Commonwealth Stadium

Capacity56 302
Country Canada
ClubsEdmonton Elks
Inauguration 15/07/1978
Renovations 1982, 2001, 2008, 2013
Record attendance 63,317 (Montreal Alouettes - Saskatchewan Roughriders, 28/11/2010)
Design Ragan, Bell, McManus Consultants
Address 11000 Stadium Road, P.O. Box 2359, Edmonton, AB T5J-2R7, Canada


Commonwealth Stadium – stadium description

As the name suggests, new stadium in Edmonton was commissioned to hold the Commonwealth Games. Decision was made in 1974 not to expand the old Clarke Stadium, but rather to build a brand new venue for the 1978. It was located north-east of the business district in Edmonton, possible to reach by (then in planning phase) light rail transit.

From the start, the case of possible roof was raising concerns. It was in time when Montreal was struggling with its overly-complicated cover and any kind of cover was expected to raise the new stadium’s price by roughly 50% or more. Despite some campaigning by Edmonton Eskimos, attempts to add a roof even after the 1978 Commonwealth Games were eventually dropped by 1980s.

Not without reason, too. By that time there was already an expansion envisioned as Edmonton was preparing to host the 1983 Universiade. Initially opened with 40,000 capacity, the stadium saw upper decks expanded and reached just over 60,000 altogether.

This size was retained until 2013, when gradual seat replacement brought a decrease due to use of wider seats. They were also in new colouring: instead of red, green-yellow-green mosaic along the Eskimos coat of arms was created.

From the start this stadium has had a running track, but not any significant sections of seating behind goals. Parts of the lower tier spread to the curves, but this still leaves plenty of room for expansion. Well, not in the south, where a vast sports/commercial center was built with some skyboxes included.

Not that any expansion is needed for regular use. The Eskimos, who are the major tenant, have averaged below 40,000 over two last decades. Also soccer has received a rather chilly welcome. Since the 1994 friendly against Brazil, no men’s footie/soccer match was watched by a 50,000+ crowd. For female football this happened twice in 2015, when Canada hosted the Women’s World Cup. Major international events like this were quite plenty in this stadium’s short history, including concerts, exhibition NHL game, Grey Cup games and other.



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