FC Edmonton Announce New Stadium
After months of speculation on where they would play, FC Edmonton announced in a press conference at Commonwealth Stadium that they will call Clarke Stadium their home for the 2012 NASL Season.
Clarke Stadium is a city-owned facility, with a capacity of 1,500, but FC Edmonton will install about 3,000 seats at their own expense. 1,500 0f these seats will be “reserved seating”, the more expensive ticket option that grants a ticketholder a permanent seat. The other 3,000 seats will be “general admission”, the cheaper option and the home of the Edmonton Supporters Group. While the ESG is still undecided about what GA section they will claim, one supporter asks, “So are we going to set up base in the corner stands? Looks close to the beer…” A major point to consider, I’m sure, and I bet any SoB could attest to it.
FCE’s stadium has been in question since last season. Edmonton played their 2011 Season at Foote Field, a football first facility, owned by the University of Alberta, with permanent football lines on the field and poor quality turf. The Eddies’ fans were obviously disappointed by their venue, thinking that the club would not be viewed as a serious one because of the field they played on. Tthe Edmonton owners are reluctant to construct a soccer-specific stadium, as the fan support is not yet great enough to make the investment worthwhile. Instead, Edmonton found a temporary location where they could play until they have gained enough local recognition to invest in an SSS.
The Edmonton fans have voiced their content with this decision, viewing it as the smartest and clearest choice. Since the stadium is very accessible by local transit and within walking distance of a bar, Edmontonians will no longer have a reason to not attend games.
While Clarke Stadium will host the club’s NASL games, all Amway Canadian Championship games will be played at Commonwealth Stadium to agree with the ACC. Since Clarke was previously a CFL stadium, it contains stitched-in football lines, and ACC rules state that fields may not have additional markings on it, such as football lines.
In addition to announcing a new stadium, FC Edmonton also unveiled new kits, manufactured by Adidas.