FC Edmonton owner Tom Fath wants to see a return of pro soccer in Edmonton and on Wednesday, he got a step closer when the community services committee agreed to continue to look at requests from the soccer club to upgrade Clarke Stadium.
Fath, along with other stakeholders, spoke at the committee meeting to discuss the requests put forward by FC Edmonton.
The requested changes to the stadium are to meet guidelines set by the Canadian Premier League, which is set to kick off in 2019. Fath wants FCE to join that league.
The guidelines include adding more stands to the 4,000-seat stadium, as well as making FC Edmonton the primary tenant.
While 12 of the 16 people who spoke at the meeting were in favour of a soccer-specific stadium, the football community, including the Edmonton Eskimos, expressed concern.
“We need to know what exactly they’re asking for and it’s extremely vague,” Eskimos president and CEO Len Rhodes said. “So in certain situations there may be potential issues and I think there is especially dealing with accessibility… we’re not even sure what exactly they’re asking for.
“Dialogue is everything and we want them to succeed but not to the detriment of football.”
On Wednesday evening, the committee decided to send this back to administration and continue working with the Eskimos and FC Edmonton to find solutions.