Parking woes dampen some fans' excitement at Cavalry FC's 1st game

Twenty-six minutes into Calgary's first professional soccer team Cavalry FC's first game, Jordan Brown (9) scored an historic first goal for the team against York 9 FC.

Hundreds of fans spent the first half of the inaugural game stuck in traffic

Hundreds of fans missed the kickoff of Cavalry FC's historic first game because they were stuck waiting for parking outside of Spruce Meadows. (Dave Waddell/CBC, Canadian Press)

It took just twenty-six minutes for Calgary's new professional soccer team to make history.

Cavalry FC forward Jordan Brown (9) scored the team's first goal ever in a match against York 9 FC.

But hundreds of fans weren't in their seats to see it. Instead, they were still sitting in their vehicles, stuck in long lines of traffic on 22X on the way to the Spruce Meadows pitch.

Fans tweeted that after more than an hour of waiting they were forced to turn around, or that they didn't make it to their seats until the second half of the game was well underway.

Kayla Denness said her husband and eight-year-old son were forced to turn around and head home well after missing the start of the game because they didn't think they had a chance of getting into the parking lot.

"[My son's] soccer has been cancelled because of the weather, and he was really looking forward to getting a look at the professionals and see how they do it," she said. 

"We're season ticket holders. We're disappointed with the start. We were hoping that we'd be able to say that we were at their first game, you know, to help them kick off their first ever season … maybe they'll have a bit better communication about different options for where else we could park, or some of the shuttle options that are available."

Matthew Brosseau, another season ticket holder, also missed the start but walked up the stairs just in time to see the first goal scored.

"When we went to turn we noticed there was a line of cars like nothing I've ever seen before. I've been to a bunch of show jumping tournaments [at Spruce Meadows] and I've never seen it backed up that much," he said.

Brosseau said he's part of a supporters group, and the vehicle of people he was travelling with as well as a bus full of others who were coming from a nearby pub had to stop about a kilometre away, leaving the groups to trudge through the muck and snow to the entrance.

Matthew Brosseau shared this photo of fans walking to their cars following Cavalry FC's inaugural game. (Matthew Brosseau)

He said both groups had purchased parking passes in advance and followed the route recommended by the team — but to no avail, adding that arena staff were unsympathetic when he raised concerns.

"I'm just really upset that when I brought it up  … the response that I get it is just that, 'oh, it's construction and we can't really do anything' is kind of not great," he said.

Brosseau said he's a bit concerned this will be an issue for other high-interest weekend games, and plans to leave earlier for the upcoming game against Winnipeg Valour on Wednesday.

The club does have free shuttles from Somerset-Bridlewood C-Train station to bring fans to games. 

CBC News has reached out to the club for a response.


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