The Vancouver Southsiders would like to warmly invite other supporters into our beautiful city. We have put together this guide which provides all info that we think would be most important to a group of football fans visiting Vancouver. Vancouver is a compact city with a vibrant downtown, because of this we advise that you stay downtown and just rely on transit instead of renting a car.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC Matches
Vancouver Whitecaps FC play at the newly renovated BC Place (777 Pacific Blvd) which is located in the south east corner of downtown Vancouver. It is two blocks west of Stadium Skytrain Station, but is easy walking distance from anywhere downtown.
Tickets are available from Ticketmaster; however, all away supporters should contact one of the the Whitecaps interns (firstname.lastname@example.org) to get tickets in the designated away supporters section. The Southsiders are located in Sections 248-254 so we strongly urge away supporters to avoid these sections as well as section 201-207 which are other designated home supporters sections.
For questions regarding what flags, banners, and musical instruments are allowed we suggest you review the Whitecaps FC’s Spectators information (http://www.whitecapsfc.com/match-day/spectator-information) and then email Shaina Walker (email@example.com) with specific inquires.
If you need to go to the Whitecaps’ office to pick up tickets, or for any other reason, it is
located in the North East corner of the downtown core in an area called Gastown. The office is located in a building called The Landing at 375 Water St. It is one block east of Waterfront Station if you are travelling on transit and a 2 minute walk from the Gastown Steamclock, one of Vancouvers’ top tourist attractions. There are lots of great restaurants, bars, and shops in this area.
Reserve/Youth Matches and Practices:
Generally all Whitecaps Practices as well as Reserve, PDL and U16/18 matches are open to
the public and free. They are played around town at the following locations:
Swangard Stadium: Swangard was home to the Vancouver 86ers and Vancouver Whitecaps from 1987 until we joined MLS in 2011. It is located in Central Park, Burnaby, which is at the corner of Kingsway and Boundary Road. Many Whitecaps FC reserve and PDL matches are still held here. If you are driving, Kingsway is your best option as there is a parking lot just east of the stadium that is only accessible going Eastbound. You can also take Boundary Rd. and park just south of the stadium in another lot there. Swangard is also extremely easy to get to via transit. Simply take either an Expo or Millennium Line Skytrain from Downtown (Waterfront, Burrard, Granville or Expo Station), get off at Patterson Station and make the 10 minute walk west to the Stadium.
SFU: Simon Fraser University is located on top of Burnaby Mountain. The Whitecaps often hold practices and U16/U18 matches up there at Field 4 which is open to the public. If you’re driving from downtown, SFU is easy to get to by taking Hastings St to the foot of the Mountain and then following the signs to Burnaby Mountain Parkway. If on transit your best bet is to catch the 135 Bus. This is an express bus between Burrard Station and SFU, which also has stops every couple blocks downtown on Hastings St. Alternatively you can catch the Millennium Line Skytrain to Production Way Station and then catch the 145 Bus up the hill. Be warned that there is only one pub up at SFU and its hours are limited.
Burnaby Lakes: The Bill Copeland Sports Centre/Burnaby Lakes facility has a number of fields and indoor training facilities that are located on both sides of Kensington Ave. All practices and matches held outside are open to the public but indoor sessions normally are not. To drive here we suggest either taking Highway 1 (Trans-Canada Highway) and taking the Kensington exit or taking the Lougheed Hwy and taking the Kensington exit. If you are taking transit you can catch a Millennium Line Skytrain to Sperling station and then walk south over the massive foot bridge to the facilities. We recommend that if you have never been here before that you arrive early to find the correct field. It is advised to start with the westernmost fields.
UBC: The University of British Columbia is located in the extreme west of Vancouver and hosts a number of Reserve/PDL/U18/U16 matches. Normally these matches are played on the smaller fields in the Thunderbird Park area and NOT at Thunderbird Stadium. If driving, the preferable way is to take 16th which runs west of Granville St and take it all the way to the University. If taking transit you can either take the 12 bus which runs down Granville St or catch the UBC B-Line Bus which runs along Broadway between UBC and Broadway/Commercial Skytrain Station. If you’re coming from the Canada Line Train you can get off at Broadway-City Centre and get onto this bus.
Vancouver has an excellent public transportation system. It includes trains, buses and a couple of boats. It is generally clean, safe and a quick mode of transportation.
