The B.C. Lions are expecting to welcome their largest crowd in almost a decade when they open their 2022 campaign against the Edmonton Elks on Saturday.
According to a report from Daily Hive Vancouver sports editor Rob Williams: “The B.C. Lions now expect to have over 30,000 fans at Saturday’s season opener, a team spokesperson tells me. It’ll be the first time in 8 years that the Lions have had 30K at BC Place.”
BC Place last hosted over 30,000 for a Lions’ game on November 7, 2014, when 33,752 people were on hand to view a loss to the Calgary Stampeders in the season finale.
In 2019 — the CFL’s last full and unrestricted season — attendance peaked at 20,950 when Saskatchewan visited in late July, while the home-opener against Winnipeg drew just 18,058 fans. The club averaged 12,507 fans per game in 2021, though capacity was limited due to COVID-19 protocols.
The club anticipates a sellout of the lower bowl of BC Place, which seats approximately 25,500 fans. They opened up select sections of the upper deck to meet increased demand earlier this week.
The club has a number of pregame festivities lined up for Saturday, including a performance from Grammy-nominated band OneRepublic. The band’s song “I Ain’t Worried” is currently climbing the charts after being featured in the hit film Top Gun: Maverick.