Report from the Source: Vancouver FC fans share their experience at the home opener

Vancouver FC’s first match at home attracted over six-thousand fans to Willoughby Park. It was the first of many professional soccer games to be played in Langley and an evening for the history books. 

“Being the first home game for a club is a unique experience,” said fan John Harrop. “Nothing like that ever happens again. This is a club that could be around for decades, if not, over 100 years.”

Fraser Valley Fanatics prepared a visual display that involved the whole South Grandstand (Beau Chevalier / Vancouver FC)

The celebration kicked off with an astonishing TIFO from the supporters’ group, Fraser Valley Fanatics, a portrait of VFC head coach Afshin Ghotbi. The banner stretched the length of the South grandstand and is a sight that can only be experienced at VFC’s home turf. 

“[The supporters’ groups] have been killing it all game. They’re loud. I don’t remember a time in the game where they’ve been quiet,” commented fan Kyle Collis about the atmosphere. “I’ll definitely tell people that I was part of the first-ever home game here.” 

4,000 fans received free rally towels presented by CIBC (Beau Chevalier / Vancouver FC)

On the opposite side of the South grandstand, fans enjoyed the greenery on what some already deemed as “the hill”. One fan described the general admission area as, “…the best vantage point within the stadium. It seems very low pressure, you can stand and you’re pretty close to both of the beer-selling areas.” 

Vancouver FC offered something for everyone from the cool and relaxed vibes at the beer gardens to the family zone that had games and free handouts under the West grandstand. Children were having a great time playing games, getting their faces painted, and enjoying free snacks. 

Kids enjoy the inflatable pitch under the West Grandstand (James Glezos / Vancouver FC)

“It’s a really fun way to spend quality time as a family because it guarantees three or four hours that we’re all close together, talking, cheering and sharing snacks,” said Heather who attended the game with her son Tristan. “Really, really good experience. We definitely want to come back to another game. We’re really loving it,” Heather continued. “It’s really high-quality soccer and I’ve never been to a game where I’m this close to the athletes and that’s really cool too.”

When asked to describe the experience for people that couldn’t attend the game, fan Salem Alsmadi assured, “They missed a good time for sure because this is definitely a good atmosphere.” Alsmadi continued, “It’s really sick out here for sure. Just beautiful.”

Luckily, for those who missed the first match, Vancouver FC plays once again at home this weekend. Atlético Ottawa will visit Willoughby Park on Saturday, May 13th at 6:30 p.m. Make sure you get your tickets here and don’t miss your chance to experience what all the buzz is about in Langley.