Get ready for more rock ’n’ roll on UBC’s Point Grey campus.
Kavie Toor, director of facilities and business development with the athletics and recreation department, told the Straight by phone that the university plans to hold eight concerts per year at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre, up from one or two per year in the past.
“For the most part, the eight concerts would be earmarked for the school year because typically, that’s when we’ve got the campus population, the students, that are interested,” Toor said.
UBC has applied to the provincial government to amend its liquor-primary licence to permit the sale of alcohol at concerts at the sports facility. The building can accommodate 6,000 people for concerts and has in the past hosted the Killers, ZZ Top, and Heaven & Hell.
According to Toor, the liquor-licence amendment is supported by Metro Vancouver, the RCMP, the student association, and a university neighbourhood committee as long as there are no more than eight licensed concerts and 30 licensed events per year.
UBC also plans four to six “family shows” per year.
“They’re not going to be events that are strictly for the purpose of generating revenue,” Toor said. “They’re going to be ways to bring excitement and animation to the campus.”
In 2009, UBC RCMP detachment commander Kevin Kenna wrote a blistering four-page letter to Metro Vancouver objecting to liquor service at the Thunderbird Sports Centre.
Toor acknowledged that Kenna’s 2009 letter was “incredibly strongly written”, adding that the RCMP’s attitude has changed in recent years. (Kenna retired in 2011.)
“There’s a far greater partnership between the RCMP and the university, so they’re keen to support university events,” he said.
The Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre was renovated in 2008 in advance of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
It has hosted the Davis Cup tennis tournament, the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team, and numerous hockey tournaments.
On Friday (June 13) and Saturday (June 14), the arena will be the site of FIVB World Volleyball matches between Canada and Belgium.