Home NASL & USL FC Edmonton NASL commish Peterson to meet with Edmonton officials Monday about Clarke’s football lines

NASL commish Peterson to meet with Edmonton officials Monday about Clarke’s football lines


NASL Commissioner Bill Peterson was at Clarke Stadium Sunday to see the Eddies take on the Atlanta Silverbacks, a game played on decade-old turf with football lines on it.

And Peterson will try to lend his voice to FC Edmonton’s efforts to get the turf changed out in the city-owned facility. On Monday, Peterson and FCE owner Tom Fath will meet with city officials about the surface.

Peterson spoke with Gareth Hampshire and me during the Spotsnet 360 broadcast of Sunday’s game.

“I think we have to find a way to get the lines off the pitch,” he said. “The team and the sport deserves to play on a proper pitch.”

While he understands that nothing can be done for the remainder of the 2013 season, he hopes to see a new surface for the 2014 NASL campaign. In his mind, the renovation of Clarke stadium isn’t complete until a new surface is installed. FCE paid for the installation of new bleachers, which has raised the capacity of Clarke from 1,200 to 2,800.

Peterson said an option would be a new pitch with the erasable lines, so the facility could still be shared with gridiron teams.

Not only are the football lines bad for the players, so are the seams in the turf. FC Edmonton has lost two players to injury due to non-contact injuries on the surface; Carlyle Mitchell and Daryl Fordyce.

Peterson also said that the league won’t look at expansion bids that include pitches that have football lines on them. He said they are OK as a temporary solution, a new team can play on them for a year or two while it waits for new turf or a facility of its own. But it can’t float a football-lined surface as a permanent solution.

That may be an issue for the Calgary bid, where McMahon Stadium, home of the CFL Stampeders, is being floated as a stadium possibility. Peterson said Calgary, Winnipeg and Hamilton remain in the mix as potential expansion cities, even though the league has now made getting franchises into the western United States as a priority.

“We could possibly include Calgary as a new team with those western cities,” said Peterson.

Former FCE director of soccer has been working in Calgary to try and line up investors for an NASL franchise. Peterson did not confirm if his trip to Alberta includes a side trip to Calgary or not.

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  1. Kahkakew Yawassanay

    December 14, 2013 at 10:07 am

    Clarke is still unacceptable for semi pro NASL football…FCE should work with the city to bring in a 5000 seat Nussli stadium for the next few years before it is determined if they will be around after 2015 with such low attendance and obviously high financial losses


  2. Seathanaich

    August 23, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    That sounds encouraging for Calgary as a city that the NASL is prioritising expansion in the western US.

    McMahon was a horrible idea – why are people still stupid enough to think that CFL or NFL stadia can possibly work for D2 soccer?


  3. renzie

    August 20, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    In the old NASL Whitecaps days at Empire Stadium there were football lines for the Lions and it was horrible. BC Place is the home to both the Lions and Whitecaps and they often play within a day or two of each other and have their own unique field markings in place for their respective games. With modern turf and marking it does not seem to be an impossible task.


  4. Dave

    August 19, 2013 at 4:09 am

    I still can’t see the practicality of changing the lines almost every weekend. For instance the Huskies and wildcats played football Saturday night at Clarke. The game ended at 10 pm, the turf was soaking wet from the rainstorm earlier in the day. How practical would it have been to remove the football lines in a 16-hour turnover?


  5. Tomas

    August 19, 2013 at 1:51 am

    Just a correction,Clarke’s capacity went from 1200 to 4200 seats.Hope turfs upgraded for next year.

    Calgary could play temporarily at Glenmore,McMahon is too large even if they changed the turf.


    • Steven Sandor

      August 19, 2013 at 3:57 am

      Actually, Tomas, 2,800 is correct. The stands that were installed behind the football end zone are not in use. Right not we only count the original grandstand and the new bleacher section. Once the end-zone seats are put into use then capacity will rise to 4,200.


      • Tomas

        August 19, 2013 at 7:24 am

        hmmm….so capacity is 4200 seats but teams limiting it to 2800 seats for now, think thats a more accurate description. Its like Wakemed-it was expanded to around 10K but they tarp off 2K seats to leave 8000 for Railhawks games but its still 10K capacity and described as such. No big deal but the “2800” sounds rinky dink for NASL stadium and doesn’t tell the true story.

        Wonder if the endzone seats will be made available or needed for the New York Cosmos game.


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