Empire Fields (at Hastings Park)
The newly completed Empire Fields (previously Empire Stadium) is located at Vancouver’s second largest park. It has two new full sized synthetic turf fields, a warm up area, spectator seating, and a 560m recreational running track. Activities at Hastings Park range from sand volleyball, basketball, ping pong, outdoor fitness equipment, and playgrounds for all ages. The walking/jogging track and bike greenways connecting the park to the neighbourhood are open for public use. The soccer fields are also fully complete, but unavailable for public use until the FIFA Women’s World Cup is over in early July 2015.
For decades, Empire Stadium was home to many sporting events. It was constructed for the 1954 British and Commonwealth Games, when Roger Bannister and John Landy both ran a sub-four-minute mile in the same race – the first time that feat had been accomplished.
It saw most of its use as the home of the BC Lions of the CFL from 1954 to 1982, in which the Empire Stadium was also host to the first Grey Cup west of Ontario in 1955.
1980s – 2000s
Empire Stadium also hosted the North American Soccer League’s Vancouver Whitecaps until the early 1980s. Formerly a parking lot called Empire Bowl, the space was renamed Empire Fields in 2001 and converted into a community area.
In 2010, a temporary stadium was built at Empire Fields to host the BC Lions and other events during construction on BC Place Stadium’s retractable roof.