MONTREAL – Having the 2017 MLS All-Star Game in Montreal would “make sense.”
Those were the words of MLS Commissioner Don Garber on Wednesday when asked about the potential of the Montreal Impact hosting the event at some point in the future.
Though he described the talks as “very preliminary” in pre-game remarks to reporters at Stade Saputo before Wednesday's Impact-D.C. United match, Garber pointed out that the 375th anniversary of Montreal's 1642 founding, coming up in 2017, would be an ideal occasion to award the prestigious hosting rights to the Quebec city.
“I think that it would make sense,” Garber said, “for us to work on the 2017 All-Star Game with the city if we’re able to put together the right type of mutual commitment to have the right team to be connected to, all these special programs that the city is going to plan, and find a way that we can form the right partnership to have an event that will be important and be worthy of the anniversary of this great city and also to have the right profile for the Montreal Impact.”
The idea was discussed on Wednesday morning as Garber briefly met Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre. The MLS Commissioner was enthusiastic upon meeting Coderre, a passionate sports fan who made headlines in recent weeks after a bet with the mayor of Boston over the Canadiens-Bruins series in the NHL's Stanley Cup playoffs.
“We were there to ask for his support for continuing to get the city behind the initiatives the Impact are looking to do in the community,” Garber said. “They are in discussions on a wide variety of projects and initiatives that we hope we can get municipal support for, not the least of which will be how Major League Soccer and the Impact participate in the 375th anniversary of the city. We brainstormed a bit about that.”