October snowstorm results in power outages and cancelled playoff games

The first snow in Calgary, Oct. 22, 2022. Global News/Carolyn Kury de Castillo

Saturday’s snowfall created trouble for Calgarians who lost their power and were involved in Bantam Football playoffs.

The show went on for some Bantam and Pee Wee football players inside the new Shouldice Seasonal Dome which recently opened in Calgary.

The same can’t be said for all the teams that were scheduled to play on the outdoor fields at Shouldice Athletic Park on Saturday.

Some of the play off games were called off because of the snow.

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“It’s an awful reaction. My phone has been going crazy here from coaches trying to explain to parents why they’re not playing,” said Ron Logan, the past president of Calgary Bantam Football Association.

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Logan said the purpose behind building the artificial turf fields at Shouldice Athletic Park back in 2009 was to prevent weather from stopping play.

“The idea of having a turf field would mean we would never get games cancelled again due to weather. Until we can’t get people to run the equipment to clean them.

That’s an issue we have right now but the city is working on that as best they can.”

Logan said he was told by the city on Saturday they don’t have the staff to clear the green turf that lies buried under snow.

“They just basically don’t have the people to clear the fields. They have staff of around three people here. They assured me they are working on it but they just can’t get the people,” Logan said.

Just last week children were playing in shorts and sandals in Riley Park, but on Saturday kids had constructed snowmen with leafy limbs.

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According to the city, 370 tree concerns were reported since midnight. Fifty-three had fallen on pathways or roads.

Power outages were reported in at least 10 neighbourhoods in Calgary. ENMAX teams scrambled to restore power – clearing branches resting on power lines. City crews were plowing major routes throughout the day.

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As for playoff football, Calgary Bantam Football Association is now busy trying to find locations to play this week which Logan said is a tricky task considering high school football playoffs have many fields booked.

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According to a city rental contract, snow removal is not guaranteed on Shouldice Artificial Turf fields but some parents say the city needs to be prepared for the inevitable.

“I think we probably should’ve been a little more prepared and have the resources available to shovel off the fields because it’s October in Calgary. We can get these in September, so I’m not quite sure why the city refused to scrape them off today,” said Justin Davis, who was at the Shouldice Seasonal Dome with his son on Saturday.

Logan said he appreciates the city looking into the snow clearing issue and the Calgary Blizzard Soccer Club for providing football teams with a place to play on Saturday at the Shouldice Seasonal Dome but it’s not ideal.

“The dome is a wonderful area for practice, but the fact is we don’t have score clocks and we have minimal bleachers and no press box. There is no height for filming. We don’t have a sound system. It’s a great practice facility, but not really meant for games,” Logan said.

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The Mount Royal Cougars men’s soccer games have also been rescheduled because of the weather.

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