Spending a summer day watching professional sports is a favourite pastime in Vancouver for visitors and locals alike. Whether it’s the energy of the crowd or the excuse to devour a foot-long hot dog, there’s something special about taking in a football game, soccer match, or baseball game in the sunshine.
Vancouver has you covered when it comes to those three major outdoor sports from the BC Lions (CFL), Vancouver Whitecaps FC (MLS), and Vancouver Canadians (MiLB).
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BC Lions Football
New team owner Amar Doman still has much to prove, promising a banner sophomore year after last season’s nearly magical run ending in the West Final and hosting a home playoff game. MVP Canadian quarterback Nathan Rourke may have departed for the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars during the off-season, but new starting quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. should provide plenty of excitement for fans.
The Lions have also announced they will be sporting fresh new uniforms dubbed “blackout” and “fog grey” for the 2023 season.
As part of the season-long “Roar Like Never Before” fan campaign, the Lions have several Theme Nights planned, including:
- Concert Kickoff: Backyard block party – July 17 vs. Edmonton Elks*
- Famfest: Family-friendly tailgate with kids activities – July 9 vs. Montreal Allouettes
- Watermelon Smash: Expanded tailgate party – July 22 vs. Saskatchewan Roughriders
- Best in the West: Wall of Fame induction – Aug. 12 vs. Calgary Stampeders
- Superhero Night: Tribute to first responders – Aug. 26 vs. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
*Doman has promised an “A-list” pre-game musical act (after One Republic opened last year) still to be announced for the home opener.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
The Whitecaps are currently unbeaten in their last eight games (3-0-5) just in time for fans and crowds to enjoy this momentum heading into the summer. This is the perfect time to jump on the bandwagon mid-season and cheer the team on at BC Place.
With home games throughout the summer and the diehard Southsiders (the largest VWFC fan group) section cheering them on, the Major League Soccer team is looking for better results under head coach Vanni Sartini after failing to qualify for the playoffs last season.
The Whitecaps also have special Celebration Matches throughout the summer:
- Next Gen Night: Celebrating youth – May 20 vs. Seattle Sounders FC
- Indigenous Peoples Celebration – June 3 vs. Sporting Kansas City
- Pride Night – July 8 vs. Seattle Sounders FC
The Whitecaps’ annual pre-game summer party The Warmup returns this season on June 3. Kicking off at 4pm right outside the stadium, this free event features entertainment, affordable food, beverages, and all-around good vibes to prepare fans for the match.
Vancouver Canadians Baseball
Hot off their recent team sale and a glowing New York Times profile comparing the atmosphere at Rogers Field at Nat Bailey Stadium to “heaven,” the Minor League Baseball team has long been associated with casual summertime family fun in the city.
There’s nothing like a ’Nooner at the Nat when the weather is good and the Sushi Races are fast. The four iconic Sushi Mascots Kappa Maki, Ms. BC Roll, Sadaharu Soy, and Chef Wasabi round the bases in a battle for bragging rights between innings. While sushi and baseball may not have much in common, it sure is entertaining to watch at any age.
Canadians games are an affordable, family-friendly way for anyone to enjoy baseball. There are also Summer at the Nat promotions and group rates throughout the summer for those planning special outings. Look for food truck favourite Rosie’s BBQ & Smokehouse making eight appearances at the Nat during the season in addition to other collaborations.
- Nooner at the Nat Fridays
- Family Fun Sundays: Giveaways for kids
- We Care Wednesdays: In support of A Loving Spoonful
- Dog Day of Summer: Dogs allowed – June 27
- Fireworks Extravaganza: Post-game fireworks – June 29 & July 27
Whether it’s Canadian football, professional soccer, or High-A baseball, plenty of affordable options exist for those looking to watch outdoor sports in Vancouver throughout the summer.
Visit the BC Lions, Whitecaps, and Canadians websites for tickets and their full schedules.
By Rick Chung
Source Inside Vancouver
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