With a spot in the Canadian Premier League emerging as a possibility, FC Edmonton is pitching the city on a Clarke Stadium renovation.
Founded in 2010, FC Edmonton fielded a team for the last several years in the NASL. That came to end last November, when club owners Tom and Dave Fath announced that the team would leave the NASL and discontinue professional franchise operations. Despite that announcement–which came months after the United States Soccer Federation announced that it would revoke the NASL’s Division II status for 2018–the have pair have continued to run a youth academy, and are leaving the door open for eventually joining the Canadian Premier League.
No final decisions have been made, but FC Edmonton continues to explore the possibility of joining the Canadian Premier League. Part of that move could include an extensive overhaul to Clarke Stadium, as the club is pitching a plan that would lead to upgrades to fan amenities and player facilities. More from The Edmonton Sun:
According to the City of Edmonton upcoming agenda, discussions will take place on a proposal by the local soccer club to renovate Clarke Stadium, which includes increasing seating capacity, adding more washroom facilities and expanding concessions.
“That’s something they’ve put together and it goes around what the Canadian Premier League requires, so they’re working with that information,” said FC Edmonton owner Tom Fath. “It’s good news because there are different parts to making it work and this (stadium renovation) is one of them.”
Among the request put forth to City Hall is the creation of a new operating agreement for Clarke Stadium with FC Edmonton being the primary tenant. The soccer club would also like to have a permanent dressing room built in the facility with laundry capabilities, a seating increase from 4,153 to 7,000, and upgraded lighting. FC Edmonton would also like to be excluded from the existing City food service and beverage contracts, which runs through 2021.
“The other thing that is important is that the idea being it’s a community thing and other groups that are interested in this and want a place to play,” Fath said. “It’s not going to be just for FC Edmonton and it’s not going to be just an FC Edmonton facility.”
The earliest FC Edmonton would begin Canadian Premier League play is 2019, which is when the league is currently expected to launch.
Image courtesy NASL.
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