MEXICO CITY – The Big O will officially be packed.
Montreal Impact executive vice-president of soccer operations and Stade Saputo Richard Legendre confirmed Tuesday afternoon that tickets have sold out for the second leg of the CONCACAF Champions League final between Montreal and Club América next Wednesday at the Olympic Stadium.
That means more than 59,000 tickets for the encounter were sold in less than two weeks.
“It is, in my opinion, the best crowd we’ve ever drawn because these are 59,000 in a few days of sale, which we had never achieved,” Legendre told reporters at the team hotel. “When we drew crowds of 50,000 and more, it was always over several months. This is really exciting.”
Yet this will likely be the second-biggest crowd in Impact history.
A record crowd of 60,860 attended Montreal’s 1-1 tie with the LA Galaxy on May 12, 2012. Legendre said that the Impact considered every way of maximizing the Big O capacity and hinted that some last-minute tickets may be issued if the club finds the required room.
“The field's positioning isn’t the same then when we played against [David] Beckham [and the Galaxy] – that’s the record, 60,000 fans,” Legendre said. “The field was further, which gave us more space for extra stands. … We’ll look into other ways of doing it.”
Access to Olympic Stadium is notoriously complicated to begin with. Access roads will be clogged, and the subway will be full. And Legendre, as he did leading up to the Impact’s CCL semifinal matchup with Alajuelense, asked for the fans to get to the stadium early – even earlier this time around.
“We say that every time, but this time, it’s truer,” Legendre said. “I’d like for people to be there when the team gets on the field. When they get on the field [for warm-ups], it’d be great if 75, 80 percent of the crowd was there. … It’d send a strong message to our team.”
Legendre also said that Impact reserve goalkeeper Maxime Crépeau and injured forward Cameron Porter – both at home nursing injuries – will join fans at Théâtre Corona in Montreal for a viewing party of Wednesday’s first leg at Estadio Azteca (9 pm ET; Fox Sports 2, UniMas).