New Edmonton downtown soccer stadium highlights Heart of the Capital campaign

A new soccer stadium is one of the key projects being pushed by “Heart of the Capital,” a lobby group that is urging Edmonton’s city council to revitalize the downtown core.

The group of anonymous “young professional advertising executives who chose to remain in Edmonton” have launched a website that advocates the continued revitalization of the city’s downtown. That includes expanded LRT service (already under construction) and a new Royal Alberta Museum (for which the province has already earmarked $500 million). As expected, the proposed downtown arena for the Edmonton Oilers is on the list, but right next to it is the soccer stadium. See it HERE.

FC Edmonton owner Tom Fath confirmed that he’s had no contact with the Heart of the Capital group — that it has taken on this PR blitz without any incentives from the club, which just completed its first NASL season.

When FIFA officials were in Edmonton two weeks ago for a pre-Women’s World Cup site visit, Mayor Stephen Mandel said that the city and FC Edmonton, which just wrapped up its first NASL season, had to work together to find a new home for the club. And he said a 10,000-15,000 stadium would offer the soccer club a home and be able to host other events. It could be a legacy left behind by the 2015 Women’s World Cup.

The Heart of the Capital movement has picked up on that theme.

Heart of the Capital’s mission statement?

“Personally, we would rather help finish the painting that is Edmonton and push for its evolution into a truly fantastic, community-centric city. We are the future demographic of this city, we are the next generation, and we have many opportunities to leave but choose not to.

“We are not in the position to help finance, or coordinate, some of the major projects that we would like to see in Edmonton. We do have a skill set that can be helpful to promote information and support.”

“Misinformation and lack of information seem to be the themes that surround Edmonton’s growth. Our goal is to promote City changing projects and promote educated decisions about the future of our city.”

And that includes a downtown soccer facility for the Women’s World Cup and FC Edmonton.

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About Steven Sandor

I'm currently the colour commentator for FC Edmonton broadcasts on Sportsnet, NASL.com and TEAM 1260. I've covered the Toronto FC beat for four years, worked for the Edmonton Aviators of the USL for a season, covered the Edmonton Drillers of the NPSL and started covering Canadian World Cup qualifiers in 1996. I've covered the CONCACAF Champions League and the U-20 World Cup. I'm passionate about soccer in North America.