The Edmonton Minor Soccer Association (EMSA) doesn’t want to take no for an answer.
Officials have launched an orchestrated campaign to convince the City of Edmonton to scrap the delayed season opening that’s currently set to begin May 12.
In an email to members, EMSA general manager Dragos Niculescu wants the lobbying to move beyond city staff, and taken to the political level to “help the City of Edmonton re-analyze the facts,” about upcoming weather and field conditions.
Coun. Bryan Anderson said the root system of the grass can’t handle even the slightest bit of activity, let alone amateur soccer.
“Every time you stop, you skid off 15 inches of grass, simply bare it, and turn it into mud waiting for water to create a park pot hole,” he said.
“It’s extremely important that lawns and grass get an opportunity to not only dry out, but to get some kind of root foothold into the ground.”
He couldn’t even estimate the damage that would be done over the next two weeks.
“If we are on today we’re abusing. If we wait a little while we’re going to be able to use them well into the fall.”
Two more weeks remain in the three-week delay, a decision Anderson said wasn’t taken lightly by city staff.
“They certainly are aware of the need to allow teams to book fields, but they’re also given the responsibility of making sure that those fields are both in a usable condition and will maintain play through the spring summer and fall.”
EMSA argues that other parts of Metro Edmonton are getting an earlier start.
“EMSA office has conducted a survey in the Greater Edmonton area and found out that St. Albert will open its fields on May 3, Sherwood Park and Ft. Saskatchewan on May 8.”
Anderson has an inquiry coming back in June, with a business case for outfitting most district parks, and high school fields with artificial turf.