Sports are important in Victoria! People who live here are active and love to follow their favorite sports, or any high quality athletic endeavours! Because of the mild climate, there are sporting activities happening throughout the calendar year, providing sports entertainment for fans in Victoria.
Victoria’s Sports Entertainment Options
One of the most popular spectator sports in Victoria would have to be Hockey (this is Canada, eh!), and there are two teams that fans in Victoria love to watch and support:
- The Victoria Salmon Kings are a professional team playing in the ECHL, the leading professional developmental league for the AHL and the NHL**, and
- The Victoria Grizzlies are a Tier II Junior A team playing in the BCHL (Island Division). These young guns with aspirations to play professional hockey offer a fast-paced entertaining game, always looking to prove themselves to scouts who lurk in the audience.
Lacrosse, another quintessentially Canadian sport, is also very popular here, and there is a long history with the Victoria Shamrocks of the WLA. The team has operated continuously since 1950, and has notched eight Mann Cup Canadian Senior ‘A’ championships!
The Victoria Seals are a professional baseball team playing in the Golden Baseball League (GBL). The team, playing out of Royal Athletic Park claims a very loyal audience with one of the best attendance records in the GBL, total attendance for the 2009 season was 93,691 fans!
Football (the North American type) is represented in Victoria by the Rebels Football Club. The Rebels play in the BC conference of the Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL), and compete for the national Canadian Bowl. Although undergoing several name changes, the club has operated continuously since the late 1960’s.
Football (the beautiful game, or soccer as we call it here) is just getting established on a professional level. The Victoria Highlanders Football Club was founded in 2008 as the United Soccer League (USL) awarded rights to a Premier Development League franchise to the City of Victoria. The inaugural season was 2009, and in 2010 a womens team began play as well. Both teams play out of Bear Mountain Stadium. Soccer is one of the most popular sports played in our community, both youth and adult oriented, so watch for this franchise to grow!
Any overview of high level sports entertainment in Victoria would be incomplete without mention of the various sports practised by athletes at the University of Victoria. The amateur athletes at this level can provide riveting entertainment and have a large group of loyal fans and supporters. U-Vic Vikes fields women’s and men’s teams and athletes in the following sports:
- Cross Country and Track;
- Field Hockey;
- Soccer, and
Many of these athletes have competed internationally, and several teams and athletes have won championships or medalled at Olympic Games and World Championship competitions. If you have a chance to see these athletes in action, it will definitely be worthwhile, so don’t miss out!
There are many other sports entertainment events in Victoria that draw a crowd due to the skill of the participants, check out:
- Velox Rugby;
- Triathlon BC’s website for listings of local triathlons and duathlons;
- Victoria and District Cricket Association;
- Times/Colonist Open Golf Tournament, and
- The new kid on the block – Armageddon Fighting Championships (AFC), the premier mixed martial arts organization in BC, you can catch a fight at their home venue, Bear Mountain Arena,
Victoria is certainly a hotbed of sports entertainment in Canada! The opportunity to pursue athletics year round has embedded an active and athletic psyche in the people who live here, and this translates to the type of entertainment they like to watch. Everyone loves the excitement of attending “the game”, whatever it is!
**The Victoria Salmon Kings folded after the 2010/11 season. Hockey fans in Victoria now enjoy watching the Victoria Royals, a major-junior team playing in the WHL.