FC Edmonton Announce Clarke Field as Their 2012 Venue
FC Edmonton held a press conference Thursday to announce their home venue for 2012 while also showing off their new Adidas custom kits for 2012.
As had been speculated for some time now, FC Edmonton will make 800-seat Clarke Field their home venue for the next two years. Team owner Tom Fath will foot a bill of about $750 thousand to install approximately 3,000 new seats, almost 1,700 of which will be chair-back, reserve seats. There will also be new bench seating for general admission customers in addition to the existing structure that will form the west grandstand. The Edmonton Journal is reporting that the deal with City of Edmonton still hasn’t been official signed yet.
Last season the team played at Foote Field which had 4 different sporting lines cut or painted onto the old-style fill turf that was hard and fast with a field that was extremely narrow.
Clarke Field sits in the shadows of Common Wealth Stadium, home of the CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos and is adjacent to the Edmonton Light Rail system. The surface is artificial but has a newer type turf and the team will go from one of the narrowest fields in the NASL to one of the widest with the dimensions allowing the team to mark off a 76-yard wide pitch.
“We actually started working on this during the season last year when it became obvious that we needed a wider field,” said FC Edmonton general manager Tom Leip. “Once you come to that conclusion, it really narrows down very quickly where you’re going to go.
“Fortunately, for us, it’s not like there was another tenant over there. It was just strictly a matter of working out the logistics of how to make it work.”
“What is most gratifying is that all of this has been accomplished while displacing almost no present users of the facility,” said Leip. “The amateur soccer and football organizations that are presently using Clarke will be able to continue with almost no consideration being made for the time FC Edmonton requires.”
Liep stated the work on the field is expected to begin April 10th. “The reason we want them to be temporary is that we believe that in a couple of years we could be moving into a permanent facility and we think that these seats could be useful. The real purpose for the city is going to be a stadium that could be expandable.”
The 11.ca is reporting that there will be a beer garden on the south side of the stadium with a children’s play area at the north end.
The Eddies home opener is April 22nd when they will host the Minnesota Stars FC.