Continued Community Efforts Sparking More Fan Engagement For FC Edmonton

The club has already doubled its season ticket sales from a year ago
Matthew Levine (@NASLInsider} | Jan 18, 2017

Photo credit: Tony Lewis

FC Edmonton had arguably the best season in club history on the field. With the league’s best defense, the club returned to the postseason for the first time since 2011 before losing to Indy Eleven, 1-0, in The Championship Semifinals.

Off the field, the club started new initiatives, which have carried into the offseason with the opening of the FC Edmonton fan shop.

The technical and front office staffs are both expected to be plenty busy as the season approaches to continue the growth from 2016.

“Our expectations are high of each other,” FC Edmonton GM Jay Ball told “We want to be a flagship operation in the NASL. We want to make sure our owner gets everything he deserves back from this club.

“We, as a front office, made a decision that this is going to be the busiest offseason in the history of the club and that’s what we’ve done. We’ve doubled our season seats already. We opened up the fan shop and it’s located in a major indoor soccer facility.”

Ball became the club’s general manager in Feb. 2016 and one of his first changes to the club’s game-day experience was one of the most important. He took the supporters’ section and moved it behind one of the goals, after consulting with members of the club's supporters' group, ESG, to help create a better atmosphere at Clarke Stadium.

“The soccer experience is the one thing that separates us from the others,” Ball said. “You really have to focus on the fan experience.

“That move alone ensured, and I think it sent a message to the rest of the fans, that the entertainment value and the soccer culture is No. 1.”

Ball’s first introduction to immersing himself in soccer culture was during his stint working in Edmonton during the Women’s World Cup in 2015.

“It was my first introduction to soccer specifically, but I had been involved in sports for a number of years,” he said. “I discovered there was a massive soccer market in the city and the soccer culture is pretty alive and well. It was also through that I met our owner, Tom Fath, because he was a large supporter of the Women’s World Cup as well.”

Building up the culture around the club even more, the Eddies hosted an outdoor watch party during The Championship Semifinals to prepare fans for a potential title game in Edmonton.

Without giving any specifics, Ball noted there should be plenty of surprises heading into the 2017 season, which should be announced in the next month or so.

Most importantly, the Eddies have remained a constant face in the soccer community over the winter months, which has led to a surge in ticket sales.  

“The season is over for the players, but it really is just beginning for the front office,” Ball said. “If the season ends and you don’t engage with the fans, you’re missing out and alienating them.”

For the upcoming season, the goal for Ball and the front office staff is a simple one.

“The front office has to rise to the level to the competiveness and drive on the pitch,” he said. “The mission of our team here internally is really simple and it’s to ensure the following stakeholders – the fans, the owners, the players, and ourselves – hear one thing: the roar of the crowd.”

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