CF Montreal will be permitted to play the last three regular-season fixtures at Stade Saputo to full capacity... but how many fans will actually attend?
Indeed there’s a danger the biggest attendance at the east Montreal venue between now and season’s end won’t even be a CF Montreal fixture, with the ever-popular Canadian WNT due to meet New Zealand there.
The club announced the news yesterday following on from release of latest directives announced by Quebec’s health authorities. The new measure is effective October 8, with Montreal’s home game against Philadelphia Union (October 16, 1pm) being the first fixture to benefit.
The requirement to produce a vaccine passport however has not gone away. For all ticket-holders aged 13 and older this remains mandatory.
The chronically low attendance on Wednesday evening (official figures have not been published on MLS.com by the club since returning to Stade Saputo earlier this year) suggests the new regulation will not have much effect on the remaining MLS games in 2021, with many fans choosing to remain away from the stadium. And of course one notable section is due to remain closed.
The home game against Atlanta tomorrow should help observers understand if the gathering watching the 1-4 defeat to New England was merely a blip, and more related to weather conditions or the fact it was a midweek fixture.
Football fans the world over vote with their feet. Should the Atlanta attendance suggest the development of a downward trend, will the club then be forced to take a long, hard, retrospective look at some recent decisions, which at the very least have caused division of the fanbase and brought only questionable benefit so far?
Embroiled deeply in a play-off race, we all should be talking about Wilfried Nancy’s football team, yet that’s not the main topic of conversation around CF Montreal these days.
It really is all a bit messy.