Montreal Impact could break soccer attendance record in Canada in home opener

Only 6,000 tickets remain for Montreal's home opener against Chicago. Canada's soccer attendance record was also set by Montreal against Chicago, albeit in the NASL. Canada coming on April 1

The Montreal Impact could set a Canadian record for attendance of a professional soccer game Saturday. Already, the club has sold 54,000 tickets for the home opener against the Chicago Fire, with Olympic Stadium expected to reach its capacity of 60,000.

The current record stands at 58,542. That was set in 1981 when the Montreal Manic hosted the Chicago Sting in the NASL.

The Impact has already scraped at that number before. In 2009, over 55,000 fans crammed into the Olympic Stadium to watch the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal against Santos Laguna. Montreal won that match 2-0, but failed to progress after a late collapse in the away leg.

Though the numbers make for impressive reading, they are not sustainable. Saputo Stadium, the Impact's permanent home, is undergoing renovation and will be ready with a new 20,000 capacity on June 16. The club has only sold 7,500 season tickets.

Last week, Toronto FC set a club record when over 47,000 fans showed up at Rogers Centre for the first leg of the CCL quarterfinal matchup with the Galaxy. Thanks to an away win midweek, TFC advanced to the semis, the first Canadian club to do so.

Toronto's BMO Field, like Vancouver's BC Place, has a capacity a tick over 21,000.

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