Soccer stadium request put on hold
City will watch 2013 attendance to see if new facility is required
Edmonton city council wants to see how many fans will attend FC Edmonton games this season before committing to the larger soccer stadium requested by the team.
FC Edmonton owner Tom Fath said on Monday that facilities with 10,000 and 15,000 seats have been built for between $12 million and $40 million.
According to a city report, the North American Soccer League requires its members to play in home stadiums with a minimum capacity of 5,000.
Last year's home games were played at Clarke Stadium which holds 1,500. The team bought a modular bleacher system which will add another 3,500 seats.
Councillors will revisit the issue at the end of the year after they evaluate attendance at this year's games.
"What we need to see first is whether the modifications at Clarke Stadium actually do attract people into those seats and then to look forward again as what is the capability for Edmonton and region to support a 10- to 15,000-seat stadium," Coun. Karen Leibovici said.
The city report outlines several other scenarios including converting Telus Field into a facility for both soccer and baseball games, increasing seating at Clarke Stadium to 10,000 and using the lower bowl of Commonwealth Stadium, which has a capacity of 32,000