By Rod Proudfoot/FC Edmonton GM
On February 4, FC Edmonton made a presentation to Executive Committee at the City of Edmonton on the concept of building a new mid-sized stadium (8,000-10,000) to better support soccer and other events in the City. Tom Fath noted that other soccer organizations around North America have built mid-sized soccer stadiums of this size for between $12-40 million.
The City subsequently directed FC Edmonton to work with the City’s Community and Recreation Services Branch to develop business model options and a Needs Assessment addressing the evolution of soccer and field sports in Edmonton. A report is expected back to City Council later in 2013.
FC Edmonton owner Tom Fath is expanding Clark Field seating from 1,300 to over 4,000 by mid-April, 2013. The City wants to see what the public response will be at Eddies home games this season before deliberating on the new stadium.
2013 will be a game changer for the Eddies as the Club undertakes a number of key initiatives to improve the team, the operations, the game experience and the fan base. “Anybody who is a soccer fan should come to the games this year, fill the stadium and show that the existing facility isn’t enough” says Fath. Already, minor soccer zones and clubs in and around Edmonton have been working with FC Edmonton to help fill the stands as well as raise funds for their respective programs.
The real winner from a new stadium will be the soccer and sports community-at-large. A new stadium will add much needed capacity, draw national and international competitive matches to the City, and provide a great environment for younger soccer players who hope to grow into elite players. And of course, a new stadium will greatly enhance fans’ game and viewing experience.
Filling the stands at Clark Field this summer would be a good start to galvanizing the City into realizing the vision of Edmonton hosting the best mid-sized soccer stadium between Vancouver and Toronto.
Please note that this artist's rendering is simply conceptual, used for budgetary purposes and not the actual proposed stadium.
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