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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 Edmonton Huskies and the Edmonton Wildcats of the Canadian Junior Football League, and FC Edmonton of the Canadian Premier League.

Clarke Stadium
Clarke Park
Clarke Stadium.jpg
Clarke Stadium with Commonwealth Stadium in the background
Location11000 Stadium Road
Edmonton, Alberta
Coordinates53°33′26″N 113°28′42″W / 53.55722°N 113.47833°W / 53.55722; -113.47833Coordinates: 53°33′26″N 113°28′42″W / 53.55722°N 113.47833°W / 53.55722; -113.47833
OwnerThe City of Edmonton
Capacity20,000 (original)
4,100 (rebuilt)
5,100 (2019)[1][2][3] [4]
SurfaceGrass (1938–2000)
Artificial Turf (2000–present)
Construction
Opened1938
Renovated2001 and 2013
Construction costC$7,000[5]
($121 thousand in 2018 dollars[6])
Tenants
Edmonton Eskimos (CFL) (1949–1978)
Edmonton Drillers (NASL) (1982)
Edmonton Brickmen (CSL) (1987–1990)
Edmonton Aviators (A-League) (2004)
FC Edmonton (NASL/CPL) (2012–2017, 2019–)

Contents

HistoryEdit

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 Prime Minister 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. Some "endzone" stands were added years later. The stadium hosted the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League from 1949 to 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.

RemodellingEdit

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.

SoccerEdit

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 began playing their North American Soccer League home games at Clarke Stadium with the 2012 season. In May 2013, construction was completed to expand the stadium's capacity to 5,000, using temporary seating.[7][2][3] In August 2013, NASL Commissioner Bill Peterson and representatives of FC Edmonton met with officials of the City of Edmonton to discuss the installation of artificial turf, as the final step in converting the facility into a more soccer-specific stadium, while still allowing for other use. The conversion of the turf was completed in time for the 2014 season.[8][9] The stadium was further renovated in advance of the 2019 CPL season, with seating increased to 5,148 and the block of temporary stands from 2013 removed in favor of permanent seating, with stands now added behind both goals along with pitch side tables beside both teams dugouts.[4]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Canada - FC Edmonton - Results, fixtures, squad, statistics, photos, videos and news - Soccerway". int.soccerway.com. Retrieved March 7, 2019.
  2. ^ a b Robb, Trevor (May 20, 2013). "FC Edmonton signs deal with The Score to broadcast six live Eddies games". Edmonton Examiner.com.
  3. ^ a b FC Edmonton. "Clarke Stadium Stands Update". FC Edmonton. Archived from the original on September 27, 2013. Retrieved September 25, 2013.
  4. ^ a b "'To the next level': FC Edmonton's Clarke Stadium ready for Canadian Premier League". December 13, 2018. Retrieved March 7, 2019.
  5. ^ History of Edmonton[dead link]
  6. ^ Canadian inflation numbers based on Statistics Canada tables 18-10-0005-01 (formerly CANSIM 326-0021) "Consumer Price Index, annual average, not seasonally adjusted". Statistics Canada. Retrieved March 6, 2019. and 18-10-0004-13 "Consumer Price Index by product group, monthly, percentage change, not seasonally adjusted, Canada, provinces, Whitehorse, Yellowknife and Iqaluit". Statistics Canada. Retrieved March 6, 2019.
  7. ^ Greatest Boom Ever.com. "City to assess need for mid-sized soccer stadium". Greatest Boom Ever.com.
  8. ^ FC Edmonton. "FC Edmonton Update on Clarke Stadium Revival". FC Edmonton. Archived from the original on October 2, 2013. Retrieved September 29, 2013.
  9. ^ Sandor, Steven (August 18, 2013). "NASL commish Peterson to meet with Edmonton officials Monday about Clarke's football lines". the11ca.com. Archived from the original on October 2, 2013.

External linksEdit