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VIDEO: Professional soccer game to be played in Kelowna

The Canadian Premer League has its sights set on Kelowna.

The eight-team professional soccer league chose this city to be the first in a series of games to be played in cities without CPL teams.

And beyond that, the league considers Kelowna as a city that could soon have a team of its own.

The Kelowna game is set for June 16 at the Apple Bowl featuring Vancouver FC and Calgary's Cavalry FC.

They're calling the series of games the 'Canadian Premier League On Tour'.

On hand for the announcement was Rob Friend.

Friend is Vancouver FC President and CEO.

<who> Photo Credit: NowMedia

He's involved with the ownership of British Columbia's two CPL teams in Langley and Langford, called Vancouver FC and Pacific FC.

He was also a professional for 12 years, he played striker in the German Bundesliga and represented Canada as an international, but he still considers himself a Kelowna boy.

And he shares the league's vision for professional soccer in the city he once called home.

"I believe it's going to work in the city of Kelowna," he said at the podium.

<who> Photo Credit: NowMedia

"Let's prove that this market works. Let's prove that this city deserves the investment that it's going to take for the infrastructure and the professional game."

"Today is an exciting day for our community," said Kelowna Mayor Tom Dyas who was at Stuart Park for the announcement.

He is enthusiastic about Kelowna's potential to have a PCL team of its own.

"The On Tour Series is a way for our community to show its excitement at the prospect of having professional soccer come to Kelowna."

<who> Photo Credit: NowMedia"We need to expand our league," said CPL Commissioner Mark Noonan. "Our goal is to double the size of the league in the next decade."

Noonan believes Kelowna could be a good fit.

"I'm confident that Kelowna can be a terrific home for Canadian Premier League Soccer."

Typical attendance at CPL games is about 4,000.

15,000 showed up to a game Tuesday.

With fixed seating of 2,254, Kelowna's Apple Bowl won't do the job.

<who> Photo Credit: Tourism Kelowna"The Apple Bowl is not the right venue for us, for the long term," he said.

"We need things like naming rights, and suites and locker rooms for players and locker rooms for referees and all the things that are necessary to put on a professional sport."

Noonan's vision is to see teams in cities including Kelowna within just a few years.

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