Over 4,200 fans turned out for FC Edmonton‘s home opener on Sunday, creating plenty of excitement during the club’s first Canadian Premier League home match.
One of seven clubs competing in the Canadian Premier League’s inaugural 2019 season, FC Edmonton is undergoing something of a rebirth at Clarke Field. The organization had previously fielded a team in the NASL, but in November 2017 owners Tom and Dave Fath announced that it would leave the NASL and discontinue professional franchise operations.
Plans to compete in the Canadian Premier League’s first season took shape last year, leading up to what was a positive response to the club’s first home match in the circuit. A reported total of 4,238 fans turned out to see FC Edmonton and Pacific FC play to a 0-0 draw on Sunday, and their energy level made a strong impression on team ownership. More from the Edmonton Sun:
“We’ve got more people here and they’re louder,” said [Tom] Fath.
“It’s absolutely better than we’ve ever had it in here before. It’s just a great and exciting start to a first season in a new league.”
Fath, who along with brother Dave, is believed to have lost more than $6 million — and that doesn’t include the purchase of the temporary stands on the east side of the field a few years ago — was emotional in a dry-eyed sort of way.
“It gives us hope,” he said. “There wasn’t any hope toward the end of the NASL.”…
“It has to be an event. There has to be energy. Today we have energy in here,” he added.
Time will tell whether the club’s attendance for the home opener is the start of a positive trend, but the intrigue surrounding the Canadian Premier League’s first season–combined with the fact that the circuit should provide FC Edmonton with a more favorable financial situation than the NASL–are factors that could give FC Edmonton a boost going forward. To keep track of Canadian Premier League attendance all season long, check out our weekly attendance reports.
Image courtesy FC Edmonton.