It's a pretty safe bet that the emotion shown by the Notre Dame Jugglers on an interception by Antonio Conte is the same general feeling shared throughout the B.C. High School Football community when news came down Wednesday that PavCo and B.C. School Sports had found a way to keep Subway Bowl 2021 under the dome at B.C. Place Stadium. (Photo by Blair Shier property of 2021. All Rights Reserved)
Feature High School Football

Destination: B.C. Place Stadium! After weeks of uncertainty, the Subway Bowl 2021 semifinals and championship final will return to their home under the dome!

VANCOUVER — After three weeks of uncertainty, the Subway Bowl is coming back home to B.C. Place Stadium and will be the site of provincial semifinal and championship final action on back-to-back Saturdays (Nov. 27, Dec. 4).

Such was the announcement made Wednesday by the B.C. Pavilion Corporation (PavCo) in conjunction with B.C. School Sports.

In a press release issued Wednesday morning, PavCo stated the reason for the stadium’s availability: “As a result of the playoff schedules for both Major League Soccer (MLS) and the Canadian Football League (CFL) recently being largely determined, a number of event dates that were previously held at the stadium have now been released.”

Travis Bell, who chairs B.C. School Sports’ football sports advisory committee was relieved that the nine games and one all-star game which make up the two most exciting days of the high school football season would unfold within the sport’s time-honoured setting under the dome.

“I am really excited that our student-athletes will have the opportunity to play at B.C. Place, that the Subway Bowl will be able to return to its home,” he said. “I am just appreciative of everyone who chipped in to make it happen.”

The Nov. 27 schedule will begin with the Grade 8 championship final, and follow with back-to-back varsity AA semifinals, and then back-to-back varsity AAA semifinals.

On Dec. 4, the schedule will kick off with, first, the AA junior varsity championship final, followed by the AAA junior varsity championship final.

The senior varsity all-star game, which debuted in 2019, and will be resurrected in 2021, follows.

Then to round out the evening, it will be the AA varsity final followed by the AAA varsity final.

Prospects looked dim for any kind of 11th-hour solution back in late October.

In a prepared statement on Oct. 20, PavCo had stated in part: “With the recent resumption of major events and activities in B.C., demand for available event dates at the stadium has been exceptionally strong and complex to manage.

“Additionally, BC Place is scheduled to undertake a critical turf replacement project in the months of December and January.

“Despite our very best efforts and numerous discussions to determine suitable dates to host BC High School Football at BC Place in 2021, we were not able to reach a mutually acceptable schedule.

Reaction to our initial story (click here to read) was immediate and emotional, and when Bell was asked, completely separate of Wednesday’s announcement, to comment on the passion of B.C. high school football fans in general over these past few weeks of uncertainty, he was quick to respond.

“I think it was overwhelming to see,” Bell began.

“Fans from across the province and people we didn’t even know were real fans of high school football were reaching out to have their voice heard,” he continued. “Whether through social media or whether writing letters or whatever the case may be, it was just really heartwarming to see that what we do has an impact on this province.”

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