Victoria United FC will be moving our operations from Royal Athletic Park (RAP) to Braefoot Park, starting with the 2013 season.
Address: 1359 McKenzie Avenue Victoria, BC V8P 2M1 - corner of McKenzie Avenue and Braefoot Road.
2012 Season and PAST Years - ROYAL ATHLETIC PARK
1014 Caledonia Street, Victoria, British Columbia - intersection of Cook and Caledonia.
- No more than 10 minutes walk from downtown.
(250) 361-0381 (taped schedule information)
Admission prices for Victoria United games at RAP:
(Subject to change)
- Admission - $6.00
- Seniors - $3.00
- Under 12 - FREE
The following Bus Routes all pass near RAP. More information on times may be available at the BC Transit website.
- 24 CEDAR HILL
- 25 MAPLEWOOD
- 24 & 25 are the best routes as they go right by the park.
- 6 QUADRA
- get off at Caledonia, RAP is 1.5 blocks east.
- City pay parking at Caledonia & Vancouver. FREE GAME PARKING IN THIS LOT
- On street parking (time limits) available on Balmoral.
"temporary bleachers at right.
Total capacity is 5700. This includes app. 3,800 permanent covered seats in the south stand with additional "temporary" bleachers.
Grandstand seats are wooden bench-with-back style seating. Cushions are recommended for those with tender bottoms. The stands face north and are virtually always in shadow so they are quite cool even on the hottest days. Bleachers are strictly bench seating with no covering and thus much warmer on sunny days.
Seating at RAP
Disabled access to the park is not a problem but good viewing points are virtually nonexistent(See picture below).
Disabled seating in 1946. This thumbnail links to the full size ".gif" at the BC Archives which shows a game from 1946 and a wheelchair-bound fan watching from the sidelines.
The farm field, which had once belonged to the Hudsons Bay Company, owned by the Parshalle's, was used as a playing field for rugby and field lacrosse games beginning in 1902.
It was originally called "Royals Athletic Park" for a lacrosse team organised under the name Victoria Royals Athletic Association. In 1907 the Royals Athletic Association leased the field from the Parshalle's, tidied it up, fenced the area, built some rough seating and used it for field lacrosse games.
In the following year the expanding local soccer league gained permission to play soccer games there at a rental of $5.00. The first league football match saw Victoria West down Cedar Hill 10 - 0.
In 1925 the City of Victoria bought the land for $30,000 ($12,490 of the price went for taxes owing). Early on wooden bleachers were purchased for soccer fans. $650 bought 10 rows of seats. The $650 grandstand was originally built in the north west corner near Central Park. This proved unsatisfactory and it was relocated on the Caledonia Street side.
Teams playing at RAP in the early years offered 2 free grandstand seats to anyone who returned balls that went over the fences surrounding the park.
The original grandstands burned down in 1964. They were rebuilt and other improvements made to the playing surface in particular for an estimated $820,00. The rebuilt grandstands officially opened in 1967.
One Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia, George Pearkes, was particularly fond of soccer at RAP. He was regularly driven to the park in a limo and sat in the press box. He was Lt Governor when Victoria United (known at the time as O'Keefes after the sponsor) won the Pacific Coast Soccer Legaue Championship and the Kennedy Cup (see TITLES)
Soccer Game at Royal Athletic Park in 1946 (no score provided.) This thumbnail links to the full size ".gif" at the BC Archives
RAP has played host to several teams from the UK:
- 1926 English F.A. touring team defeated Victoria Reps. 5- 1, Jack Coulter scored the locals goal.
- 1927 Scotish F.A. touring team defeated Victoria Reps 4 - 1.
- 1929 Welsh Selects downed Victoria 1 - 0.
- 1930 Glasgow Rangers defeated Victoria Wests ( really a select side wearing Vic West colors) 8 - 1
- 1931 Edglish 1st Div. Selects defeated Victoria Reps. 7 - 0.
- 1938 Islington Corinthians, an amateur side, lost to the Up-Island Selects 3-2 and beat the local reps 6 - 3 with Noel Morgan notching two of Victoria's goals.
- THE WAR DISRUPTED ANY FURTHER TOURS UNTIL 1950.
- RAP hosted the great Stanley Matthews in 1950.
- 1951 Victoria & District All-Stars set Canadian soccer history when they became the first to defeat a touring British professional team. They upset Fulham, a newly promoted 1st Div. club 1-0. Ab Travis scored the lone goal and his brother, Joe, gained the shut out but it was a terrific, determined, 11-man team effort. At that time substitutions were not allowed but the team managers agreed to waive the rule. Victoria stuck with their starting eleven but Fulham made one change in an attempt to equalize, when the inserted a veteran striker for their promising rookie, Bobby Robson.
- 1952 the Island Selects lost to a well prepared Tottenham squad 7- 0.
- 1953 a team of Irish pros downed the V & D Reps 5-1.
- 1954 Glasgow Rangers clobbered the Reps 7 - 0.
- 1963 Wolverhampton edged the local boys 2 - 1.
- 1964 - The fire in 1964 ended possible tour games until the opening of the new RAP.
- 1966/67 The opening ceremonies of the refurbished RAP attended by 4700 spectators featured a game between Victoria United (O'Keefe's), that seasons PCSL and International Kennedy Cup winners, and Chelsea F.C. It was a grand opening game with no love lost between the teams and finished with a 3 -2 score in favour of the visitors.
- 1968/69 West Bromwich Albion (currently in the First Division)
< Side of South Stand showing entrance to dressing rooms and field.
Most Recent Professional Victoria Team at RAP:
- 1989-1990 Victoria Vistas played in the now defunct Canadian Soccer League (CSL). The team included some personnel with connections to Victoria United.
- Rick Jaskens, last seen in uniform for Victoria in an exhibition against the U-21 Canadian Nationals and hero of the 1996 Challenge Cup played for the Victoria Vistas both years of its existence.
- David Ravenhill also played both years for the Vistas and has been assistant coach and co-coach as well as the most reliable player. David sat on the Victoria United Board for several years.
- Frank Woods played both years for the Vistas and now serves on the board of directors of Victoria United having passed on the coaching job he held during the first two years.
- Geoff Aunger played for the Vistas in 1990. He was a regular player on the Canadian National squad as well as having played in England and for the MLS New England Revolution in the inaugural season. In 1998 he was picked up by two-time MLS champions DC United.
- Ian Bridge played for Victoria in the same year as Aunger. He has been involved in coaching the Canadian National Womens team. He was last seen playing in Victoria for the Okanagan Challenge in the 1995 season.
- Buzz Parson, coach for most of the 1997 season, served as general manager for the Vistas 1990 season. He played for the Vancouver 86ers and was part of the Canadian team that qualified for Mexico '86.
Some interesting statistics from the Greater Victoria Sports Council. Below are the numbers of registered soccer players in the given year
- 1948 - 492
- 1960 - 1242
- 1962 - 1659
- 1963 - 1910
- 1966 - 1972
- Andy (former RAP Manager) for letting me see his historical files and collection of old photographs in the park's conference room.
- BC Archives for the use of their images. They have many interesting soccer images available online.
- Dave Unwin, for his indispensible book From the Sidelines.