How I felt watching a soccer game in Vancouver


A week ago, I watched soccer game with a friend and his family at BC place, the home stadium of Vancouver Whitecaps.

It was amazing experience to realize differences between J League (Japan Professional Football League) and MLS (Major League Soccer).

Here are some of the differences and unique points between the MLS and the J-League!

About MLS & Vancouver Whitecaps

The MLS began with 10 teams in 1996 and now consists of 29 teams (26 in the US and 3 in Canada).
1996 is also the year I was born:)

It’s not much different from the history of the J League.

J-League began with 10 teams in 1993 and is celebrating its 30th years anniversary this year!!

In Vancouver, there is a team called the Vancouver Whitecaps, which has a Japanese goalkeeper.

In the past, Masato Kudo, a former Japan national team soccer player, also belonged to the club.

Established in 2009, Whitecaps has a short history, but it’s a wonderful club that is loved by locals.

This time, opponent is Seattle Sounders FC that is first-placed on the table.

oh, it’s gonna be a hard match for Whitecaps.

My friend and his family are big fan of Sounders because they have lived in Seattle for 5 years.

So, we watch the game together, but the teams we support are separate lol.

Around the stadium

As I mentioned earlier Whitecaps’s home stadium is BC Place where is located in downtown Vancouver.

My favorite point is that there is the stadium in the city. Easy to go:)

Unfortunately, in Vancouver, they don’t have food stalls around the stadium.

I think one of the reasons why no stall around the stadium is problem of security because of homeless people, like no vending machine in the city.

There are so many homeless people in Vancouver that you can’t even imagine it in Japan.

In Japan, there are a lot of food stalls around stadium. In that place, we are able to eat local foods and drinks.

Like this:)

Japan’s food stall (Yatai) culture is truly amazing. I’m proud of that.

You can buy foods and drink in the stadium.

This place is similar to Japan’s stadium. The price of foods and drinks are completely different tho,,.

A beer (300ml) : $10-ish, super crazy cost of living in Canada.

But beer is essential for watching soccer game. Am I alcoholic? lol

Bty, price of ticket is $50-60 at least. A little bit expensive compare to Japan.

In the stadium

BC Place is soccer and American football stadium, The distance between the stands and the pitch is close.

J-League stadiums often have athletic fields around the pitch, so the players are far away.

There’s a big screen here. I often see it in stadiums like the NBA, so this is unique to North America.

Yes, Asahi is a big sponsor!

This is bench. It’s like simple compared to J-League’s.

It’s also America football stadium, so it’s probably because they can’t set up benches.

Fan service

As a fan service, there is event where membership fans could stadium tour and see warm-up of the players up close before the game.

Approaching families with children to increase loyal fans is the same strategy as J-League.

In the half time, we could see that 60-70 children vs 3 adult player lol.

It was like TV show hahaha.

Children interviewing children in half time.

Like hero interview.
They were good at interviewing and answering. I was like they are really kids!?

The MLS seems to have a lot of interesting initiatives like this. I wonder if the J League can do like this?

Performance before game

In MLS, the national anthem is sung before every game. Cuz It have teams from Canada and America.

one singer sings Canadian and American anthem.

To be honest, I think that the light-up performance before the players enter is the overwhelming victory of the J League.

↑ is J-League. That was a special match tho.
I realized again that Japanese technology and performance techniques are outstanding!!

Other interesting points

I was surprise that there were few supporters for each teams.

Supporter of J-League teams gather behind the goal in large numbers but not in MLS.

Sounders supporters are,,,,,

Omg, how modest!?

You can use the central screen to celebrate your children birthday or couple’s anniversary.

Celebrating on the screen with the whole audience watching is special experience, isn’t it?

I once again felt that providing special experience and enhancing loyalty is the most important thing in sport business.

It’s like turning just a soccer game into a special soccer game.

Whitecaps has taken advantage of the most of the center screen.

As for the game, sounders dominated the game of first half. No wonder.

It’s not as technical as the J League, but I have the impression that it’s physically and tactically strong. 

Surprisingly Whitecaps got score at end of first half!! 1-0 first half!

In second half, Whitecaps added!! 2-0 Whitecaps. Unexpected game development!


The most existing game I have ever watch in Vancouver.

Thanks to the performance of the Japanese GK, they defended their two goals,

finally, Game was over!! 2-0 Whitecaps!!!

It’s embarrassing that I was talking to my friend before the game that Whitecaps might lose 1-2!

From now on, I vow to believe in Whitecaps and support them.

My friend were complaining about sounders throughout the game and was very frustrated lol.

Please take a look at MLS once at the stadium! You might be crazy about soccer.