BC LIONS vs SASKATCHEWAN ROUGHRIDERS : EMPIRE FIELD – 31October2010
Finally, on the last home game of the season, I made it to Empire Field! While BC Place is under renovations the CFL’s BC Lions have ventured across town to their old East Van stomping grounds and encamped at a temporary 27,000 stadium at Empire Field. I’d heard all season about the great views and audience experience and I must agree they have done an exceptional job for a temporary venue. We had great seats (thanks Pam!) in the second row, right behind the Lions bench but it looked like every row had great sightlines of the field. There was decent, fast service at the concession stands and beer stalls around the outside of the stadium. Since it was a dry, warm afternoon when the game started it made the experience even better. The Half-Time show on this day was a tribute to Veterans in commemoration of the upcoming Veteran’s Week. It was a really well done half time experience. I know from speaking with Lion’s management that there were a lot of other great half time shows over the season. So even though at the begining of the season the Lions weren’t putting on a lot of winning shows they still entertained the audience. This seems to have paid off, if the looks and sounds of the boisterous Halloween day crowd is anything to go by, they were still firmly pro-Lions (much to the dismay of the many wearing ’Riders green in the crowd) Next season Empire Field will be temporary home to another football club as Whitecaps FC begin their premier MLS season at the field they also played on back in the NASL era. Once BC Place is completed, scheduled for June, the Whitecaps and Lions will play under its new retracable roof and Empire Field’s temporary structures will come down and it will revert back to a public field. I look forward to seeing more games at Empire!
As you can see from the images above the view is amazing from the 5th level suite, if (for some reason) you tire of the view or peckish head inside to the lounge area, grab some food and a beverage then sit back in the comfy leather chairs and watch the game feed on the large screen tv! The Suite has all the comforts of home, if home had a live NHL game happening in the rink downstairs!
You can win the chance to experience these Hot Seats to a Canucks game or concert for yourself, just look for an entry box at a Metropolis at Metrotown Customer Service Desk. Metropolis is putting lucky winners in the Hot Seats for every event at Rogers Arena throughout the year!
With Whitecaps defeated in the semi-finals and the USSF D-2 league final about to take place this weekend, now is a good time to say goodbye to the USL/USSF leagues and Swangard Stadium. Home to Vancouver 86ers and Whitecaps FC soccer teams since 1987, this 41 year old multi-use stadium will no longer be home field in the coming Major League Soccer era. Over the years Swangard has witnessed our local teams bring home a lot of hardware; 4 CSL championships, 2 USL championships, Commissioner’s, Cascadia and Voyageur Cup. It’s shining moment has to be during the FIFA U20 Wolrd Cup when the stadium was temperarily expanded to 10,000 seats, some great matches occured including a stunning Spain v Brazil round of 16 tilt. World Cup/Olympic qualifiers & FIFA U19 Women’s World Cup have all been held at Swangard. Being a smaller stadium (capacity 5288) it provides an outstanding intimate setting, something the (Whitecap’s) SouthSiders Supporters have used to their advantage when building enthusiams and causing much grief for visiting Goal Keepers (with cries of “You Fat Bastard”) Hopefully, when Whitecaps FC allocate seats in their new temporary stadium at Empire Field, there is a fare share of standing-room tickets for the Southside members and other’s who want to be close to the action! Alas, all is not over for the venerable Burnaby grounds; SFU, High Schools & Local teams will continue to use the facility and special events like 24Hour Replay will be ongoing as well.
Well here we are, it’s been six months since I changed my lifestyle and began getting healthy so time for another update. I’ve been working out on my own since wrapping up my 12 weeks of personal trainer sessions. I’m happy to report I’ve lost weight but gained so much more: muscle, self-esteem/confidence, energy and better health have also come along as the weight has left. The body composition machine tells quite a dramatic tale from first stepping on it back in April to this week; overall I’ve dropped 42 pounds on the scale and in the beginning I had 36% body fat now it’s 14%, representing a loss of 90 pounds of fat! My trainer at Steve Nash Sports Club, Alex Jack, gave me three training programs for my three weight days, between my four cardio days. I must admit working on my own, it’s a bit harder to keep myself motivated and I don’t have that extra ‘push’ Alex provided each workout. I’ve kept at it though and week after week I’ve able to advance the weights used and my endurance during the sessions. I am pleased to have been able to meet or exceed the targets I’d set for the summer (I never thought I’d be able to leg press 425lbs). I was also able to test my cardio by completing the Grouse Grind for the first time, in 1hour 6minutes. I wasn’t paying attention to the time on the way up but if I’d known I was so close to the hour mark I’d have passed a few more people to get under the hour. Now that it’s fall I’ve gone back to Alex for three new programs to target more specific growth building. These programs will make sure my body isn’t getting to used to doing the same things and will hopefully be able to see more improvements by mid-winter.
Besides Alex, I have to thank my friends and family for all the encouragement & motivation over the past months! Couldn’t have done it without you!
A small update to the last post: Just a couple days after the 3 month point, I was very happy to hop on the scale at the gym and have it finally hit the 30 pounds lost point! Since I’ve also been gaining muscle, I wish there was a way to be able to tell how much weight I’ve lost in overall. People keep telling me how much I’ve shrunk…I should have taken measurements right at the start, I didn’t until a couple weeks into the program. The values have gained and diminished in the appropriate areas but I again wish I had the overall total. I didn’t have any idea that I would see results this fast…another benefit of having a personal trainer. It probably doesn’t hurt that my super fit friend, Brian, keeps me on my toes too. Thirty pounds feels like a nice round number to mark as a milestone…hopefully I can keep going at this rate and have a great milestone to hit at the end of the Summer!
Thank you all for being out there watching and keeping me pushing!
As promised after 6 weeks, here’s the update of the next 6 weeks of healthy living. It’s now been 3 months since getting up and into the Steve Nash Sports Club in an attempt to have just a butt instead of a fat butt. I’ve lost 28 lbs so far but that’s not really an accurate depiction of the physical changes that have happened, I’ve gained inches in some body parts, lost inches in other parts and definitely feel muscles where there used to be sponge. Mentally I’ve grown as well, feeling stronger and more confident, this is boosted whenever I bump into friends I haven’t seen in a while who are so surprised by the change in my appearance. One friend in particular I had to call out on the street as he didn’t ‘see’ me and was walking right by…since then he’s been telling all our other friends about it. Even though I’m doing it for myself, these little ego boosts makes all the effort worthwhile. This week was my final session with Personal Trainer Alex Jack. I know I paid for it, but I cannot thank him enough for the guidance, motivation and encouragment he’s provided over these weeks. I think he was genuinely impressed and a little proud with how far we’ve come since April. Back then I couldn’t even make it through the first session, I was so drained I thought I’d throw-up! Now, the sessions make me feel good and motivated to do more next time. At about the 8 week period I changed up my regular routine of 2 personal trainer sessions plus 5 cardio session and traded a cardio day for an extra weight session. Alex would give me a routine each week to do as my ‘homework’ session. Then last week, after 22 sessions of full body workouts aimed at getting me ‘fit’, he set me up with 3 strength routines to proceed with through the summer. These programs are mostly weight driven so trying to grow and exceed the starting weights will give me the drive and challenge I’ll be missing from Alex looking over my shoulder (plus I’ll know of at least one friend who is ‘watching’ so I don’t slip). The fact that ‘this’, working out and being active, is now part of my everyday routine will also push me through to the autumn when I’ll check-in with Alex again for an assessment, updated routine and new challenge. In the meantime I’ll keep you posted on achievements and everything else happening in my world, here or on twitter @jminter.