Canada soccer's worst kept secret was confirmed in a press conference today, as the CSA announced Vancouver will play host to Canada's first home match of the fourth round of World Cup qualifying.
The national team will meet Honduras, the team they lost to 8-1 to end their dreams of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup, on November 13 at BC Place.
The match will be crucial to Canadian World Cup chances, as getting three points at home against Honduras is essentially to moving on to the final round of qualification. Canada have been drawn into a round 4 qualifying group that includes Honduras, Mexico and El Salvador.
Several news outlets, including Waking the Red, had learned of this news well in advance of today's announcement, which was held in Vancouver and streamed on the Canadian soccer website.
This is the first time that British Columbia has hosted a men's national team game since 2004, when Swangard Stadium in Burnaby hosted a World Cup qualifier.
Since then BMO Field in Toronto has become the headquarters for Canadian soccer, with all three of the home games during 2014 World Cup qualifying being played at that venue.
However, in April the CSA confirmed that due to construction as part of the second phase of renovations to BMO Field, the "national soccer stadium" would not be available for at least the early games in qualification. It began the process of looking for other stadiums to host national team games.
BC Place has already created some good memories for Canadian soccer on the women's side of the program. This year, it played host to both knockout stage games Canada were involved in during the women's World Cup.
During those matches it broke, and then re-broke the record for biggest Canadian crowd for a national team sporting event in any sport. It was also host to crowds of over 20,000 for the semi-final and final of the 2012 Olympic qualifying tournament, where the Canadian women ultimately earned themselves a spot at the London 2012 Olympic games.
Canada will be hoping the men's national team can replicate that home atmosphere after a disappointing run in Toronto, where the home crowds barely exceeded 12,000.
Beyond this match, the venues for the other national team home games will be confirmed at a later date. It is unclear if returning to Toronto is a possibility, as construction is likely to once again push into the early months of the Major League Soccer season.
Other possible hosts for national team games include Montreal's Saputo Stadium, which has real grass versus the turf at BC Place, but has also not hosted a men's national team game in some time. Edmonton would be the other option, especially due to the frigid weather which would theoretically give the Canadian team an advantage.
Five days after Canada play Honduras at home, they will travel to El Salvador to play on November 17. The next set of qualifiers will be played in March, when Canada will host Mexico on March 25 and play away to Mexico on March 29. They will finish up the round by visiting Honduras on September 2 before hosting El Salvador on September 6.
Tickets for the first game at BC Place are set to go on sale Friday, per the CSA.