Whitecaps seek input

BOB MACKIN -- 24 Hours Vancouver

, Last Updated: 7:19 AM ET

If Whitecaps Waterfront Stadium goes ahead, Steamworks patrons will lose their brew with a view.

"It'll be a good challenge for us to adapt," brewpub proprietor Eli Gershkovitch said yesterday at the Woodward's Building during the first of four open houses.

"T-shirt shops and trinket places are not enough to sustain Gastown."

Vancouver Whitecaps FC and City of Vancouver are gauging public opinion on the 15,000-seat outdoor stadium proposed to be built above the rail yard behind Waterfront Station. City council will consider a feasibility study in late May.

Whitecaps want to open the stadium for the 2009 season, but will have to convince some skeptical Downtown Eastsiders like Audrey Laferriere and Wendy Pedersen.

Laferriere said low-cost housing should be part of the complex, while Pedersen said the site is a poor choice.

"It's going to bring too much traffic, too much potential rowdiness, because they're going to sell alcohol," Pedersen said.

Downtown businessman and soccer fan Christopher Cottier said the stadium would be a harmless "public asset [built] with private money. For what? For people enjoying events."

Open houses continue today at Storyeum in Gastown from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., tomorrow at Harbour Centre, 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday at Library Square, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


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