WATCH ABOVE: The warm weather is good news for sports organizations anxiously waiting to start using outdoor city sports fields in Edmonton. Sarah Kraus reports.
Thanks to the warm weather expected in Edmonton over the next few days, the city will open its sports fields on May 8.
Early last week, the city said the fields were too wet so their opening would be set back by three weeks, until May 12.
While fields will be open four days earlier than hoped, the city urges people to continue to watch for wet, soggy conditions. Not all fields will be 100 per cent ready for play.
“Some of our fields will not be what they expect when they normally see us open,” said Rodger Davidson with the City of Edmonton. “There will be some fields that aren’t lined, there will be some ball diamonds where the shale – we’ve done a quick groom, but we haven’t done the fine grooming of the shale to have it ready for the season. But it will be playable.
“We do ask that if the public do show up at a field, they do find that it is still wet or soggy or the conditions aren’t playable, that they… use their discretion and just not play on that field.”
The city said it received some complaints after announcing the delay. The Edmonton Minor Soccer Association, which represents 22,000 young soccer players, was upset, saying it would lose a quarter of its season.
The city said the delay was necessary to keep the fields in good shape through the summer.
“Wet conditions and a lot of people on them would just lead to the grass not taking and we would have poor fields for the duration of our season,” Davidson said.
Temperatures are expected to hit 29 C in Edmonton on Friday and while there’s a bit of rain in the forecast over the weekend, the city said it shouldn’t put a damper on opening day on Monday.