Fares: Transit is split into three zones: Vancouver; Burnaby, New Westminster, Richmond, North Vancouver and West Vancouver; and everything East and South including Surrey and the Tri-Cities. During the day, until 6:30, travel within one zone costs $2.75, within two zones costs $4, and to all three zones costs $5.50. After 6:30 the entire region is treated as one zone and only costs $2.75. Child and Senior fares are discounted. Tickets are good for 90 minutes. Buses only take coin and no change is given. At Skytrain and Canada Line Stations the machines will take coin, bill and credit or debit cards. Full details are at (http://www.translink.ca). Note that if you are catching transit from the Airport they hit you with an extra $5 sucharge. You can get around this buy buying a book of 10-tickets or a daypass from the 7-11 in the basement of the domestic terminal.
Canada Line: This Skytrain line is an elevated/ tunneled train which runs North-South from the Vancouver Airport to Waterfront Stadium downtown. Key stations include Bridgeport Station (Transit Hub and River Rock Casino), Broadway-City Centre Station (Broadway St and City Hall) and the three downtown stations: Yaletown, City-Centre (Granville St) and Waterfront Station (transfer for Skytrain and Seabus). Not all trains from downtown end at the airport as some split off at Bridgeport Station and continue to Richmond-Brighouse. If your destination is the Airport don’t get on one of these trains.
Expo Line: The Expo Line Skytrain is a mostly elevated train which runs West-East between Waterfront Station (Downtown) and King George Station (Surrey). Key Stations include Metrotown (massive mall with 450+ shops), Patterson Station (Swangard Stadium), Broadway Station (Transfer to the Millennium Line Skytrain), Main St Station (Amtrak Train Station), Stadium-Chinatown (BC Place) and the other three downtown Stations (Granville, Burrard, and Waterfront).
Millennium Line: The Millennium Line Skytrain shares track from Waterfront station until Columbia station in New Westminster, where it continues east in New Westminster before turning north back into Burnaby and looping back to Commercial Drive and on to Clark Station. Key Stations include Commercial Drive (transfer to Broadway Station), Sperling Station (Burnaby Lake), Production Way Station (SFU), Broadway Station (Transfer to the Millennium Line Skytrain), Main St Station (Train Station), Stadium-Chinatown (BC Place), and the other three downtown Stations (Granville, Burrard, and Waterfront).
Seabus: The Seabus runs between Waterfront Station (Downtown) and Lonsdale Quay (North Shore) crossing the Burrard Inlet. If you’re trying to get to North or West Vancouver this is a great way to get there.
Trains, Boats and Planes
Vancouver Airport: YVR is the primary airport in the region with daily flights to almost every major airport in North America and Asia. It is connected to the Canada Line which travels to Downtown Vancouver. The Airport authority up charges $5 to the ticket if you leave from this station; however, this can be avoided by buying a day pass or a book of tickets from the 7-11 in the basement of the domestic terminal. The tickets are discounted ~20% and you can ‘adfare’ a one-zone ticket to 2 zones at any Skytrain fare machine. So if there are more than two of you, or you plan on using transit more than just to and from the airport buy the tickets as you will save money.
Bellingham Airport: YVR is nice but you will find that, being in Canada, the costs are outrageous. A cheaper option is Bellingham airport, which is located just across the US border. The airport is serviced by big players like KLM, Air France, Delta and Alaska Airlines, as well as discount airlines such as Allegiant, Horizon and Frontier Airways. There is a shuttle service, Quick Shuttle (http://www.quickcoach.com/), which runs between Bellingham and Downtown Vancouver for only $39 return.
Seattle Tacoma Airport: SEA is a major airport to the south of Seattle. Much like Bellingham it is often much less expensive than Vancouver Airport and like Bellingham, Quick Shuttle (http://www.quickcoach.com/), runs a shuttle service to Downtown Vancouver for $86 return.
Abbotsford Airport: YXX is a secondary airport about 90 minutes from Downtown Vancouver with daily flights to Western Canada and Vancouver Island. It doesn’t interface well with traffic so unless you have someone picking you up or are in love with renting a car avoid this option.
Pacific Central Train Station: This VIA rail terminal is located just on the outskirts of Downtown Vancouver on Main St beside Main St Skytrain Station. From this train station there are two trains daily to and from Seattle and Portland on the Amtrak Cascades (http://www.amtrakcascades.com/). There are also a number of passenger trains to Jasper, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal and the Maritimes on VIA rail http://www.viarail.ca/en/stations/rockies-and-pacific/vancouver) if you are completely insane. The terminal also is a Greyhound ( http://www.greyhound.ca/ ) station which should get you almost anywhere.
Vancouver Cruise Ship Terminal: Vancouver is the only Alaskan homeport offering both one-way and round-trip cruises through the picturesque Inside Passage, along the west coast of British Columbia. If you fancy a trip to Alaska the cruise ship terminal is on the north end of downtown between Waterfront Station and the new Trade & Convention Centre.
