‘In the Millions of Dollars’: Langford Expects Economic Boost as International Rugby Tournament Returns
Preparations on the pitch are underway with Team Canada set to host 12 of the world’s top women’s rugby sevens teams for a two-day tournament at the end of April.
“We have been training hard for it,” said Elissa Alarie, a Canada Women’s Sevens player.
“It’s the best crowd out of all the stops so we are really excited to play on home turf,” she added.
Head coach Jake Hanratty agrees.
“We’re incredibly excited,” he said Thursday.
Tickets for the tournament went on sale Thursday morning at 10 a.m.
“We had a really good reaction,” said Gareth Rees, director of the Canada Sevens program. “We have not only two-day passes for the event, but also hospitality suites and it’s been a really good morning.”
The return of the popular event has the business community excited, especially as the region pulls itself out of some pretty hard pandemic times.
“We haven’t really had any big events in Victoria or even in B.C., really,” said Stew Young, the Mayor of Langford.
With capacity restrictions lifted, the much-needed economic impact is expected to be good.
“It’s in the millions of dollars,” said Young. “When you bring that amount of people to a location here in Langford, the impact will be felt.”
Just down the road from Starlight Stadium is the House Of Boateng Cafe and White Spot Langford.
“I think this will be very good for business,” said Castro Boateng, owner of the House Of Boateng Cafe. “We really love our sporting events in Langford.”
Vern Cornforth, owner of White Spot Langford, feels similar.
“We’re going to be bursting at the seams for those few days,” he said.
It’s not just the West Shore that can expect a jump in sales. The Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour and the Hotel Grand Pacific will be hosting the teams. That means for 10 days this spring, many rooms will be filled.
“It’s good for our community, it’s good for the region, you know? It’s a draw,” said Young.
Not to mention, the region will be put in the spotlight with worldwide attention on the international tournament.
“There is a world feed that’s produced and goes out to 91 countries around the world,” said Rees. “So they’ll get to see Langford and the City of Victoria all over the world.”
It’s welcome exposure for the region as COVID-19 restriction begin to lift and a new tourist season arrives.