Surrey is not a suburb anymore; it is big multicultural City that needs big infrastructure – Mayor Doug McCallum
By LINK NEWS NETWORK
SURREY: Surrey’s Mayor has promised two more ambitious infrastructure projects to carve a path for his vision to make Surrey “the number one city in Canada.”
Mayor McCallum has announced building a 60,000 seating-capacity stadium and extending Skytrain to Newton if re-elected as Surrey’s mayor in the next municipal election in October. He also announced his full slate for Safe Surrey Coalition during an interaction with media at Aria Banquet Hall in Surrey on August 25.
The mayor, while clearing his vision behind the stadium that has already come under fire since its mention, said that the multi-purpose arena with 60,000 seating capacity will serve to host various sports and cultural events as well, in one of the fastest growing cities of Canada. “It will be a multi-use facility for events like conventions, tournaments, and cultural celebrations that can actually accommodate for the large and rapidly growing population of the city. Comparatively, the City of Regina which has a population of just over 260,000, already has a stadium (Mosaic Stadium) that can host up to 40,000 people,” he said.
He made special mention of event like Vaisakhi that easily attracts close to 500,000 people or Surrey Fusion festival, creating a need for a stadium that can seat a large crowd. “We have requests from our cultural communities to have a big venue for big cultural events. Some of those events are very large like Vaisakhi. We need a big facility for holding events like those,” he said.
The stadium, he informed, will be located near public transit on the west side of Surrey Sport and Leisure Centre with no car parking. “There won’t be any cars allowed, people will be coming from transit therefore it has to be on the rapid transit line. It’s important to remember that we’re not talking about building a ground-breaking facility in the middle of nowhere. It will be a transit-oriented stadium built along the new SkyTrain line.”
When asked about the cost of the stadium, he said, it still needs to be worked on however, the city will be giving the land and hopes are to get the funding from the federal and provincial government. When asked how hopeful was he to convince the governments to invest in such a mammoth project, he said that sports tourism is one of the fastest growing ideas to promote jobs and build infrastructure. “Governments recognize this and they will be open to the idea.”
The mayor said that his government was already working in the direction of making Surrey a sports tourism city and stadium will only add on to this vision. He mentioned the grounds are about to break for Newton community Centre with Olympic size swimming pool. Construction has already begun for Cloverdale Sport & Ice Complex that will include 2 National Hockey League sized arena sheets of ice, seating for 400 spectators, multi-purpose and community rooms, officials’ rooms, change rooms, and other amenities.
Recently Surrey was selected as host city for the 2024 Men’s World Fastball Tournament following a highly competitive international bidding process. The 50+ team tournament will take place August 10 to 17, 2024 and is expected to draw 1,000 athletes, coaches, trainers and fans to the eight-day event. It will be one of the largest sporting events hosted in the region.
On October 15th, 2022, Mayor McCallum is seeking another 4-year term with his Safe Surrey Coalition. His party’s other platforms include: fast-tracking approvals for SkyTrain extension down King George Blvd to Newton, building additional community centres with pools and ice rinks, approving housing projects that create attainable and affordable housing, continuing to invest in road infrastructure to reduce traffic congestion, extending 72nd Avenue through to 176th Street, building on Surrey’s achievements in environmental sustainability.
The party is doubling down on their climate action, announcing that the current policy to achieve net zero by 2050 will be expedited to 2030. The party believes that the SkyTrain project will play a critical role in helping achieve this goal by significantly reducing carbon emissions and empowering residents to use active transportation.