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Published online at on March 30, 2011.

Linda Hoang, Global News: Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Snow to delay outdoor sports season: city

Outdoor sports enthusiasts and amateur athletes eagerly awaiting the spring season should expect some delays, the city has warned.

While city fields are scheduled to open on April 26, officials are saying players will have to wait.

Not only are the fields still covered in snow, the city also says that once the snow melts, no activities can be done until the fields dry up.

“Normally we could open at the end of April but I dont think this will be the case this year,” said Warren Schacher with the city’s park operations.

Schacher says fields won’t likely be ready for athletes until mid-May, which means a number of scheduled outdoor games including soccer and baseball, will likely need to be cancelled.

“We’ve got bookings that are scheduled,” he said. “It’s definitely going to be a hardship on them.”

But it wouldn’t be the first time there’s been cancellations in the city due to weather.

Last June, 800 minor soccer games in the Capital Region were cancelled because of rain.

This year’s numbers will likely be similiar, with delays affecting thousands of athletes in the city, including soccer player Brandon Quibell.

“I’m bummed there’s snow everywhere,” Quibell said. “You can’t kick balls in the snow.”

Tammy Brown, president of the Millwoods Baseball League, says players in her league are anxious to get out on the fields as well.

“They’re eager. People have paid a fee to play for two months, you like to give them the opportunity,” Brown said.

But she admits at this point, there’s nothing they can do.

“I don’t know what’s gonna happen,” Brown said. “You can only change the weather so much, we only have so much control.”

There are 1,800 outdoor sports fields in Edmonton.

Click here to read the article on the Global Edmonton website.

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