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CPL season to play out on east coast during COVID with virtual seats

Salvaging the 2020 season with "The Collective"

Wednesday July 29, 2020 ~ LANGFORD, BC

by Mary Brooke, editor ~ West Shore Voice News

Pacific FC games will not be played at Westhills Stadium this summer. The stadium stands proud but empty.

The Canadian Premier League is taking its eight teams to Charlottetown, PEI There Pacific FC will join the other seven teams in the league for the 2020 season games dubbed “The Island Games”.

The Island Games will commence Thursday August 13 with a rematch of the 2019 season finalists Forge FC and Cavalry FC and will conclude in September.

CPL, 2020 season, Charlottetown
CPL 2020 season will be played in Charlottetown, PEI during August and September.

All matches will be played to closed doors in a sequestered environment at University of Prince Edward Island Alumni Field in Charlottetown.

Rebranding seats in “The Collective”:

In partnership with the CPL’s media broadcast partner OneSoccer, this year fans will be digital spectators. They are building an in-depth format to access the matches and promote the feeling of an in-stadium experience. CPL says in a release today: “We plan to generate a world-class event that incorporates fan engagement through other formats to present an exciting and experiential opportunity for fans”.

Westhills Stadium, February 2020
Westhills Stadium proudly promotes Pacific FC’s purple and white theme colours in the stands but the stadium will not host a soccer season during COVID-19. [West Shore Voice News file photo – Feb 2020]

CPL hopes their loyal fans will join “The Collective”. That’s a membership program offering benefits to fans, to support their Club and the CPL. It’s a direct invitation to Season Seat Members and Supporters to participate in “The Island Games”. Each membership is to include a collection of tangible and experiential benefits.

Current seat membership information will be sent out by Pacific FC to its ticket/membership holders. It’s also posted on the Pacific FC website, where “The Collective” season ticket holders can buy their 2020-season virtual package for $165, with a non-member price of $185.

The Collective, CPL, Pacific FC, logo
“The Collective” logo and slogan for promoting CPL fan participation during the pandemic in 2020.

CPL Commissioner David Clanachan said in a news release today that the league has aimed to “deliver the safest sequestered event possible” and also to provide their valued supporters with an “exciting membership program to continue to be part of the CPL journey”. Clanachan calls CPL “your league that you helped build”.

For Star Trek fans, ‘the collective’ conjures up images of the Borg species and their unified unbending manner of thinking and acting. Applying this to soccer seems a way of fully intending to keep the CPL, its teams and its players together in one piece.

CEO Rob Friend’s statement:

Pacific FC CEO Rob Friend today thanked fans for their continued support through this uncertain time.

“As a club and a league we have been working hard in our goal to protect the well-being of our fans, players, officials, employees and the general public,” he stated in a release today.

Soccer executives at the August 24, 2019 opening of the expanded Westhills Stadium (from left): Josh Simpson, President, Pacific FC; Dean Shillington, Chairman, Pacific FC; David Clanachan, Commissioner, Canadian Premier League; and Rob Friend, CEO, Pacific FC. [West Shore Voice News – Mary Brooke]

“We cannot begin to express the gratitude we feel toward our amazing fans for their unrelenting support of Pacific FC,” said Friend.

“The Collective has been designed with all of you in mind as we return to the pitch and are reminded of our love of the game and the importance of moving forward together.”

“We hope to have your continued support and help representing the island and West Coast as we begin our 2020 CPL Tournament.”

Training underway:

Terran Campbell, Pacific FC, July 2020
Pacific FC’s high-profile striker Terran Campbell taking it easy before next-day training, at a local Langford restaurant, July 27, 2020. [West Shore Voice News]

In preparation for the upcoming short season, training of Pacific FC players has been underway, including at the Indoor Training Centre in Westhills this week.