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Clarke Stadium

Clarke Stadium
Clarke Park
Location 11000 Stadium Road
Edmonton, Alberta
Coordinates
Owner The City of Edmonton
Capacity 20,000 (original)
5,000 (rebuilt)[1][2]
Surface Grass (1938–2000)
Artificial Turf (2000–present)
Construction
Opened 1938
Renovated 2001 and 2013
Construction cost C$7,000[3]
($116 thousand in 2016 dollars[4])
Tenants
Edmonton Eskimos (CFL) 1949–1978
Edmonton Drillers (NASL) (1982)
Edmonton Brickmen (CSL)
Edmonton Aviators (A-League 2004)
FC Edmonton (NASL) (2012–present)
Alberta Football League

Clarke Stadium, is a multipurpose facility located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The stadium was originally used for Canadian football. Over the years different sports have participated at the site. Presently, it is the home of the FC Edmonton soccer team of the North American Soccer League.

Contents

  • History 1
  • Remodelled Clarke Stadium 2
  • Soccer 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

History

The stadium was originally built in 1938 and named for then-Mayor Joseph Clarke. It was built on land deeded to the City for the purpose of constructing public sports fields by Mackenzie King (a personal friend of Clarke). The original Clarke Stadium accommodated approximately 20,000 fans in the spartan conditions consistent with its era. The seating area consisted of two grandstands on opposing sidelines (no "endzone" stands originally, but these were added in later years). The stadium hosted the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League from 1949-1978, following which the team moved to Commonwealth Stadium, which had been built adjacent to Clarke Stadium in preparation for the 1978 Commonwealth Games. It was used for local and minor league sporting events after the departure of the Eskimos.

Remodelled Clarke Stadium

The facility was almost completely demolished on June 1, 2000 and rebuilt as a 'secondary' stadium for events of the 2001 World Championships in Athletics hosted in Edmonton. It was redesigned with approximately 1,200 seats in a single grandstand. The original grass playing surface was also replaced with artificial turf to allow for greater usage as part of the facility upgrade. The stadium is currently used for university, minor and intramural sports. Clarke Park, as the remodelled stadium is often known, is also used for concerts and other events. Including the playing surface, the capacity of the stadium grounds can exceed 6,000 for concerts and non-sporting events.

Soccer

The Edmonton Drillers of the 1970s and the Edmonton Aviators of 2004 both attempted to draw crowds to the much larger Commonwealth Stadium before moving to Clarke Stadium when they were unable to fill Commonwealth or turn a profit. In both cases the move to Clarke Stadium was followed closely by the team folding.

The Edmonton Brickmen of the 1980s and 90s also played at the stadium, but played most matches at John Ducey Park, which was primarily a baseball diamond.

FC Edmonton of the North American Soccer League began playing their home games at Clarke Stadium with the 2012 season. They announced plans to increase the stadium capacity to 5,000 with temporary seating.[5] Since May 2013, the upgrade has been completed.[1][2]

In August 2013, NASL Commissioner Bill Peterson along with representatives of FC Edmonton met with officials of the city of Edmonton to discuss the replacement of the current turf. With the installment of the new stands, the aim is to convert the facility into a more soccer-specific stadium that will allow for other use. The conversion is being planned for completion by Spring 2014.[6][7]

References

  1. ^ a b Robb, Trevor (May 20, 2013). "FC Edmonton signs deal with The Score to broadcast six live Eddies games". Edmonton Examiner.com. 
  2. ^ a b FC Edmonton. "Clarke Stadium Stands Update". FC Edmonton. 
  3. ^ History of Edmonton
  4. ^ Canadian inflation numbers based on Statistics Canada. "Consumer Price Index, historical summary". CANSIM, table (for fee) 326-0021 and Catalogue nos. 62-001-X, 62-010-X and 62-557-X. And Consumer Price Index, by province (monthly) (Canada) Last modified 2015-09-08. Retrieved September 22, 2015
  5. ^ Greatest Boom Ever.com. "City to assess need for mid-sized soccer stadium". Greatest Boom Ever.com. 
  6. ^ FC Edmonton. "FC Edmonton Update on Clarke Stadium Revival". FC Edmonton. 
  7. ^ Sandor, Steven (August 18, 2013). "NASL commish Peterson to meet with Edmonton officials Monday about Clarke’s football lines". the11ca.com. 

External links

  • Photos of Clarke Stadium
  • Joe Clarke & Edmonton Stadium
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