After selling 30,000 tickets in less than 48 hours, the Montreal Impact has less than 10,000 tickets available for the first leg of the Eastern conference final against Toronto FC. The bleu-blanc-noir has become an event as Montrealers and Quebecers are flocking to the Big O , not a very popular venue for the 514 resident.
As the buzz around the Impact is getting as close as it can get to its peak, the city is breathing soccer, football, foot, calcio. Joey Saputo's bet seem to be paying off as he invested time and money to build a Montreal institution. Though the 15K attendance , during the home leg against the New York Red Bulls, was quite troublesome for a team that needed all of its supporters.
Those supporters have responded as more than 50,000 people will come and support the Bleu-Blanc-Noir in its quest to make more history yet again and go past Toronto FC to the MLS Cup final.
As the MLS Cup final will not be played in Montreal (being the lowest seed in playoffs), this is a chance to give your Adieu to the heroes of 2016, whether the mighty Reds and the atomic ant are beaten or not. This is the last chance to see Didier Drogba wear the Impact colors and finish the season with a bang and hopefully a MLS Cup.
But let's not forget about the tainted status of the 2016 heroes during the same year. It was not long ago that the team was suffering , unable to find any kind of momentum during the dog days of summer. Only a few weeks before the end of the season did Montreal pick up the pace, probably inspired by the Houston Dynamo of Dominic Kinnear. And many will hope that the ending for Montreal will be happier than the losing (but proud) finalists' during recent MLS Cup finals.
At this point, it would be impossible to extrapolate on how many of the 30K (more fans than at a full Stade Saputo) could be converted into season ticket holders, members as the club calls them. Creeping up on 10,000 members for this year, how does one convert 5%, 10%, 20% of a "fan base " that came to attend an event, yes an event ( see the 2015 CONCACAF Champions League Final)
Though many of the attendees could be true soccer fans but they did not shell out the mental and monetary commitment to be part of the Montreal Impact/MLS economy and subsequently part of the soccer and supporter culture of a city that still lives in the eternal shadow of the Montreal Canadiens.