There is no shortage of hotels in Downtown Vancouver but we recommend the following two:
Comfort Inn Downtown: Located in the heart of the entertainment district on Granville St The Comfort Inn ( http://www.comfortinndowntown.com/ ) is the official hotel partner of the Vancouver Southsiders. For the special Away Supporters rate ask about the “Southsiders discount” when booking (1.888.605.5333 or 604.605.4333)
River Rock: The River Rock Casino is on the Canada Line Skytrain (Bridgeport Station) and is the closest Vancouver has to a Vegas style casino http://www.riverrock.com/
Pubs and Bars
Doolin’s Irish Pub: Doolin’s (http://www.doolins.ca/) is the official pub partner of the Vancouver Southsiders. It is located at 654 Nelson Street at the corner of Granville St. They have great food, great beer selection and show all Whitecaps home and away matches. If you are travelling in smaller number (less than 20) and without idiots we welcome you to join us.
We do ask that you email firstname.lastname@example.org before though so you’re expected.
The Cellar: The Cellar is a Southsiders partnered nightclub conveniently located below Doolin’s Irish pub at 1006 Granville St.
The Roxy: The Roxy is a Vancouver landmark and a Southsiders partnered nightclub located at 932 Granville St.
If you want to watch Football in Vancouver and are a fan of a specific team we recommend these ones, although we must warn that you should call ahead because just because many don’t open early enough for the 7am kickoffs.
Lamplighter Pub: Manchester United Supporters Pub (92 Water Street in Gastown)
New Oxford: Chelsea Supporters Pub (1144 Homer Street in Yaletown)
G Sports Bar and Grill: Liverpool Supporters Pub (1208 Granville Street )
The Sin Bin Sports Grill: Aston Villa Supporters Pub (295 West 2nd Avenue in Olympic Village)
The Academic Public House: Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Pub (1619 West Broadway)
Cinema Public House: Manchester City Supporters Pub (901 Granville St)
Smiley’s Public House: Arsenal Supporters Pub (911 West Pender Ave Central Business District)
Dover Arms Pub: Glasgow Rangers Supporters Pub (961 Denman St, West End)
Library Square Public House: Celtic Supporters Pub (300 West Georgia)
Abruzzo Cafe: Serie A Supporters Cafe (1321 Commercial Drive)
Craft Beer and Brew Pubs
Rogue Wetbar: Rogue (http://www.roguewetbar.com/) is located in Waterfront Station (601 West Cordova Street) and has a great selection of BC craft beers.
Alibi Room: Alibi Room (http://www.alibi.ca/) is located at the far edge of Gastown at 157 Alexander Street at Main St and has 50 beers on Tap. We must warn that this area of town is a little rough so we strongly recommend only going to this location from the West via Water St and Alexander St.
St. Augustine’s: St. Augustine’s (http://staugustinesvancouver.com/) is located out of downtown close to Broadway and Commercial Skytrain Station at 2360 Commercial Drive. With 40+ beers on tap it’s worth a stop if you’re transferring trains here.
Steamworks Brewing Company: Steamworks (www.steamworks.com/) is a brewpub in
Gastown conveniently located in the same building as the Whitecaps Front Office
and one block East of Waterfront Stadium at 375 Water St. In the summer they
have a large patio but have tons of space inside year round.
Yaletown Brewing Co.: Yaletown Brewing (www.markjamesgroup.com/yaletown.html) is a brewpub located in the heart of Yaletown at 1116 Hamilton St. Yaletown is a interesting place with a high concentration of blondes in yoga pants. Might be worth a stop.
Buying Beer, Wine and Liquor
In British Columbia, alcohol sales are restricted by the government. It is unlawful
to buy from convenience stores, grocery stores or gas stations. Alcohol is only
sold at government stores, cold beer and wine licensees and as “offsales” at
certain bars. We advise that you plan ahead where you will be doing your
alcohol purchasing. We have included a list of stores Downtown.
BC Government Liquor Store: 1108 Pacific Blvd, 555 Hastings,1155 Bute St, 768 Bute St. (www.bcliquorstores.com)
Legacy Liquor Store: Private licensee with a massive selection of craft beers
at 1633 Manitoba in Olympic Village. (www.legacyliquorstore.com)
Viti Wine and Lager Liquor Store: Private licensee just off the entertainment district at
900 Seymour at Smithe. (www.vitiwinelagers.com)
Steamworks Brewing: Private licensee just one block East of Waterfront station. 735 Water St. (www.steamworks.com/)
Japadog: Hotdogs with a Japanese twist. What started out as street food a few years ago has grown to 4 locations and recently opened in New York City http://www.japadog.com/
Poutine: Although it’s roots are traced back to our hated French Canadian enemy in Montreal, Poutine (fried potatoes smothered in gravy and cheese curds) is actually very nice. Fritz at 718 Davie St or La Belle Patate at 1215 Davie St, are good places to try it. http://www.fritzfries.ca/poutine.html
That said the pulled pork poutine is pretty amazing. So unless you are crazy about poutine, it might be your best bet.
