Champions League: Montreal Impact spend big to insure comfortable experience for team in Mexico

MEXICO CITY – If the Montreal Impact fail secure a result in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League final, it won’t be because they cheaped out.

According to an Impact spokesman, the club spent $300,000 on travel to and accommodations in Mexico City, where they’ll take on Liga MX giants Club América on Wednesday at Estadio Azteca (9 pm ET; Fox Sports 2 and UniMas in the US, TVA Sports 2 and Sportsnet World in Canada).

So where did that six-figure expense come from? It starts with a traveling party 50 strong, including 27 players and 23 team staffers, who’ve been in Mexico City since Thursday. Air travel to and from Montreal alone totaled $200,000.

Among those encamped at the Impact’s hotel are a private chef and his assistant, who provide all meals to players and staff, as well as the club psychologist and doctor for mental and physical preparation. Not counted among the 50 are eight security guards who accompany the team at all times.

Vice presidents Nick De Santis and Richard Legendre are also in Mexico City, but weren’t joined by owner and president Joey Saputo. Schedule conflicts prevented Saputo from attending quarterfinal and semifinal away legs in Pachuca and Alajuela, and superstition overrode any desire to attend the final first leg in person.

This isn’t the first time in 2014 Montreal have invested heavily in CCL preparations. The team spent two weeks in Mexico City in February in order to prepare for the quarterfinal series against Pachuca, and even attended a 5-0 Club América victory vs. Chiapas at Estadio Azteca on Feb. 14.