Home NASL & USL FC Edmonton Sunday afternoon matches dominate fan-friendly FC Edmonton schedule

Sunday afternoon matches dominate fan-friendly FC Edmonton schedule

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FC Edmonton’s schedule in 2012 will be far more fan-friendly than it was in 2011.

NASL released the full league schedule Thursday, and all but three of FC Edmonton’s home dates will feature 2 p.m. Sunday start times. Last season, FCE was plagues with many weeknight starts that made it hard for families to attend games.

Of course, the reason for many of the odd start times last season was the fact that FC Edmonton was not the prime tenant at the University of Alberta’s Foote Field. And, with a new schedule filled with Sunday afternoon matches, you have to feel that it’s further indication that the team is set to call a new venue home — even though it still has yet to confirm a venue.

The team and city officials have been discussing both short- and long-term solutions for finding FC Edmonton a home — and Clarke Stadium, located right next to Commonwealth Stadium, has been discussed. But Clarke, at the moment, has capacity for around 1,000 and would need work in order for it to be ready for the April 22 home opener.

“Every day we are working on finalizing a deal,” said FCE general manager Tom Leip. “In fact, it’s more like every minute that we are working on this.”

The team has yet to officially announce its Canadian Championship semifinal date with the Vancouver Whitecaps — even though it has been confirmed by a number of different sources. Those matches are slated to take place in early May.

One of the reasons for the slow release of the Canadian Championship schedule is the need to get the new sponsor’s name in place. The tournament is not expected to be known as the Nutrilite Canadian Championship in 2012.

While working on the schedule with the league, FC Edmonton also contacted the CFL Eskimos to ask their advice on the most fan-friendly home start times. Because so many Edmontonians like to be in the outdoors — and go to the lake or the mountains on the weekend — in a short summer window, the wisdom is that you want to play at beginning (Friday night) or end of the weekend (Sunday afternoon, at least until NFL starts), to give fans a chance to see a game before they leave town or just after they return. But FCE was also mindful that it didn’t want to go head-to-head against the Eskimos.

“For our fans, the Sundays are especially important,” said Leip. “Most working people plan their weekends, and that’s especially true in the summer. And we know that, in many parts of the world, there is a tradition of soccer Sunday.”

FCE will finish with three of its last four games at home, which will give the Eddies an advantage if they’re embroiled in a tight race for playoff positions.

There is one drawback to the schedule; this season, the Eddies have to make two arduous trips to Puerto Rico, which require three flights from Edmonton and are expensive on the owner’s pocketbook. Last season, the team played back-to-back games in Bayamon, meaning it only had to fly in once, play both matches, and leave.

SCHEDULE
Sat Apr. 7 5:30 pm MDT Fort Lauderdale Strikers AWAY
Sat Apr.14 5:30 pm MDT Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. FC Edmonton AWAY
Wed Apr. 18 5:30 pm MDT Puerto Rico Islanders vs. FC AWAY
Sun Apr. 22 2:05 pm MDT FC Edmonton vs. Minnesota Stars HOME
Sun May 2:05 pm MDT FC Edmonton vs. Carolina RailHawks HOME
Sat May 12 5:30 pm MDT Atlanta Silverbacks vs. FC Edmonton AWAY
Sat May/19 6:30 pm MDT San Antonio Scorpions vs. FC Edmonton AWAY
Sun May 27 2:05 pm MDT FC Edmonton vs. San Antonio Scorpions HOME
Sun June 3 2:05 pm MDT FC Edmonton vs. Atlanta Silverbacks HOME
Sun June 10 2:05 pm MDT FC Edmonton vs. Fort Lauderdale Strikers HOME
Sat June 16 5:30 pm MDT Fort Lauderdale Strikers vs. FC Edmonton AWAY
Sat June 23 5:00 pm MDT Carolina RailHawks vs. FC Edmonton AWAY
Sun July 1 2:05 pm MDT FC Edmonton vs. Puerto Rico Islanders HOME
Wed July 4 5:00 pm MDT San Antonio Scorpions vs. FC Edmonton AWAY
Sat July 7 5:30 pm MDT Puerto Rico Islanders vs. FC Edmonton AWAY
Sun July 15 2:05 pm MDT FC Edmonton vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies HOME
Sat July 21 5:30 pm MDT Atlanta Silverbacks vs. FC Edmonton AWAY
Sat July 28 5:30 pm MDT Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. FC Edmonton AWAY
Sat Aug. 4 7:05 pm MDT FC Edmonton vs. Minnesota Stars HOME
Wed Aug. 8 7:05 pm MDT FC Edmonton vs. San Antonio Scorpions HOME
Sun Aug. 12 2:05 pm MDT FC Edmonton vs. Puerto Rico Islanders HOME
Sat Aug. 18 5:00 pm MDT Carolina RailHawks vs. FC Edmonton AWAY
Sat Aug. 25 6:30 pm MDT Minnesota Stars FC vs. FC Edmonton AWAY
Sun Sept. 2 2:05 pm MDT FC Edmonton vs. Atlanta Silverbacks HOME
Sat Sept. 8 6:30 pm MDT Minnesota Stars FC vs. FC Edmonton AWAY
Wed Sept.12 7:05 pm MDT FC Edmonton vs. Carolina RailHawks HOME
Sun Sept. 16 2:05 pm MDT FC Edmonton vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies HOME
Sun Sept. 23 2:05 pm MDT FC Edmonton vs. Fort Lauderdale Strikers HOME

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3 Comments

  1. John K

    February 3, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    Why not use Commonwealth instead of Clarke? Commonwealth has new Field Turf with erasable line markings. It has ample armchair seating in the lower bowl alone.

    The existing Clarke grandstand is all bench seating. Adding temporary bleacher seating to Clarke would project a bush league image even in comparison to Foote Field.

  2. Jamonty

    January 20, 2012 at 9:03 am

    At least the two Puerto Rico trips are timed in connection with another road game (2x Florida in April & S.Antonio in July). Provides at least a short break in the flying.
    What I see as costly looks to be when there are two consecutive AWAY games that are 7 days apart (May 12&19, July 21&28, Aug 18&25). Would the team theoretically spend a whole week away in hotels or fly back to Edm?
    I see a bunch of tough economic decisions if I were in the FO. Any talk of chartering an aircraft? Not likely at the NASL level…

  3. seathanaich

    January 19, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    If Clarke has artificial turf and gridiron lines, then it’s far from ideal. What FCE needs to do is get some municipal land, and build a stadium one piece at a time. Start with a main stand, with temp seating on the other three sides, and grow from there. After all, that’s how all the old CFL stadiums “grew”.

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