If you’ve never been to Vancouver before and are feeling touristy, there are a few things you must see or do.
Capilano Suspension Bridge & Grouse Mountain: Get on the Seabus from downtown and head to Lonsdale Quay (the only stop) and from there take the #236 bus to Grouse Mountain. Get off at Capilano Supsension Bridge (http://www.capbridge.com/) and wander round there for a little while, then carry on up to Grouse Mountain (http://www.grousemountain.com/) where you take a cable car to the top. Up to the end of April you can still ski and snowboard (rental shops on site) , but for the less adventurous there are some great views of the city which you can take in whilst eating or drinking at the top of the mountain. In the Summer, if you’re feeling adventurous you can actually climb the path called the Grouse Grind to the top of the mountain, and take the cable car down. (http://www.grousemountain.com/grousegrind)
Granville Island: Take one of the little Aqua buses over from the bottom of Hornby St or Marinaside and explore the market. There are numerous restaurants and bars which offer a relaxing view of Vancouver.
Stanley Park: walk, skate or ride a bike (rental shops on Denman St, which is the entrance to the park) The Totem Poles are a top 10 tourist attraction, as is the Aquarium. At weekends you may even stroll across a game of cricket, which harks back to our English heritage.
Brandis Show Lounge: Brandis (http://brandislounge.com/) is Vancouver’s premier strip club. It’s not cheap, but it’s one of the best in North America! 5th Floor, 595 Hornby Street, in the heart of downtown.
Wreck Beach: Wreck Beach (http://www.wreckbeach.org/) is Vancouvers world famous clothing optional beach located a short walk from UBC (see Reserve & Youth section above for transit info)
Other Beaches: If the weather is good why not visit one of Vancouver’s other beaches (http://vancouver.ca/parks/rec/beaches/index.htm). Be warned, cops do patrol beaches regularly, although “smoking and drinking” does definitely take place. Kits Beach is where the beautiful people like to be seen.
What Else You Need To Know
Drinking In Public: Basically…don’t! Even brown bagging an open alcoholic container in public will get you “nicked”. The cops are really hot on this.
ID: Remember to carry ID with you when you go out. If you’re stopped you are expected to have photo ID, and most places ID you if you look less than 40. Legally foreign drivers licenses are not valid ID but should work, although it’s best to carry your passport.
Money: Money here is a subtle mix of the US and the UK. The Canadian Dollar is similar to the US dollar exchange wise. The smaller coins (1, 5, 10, 25 cent) are like the US and look identical; however, unlike the US, Canada has one dollar and two dollar coins which are known as loonies and toonies.
Debit/credit cards: Your US check card (aka Interac ATM card) may or may not work at certain stores depending if it supports your network. Most bars and an increasing number of restaurants won’t even take Canadian debit cards anymore. Visa and Mastercard are taken almost everywhere, American Express is a crapshoot, and no one here knows what the hell Discover or Dinners are.
Tax: Canadians love tax, they LOVE it. It’s not a lot, but they take it frequently. The main thing to remember is Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) is applied to everything and is not included in the price you see. So if the price on the sticker says $50 then expect to pay $56.
Tipping: When at a restaurant it is customary to tip. The usual amount is 10-20% . 15% is kinda the baseline and if the service is excellent bump it to 20% and if bad unless it’s been particularly dire you would be expected to tip 10%. Same goes for pubs, nightclubs and taxis. It is also customary to tip the hotel staff but that really depends on how much your room costs and how much of a slob you were.
Telephones: If you are out of country check how badly your provider is going to screw you before entering Canada to decide if it’s worth leaving your phone on for the trip. Make sure you check your data rate as well to make sure it won’t end up being more than your flight.
Georgia Straight: The Straight (http://www.straight.com) is a free newspaper which lists hundreds of bars, restaurants, nightclubs, live music and sports all over the city. Jazz Festivals, Bard on the Beach, if you can’t find it listed, it ain’t happening.
Other Sports Teams: The Vancouver Canucks are one of the premier NHL teams in the league and play at Rogers Arena; however, tickets are extremely hard to get and cost an arm and a leg. A less expensive option is the Vancouver Giants of the WHL (junior hockey) who play out of The Pacific Coliseum. The BC Lions play in the the Canadian Football League (CFL) and share BC Place with the Whitecaps. Baseball fans might want to go and watch our minor league (single A) team the Vancouver Canadians at Nat Bailey Stadium.
If you would like any other info please free to ask on our forum. Registration required.