A message to Whitecaps FC supporters regarding Saturday's postponement from CEO Paul Barber
As you will have no doubt heard, due to extremely adverse weather conditions in Vancouver over the past 24 hours, the natural grass surface on Bell Pitch at Empire Field has been declared unplayable for today's Major League Soccer fixture versus Real Salt Lake.
This is despite huge efforts overnight and this morning by our sod contractors, PNE's staff, and our own Events team to do what they could to ensure today's match went ahead as scheduled and as an absolute priority.
In laying natural grass for today's match and Monday's visit from Manchester City FC, we took every possible precaution to ensure a smooth installation. The process worked extremely well and the pitch looked very good indeed - despite the rain Vancouver has suffered all week.
However, overnight conditions deteriorated around 3 a.m. PT and very heavy rain started to fall, making the pitch conditions unplayable by 10:30 a.m. PT this morning.
Our contractors had already covered the pitch, sucked water from it at regular intervals, and did everything possible to ensure we could play today, but unfortunately, it wasn't to be. Too much rain has fallen in a very short space of time - not dissimilar to the conditions we faced in Toronto earlier this season.
We realize that today's match postponement is very disappointing for our supporters and every effort has been made to minimize the inconvenience to supporters travelling to the game. We will provide you with details of the new match date and ticket options as soon as this is confirmed.
Likewise, we will do our best to provide updates with regards to Monday's match, as the weekend unfolds. We remain hopeful that, with a slightly better weather forecast and continued hard work from everyone involved at Bell Pitch at Empire Field, we will be able to go ahead with Monday's game against Manchester City.
Thank you for your great support. It is appreciated by all of us.
Chief Executive Officer
Vancouver Whitecaps FC