Aiming for 10,000 fans
FC Edmonton has brought in a quality opponent, but will the people come?
By Derek van Diest, Edmonton Sun
June 17, 2010
For FC Edmonton, the deal might have come together too quickly. Offered a chance to hold their training camp in Edmonton, where they were asked to play an exhibition game against a local club in its infancy, Chilean giants Colo-Colo jumped at the opportunity.
Now the hope is that soccer fans will jump at the chance to watch them play at (4 p.m., Sunday at Commonwealth)
“A good crowd would be over 10,000, but being realistic, I’m hoping over 7,000, just because of the late start,” said FC Edmonton general manager Mel Kowalchuk. “We’re hoping ticket sales would go a lot quicker, but we had a couple of glitches.
“We tested the waters to see what the public would buy and we put out what we thought were very good packages and the public didn’t respond, so we pulled back a couple of days ago and so we just focused on the Montreal game, and now we’re focusing on the Colo-Colo game and we’ve noticed a little bit of pickup in ticket sales.
“The fact that we’ve made it a lot simpler and cleaner is what we had to do.”
One of the most renowned teams in South America, the hope is Colo-Colo attracts a wide range of soccer fans to Commonwealth Stadium on Sunday.
There is a contingency plan in place for a large walk-up crowd.
“This team has produced tremendous talent and it’s something that I think our players are going to grow with it big time,” Kowalchuk said. “That’s what we wanted and we hope the public responds to it.”
While not in the same class, FC Edmonton is hoping to put up a spirited fight against their foreign opponents and build on the experience.
“Bringing them here, I think it shows Edmonton and all the soccer fans that we’re serious to where we want to go,” Kowalchuk said. “It will give our team a gauge where they are. After this game, I don’t think they’ll be afraid to face anyone in the world because they’re facing one of the top organizations and teams in the world.”