WATCH ABOVE: Half a billion people worldwide will watch the match Saturday and thousands will take it in in person here. Kent Morrison takes a closer look at the impact of the FIFA Women’s World Cup on Edmonton.
EDMONTON — From June 6 to July 5, Alberta’s Capital City will host elite female soccer teams from around the world for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015.
Tuesday night, Team Canada arrived at the Edmonton International Airport. The athletes were greeted by dozens of local soccer fans.
“I’m tearing up already,” said Edmonton-born goalkeeper Erin McLeod. “It’s an incredible welcome. We didn’t expect this obviously, but it’s icing on the cake.”
“It’s extra fuel, it’s extra energy,” said McLeod of competing on home turf. “You never really think you’re going to exert too much energy by singing the anthem or seeing family and friends but we have to be smart and make sure that, the closer we get to the game, we’re more focused on the match and no mater what, we’re keeping our energy.”
Captain Christine Sinclair said she’s really looking forward to the first match, especially hearing 45,000 Canadians sing the national anthem.
“I feel like it’s going to be very overwhelming and emotional and I hope it’s very loud.”
WATCH: FIFA Women’s World Cup about to kick off in Edmonton
Edmonton will host 11 matches during the competition at Commonwealth Stadium, including Team Canada matches on June 6 and 11; group matches on June 16; round of 16 matches on June 20 and 22; a quarter final match on June 27; a semi final match on July 1; and third place match on July 4.
For the full FIFA Women’s World Cup schedule, click here.
For the opening match on June 6, the opening ceremony at 3:40 p.m. is included as part of your match ticket. Grammy Award winning artist Sarah McLachlan and Juno Award winning duo Tegan and Sara will perform.
Edmonton Tourism said FIFA Women’s World Cup is projected to inject $48.5 million into the Edmonton visitor economy.
“I think this projected number is one of the highest we’ve seen from an international sporting event,” said Renee Williams, communications manager for Edmonton Tourism.
“We know, with all the marketing that we’ve done and the push that’s happened from the city locally, we’re going to see a big number at the end of this.”
Williams said these kinds of events are huge for Edmonton and lay the groundwork for the city’s future success hosting world-class events.
“This tourism market is one of the key markets in terms of diversifying our economy. We’re seeing there’s an impact with retail, restaurants, hotels.”
“We’re going to keep going after big events.”
Traffic and Parking implications
There will be no parking at Commonwealth Stadium on any match day. Surrounding roads will be closed to accommodate additional transit and Park and Ride. A residential parking ban will also be in place.
However, match tickets include free bus, LRT or Park & Ride to and from Commonwealth Stadium on match days.
Transit services will be increased to accommodate more passengers on match days.
In addition to the matches themselves, there are several events where Edmonton fans can show their support and get in on the FIFA action.
Team Canada Fan March on June 6
To celebrate the tournament kickoff in Edmonton, Team Canada fans will be marching to Commonwealth Stadium at 2:30 p.m. Meet on the east side of Borden Park (73 Street & north of 112 Avenue) and look for the City of Edmonton soccer tent to collect your Canada items.
Opening ceremonies start at 3:40 p.m. prior to the Team Canada vs China match at 4 p.m.
Show us Your Soccer Smarts in the 15 Days to Kickoff Trivia Contest
The city and Edmonton Tourism will give away 60 tickets to the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada matches.
For full contest rules and to enter, visit exploreedmonton.com/15DaysToKickoff. The contest runs until June 5.
Watch FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 games on a huge outdoor screen
The City of Edmonton is hosting free viewing parties for select FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 games.
The family-friendly events in Centennial Plaza (behind the Stanley A. Milner Library downtown) will broadcast the matches on a 10-foot HD LED screen.
Guests can also enjoy additional soccer-themed fun, including skills demonstrations, video games and face painters.
Food trucks will be on site. Bring your own chairs.
Dates and Times:
· Monday, June 15 – Thailand vs Germany at 2 p.m. & Canada vs Netherlands at 5:30 p.m.
· Sunday, June 21 – Round of 16 at 2 p.m. & 5:30 p.m.
· Friday, June 26 – Quarter-finals at 2 p.m. & at 5:30 p.m.
· Tuesday, June 30 – Semi-final at 5 p.m.
· Sunday, July 5 – Final at 5 p.m.