” she added.
Sims is currently the NDP Member of British Columbia for Surrey-Panorama. If she wins her candidacy for mayor this fall, she will step down from her seat as an MP, triggering a provincial by-election in the riding.
His Surrey Forward party is fielding a total of seven candidates for the council seats. There are eight seats available on Surrey City Council, not including the Mayor’s seat.
The municipal election is scheduled for Saturday, October 15, 2022.