FC Edmonton returns home, welcomes fans to the stands

Edmonton’s professional soccer team opened its gates to fans Saturday evening for the first time in nearly two years.

The pandemic forced FC Edmonton to play its 2020 season in a bubble in Prince Edward Island. This season started in a bubble in Winnipeg, but as restrictions have lifted and the country looks toward reopening, the team is now back at home and ready to hear the roar from fans.

“It gives us that extra energy,” head coach Alan Koch told CTV News Edmonton.

“You can feel that positive vibe. Now that we are standing here it is incredibly exciting.”

Eric Newendorp, president and general manager, said he was excited to be back at Clarke Stadium.

“We couldn’t be happier to be back here,” he shared.

“It’s going to be emotional to see fans and supporters here,” Koch added.

“Being in a bubble is an absolute grind. I had never been in a true bubble like that before.

“You are essentially cut off from the free world because you are stranded in a hotel the entire time.”

Frontline health care workers were honoured at the game for their contributions during the pandemic. Health care workers were eligible to receive two complimentary tickets to enjoy FC Edmonton action.

“It’s the least we can do,” Newendorp said.

FC Edmonton comes home with a 2-4-2 record and hopes having their own soccer pitch back will give them a fresh start.