Cavalry Turns To BC-Based Stadium For Champions Cup Clash
With Cavalry FC now set to host Major League Soccer visitors Orlando City in two month’s time, the club has had to make a decision on where to play. Hosting at Spruce Meadows was always a tall order for the Calgary-based natural grass venue, which would need to meet Concacaf pitch standards at a time when Alberta runs cold and icy.
Today, Cavalry FC President Ian Allison has confirmed that Cavalry will be utilizing Langford, BC’s Starlight Stadium as its ‘home’ venue for the cup tie, migrating westwards for a FIFA-fanctioned home ground in lieu of being able to host things at Spruce Meadows.
“Despite the unseasonably mild start we have had to western Canadian winter, the frost is already quite deep in the subsurface of our pitch,” read a statement from Allison. “As such, we [have looked] at ways to mitigate any risks by playing our first-round match at an alternative Concacaf approved venue.”
While the decision certainly makes it hard for the Calgary-based clubs to bring in its own fans for the events, Allison points out that the 2023 CPL regular season champions are the northern-most club to feature in the Concacaf Champions Cup.
Since Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium was used by the national team during snowy November weather, however, there may be questions on why that venue couldn’t be locked in – and there may be valid reasons why it wasn’t.
The club’s main supporters’ group made their stance on the venue change quite clear following the announcement:
The 2024 Concacaf Champions Cup will see two Canadian Premier League entrants: Cavalry will play a home-and-away bout against Florida’s Orlando City SC, while playoff champions Forge FC were paired against Liga MX side CD Guadalajara.
This isn’t the first time CPL sides have shared venues when the seasonal needs required such: Atletico Ottawa hosted the Halifax Wanderers at York United’s home ground earlier this year given their own venue hosting challenges at the time, with a boisterous busload of fans still making the trek for the ‘home’ team.
While there are alternative turf locations within Alberta, at publishing time it isn’t known if any of them had been looked over for approval by Concacaf – and since Starlight Stadium had already seen action within their club competitions, it looks like they made the choice to lock in an available venue quickly.
Interested fans can read the club statement here.