Impact de Montréal FC
The ostensible reason we went to the city was for the soccer game, and it met our expectations and more. Short version: Montreal have a great thing going here.
It was ridiculously easy getting to and from the game. We left for the game roughly 70 minutes before game time in city center, and got on a train with few on it, except for some whom were donning Impact gear. 15 minutes later we were there. Getting to the stadium from the subway exit required a seven minute walk, and after the game signage was easy-as-pie getting back. We left right after the game with a 20,000 crowd exiting and hopped on a full-not-packed train and zoomed away within a minute. It truly couldn’t have been easier.
The stadium is somewhat minimalist. It has white metal I-beams crisscrossing underneath the stands, where ticket holders can indulge in normal stadium grub, trial the Nintendo Switch, test their juggling ability and engage in other activities designed for kids. There are two jumbotrons of a reasonable size, but much smaller than many. (Perhaps I’m spoiled.) But every seat is exactly that – a seat – and a fairly comfortable one at that. There is an overhang around the stadium to protect some rows from rain, and in general the overall feel of the structure is awesome. It works extremely well, and I am 1000% envious my club doesn’t have one.
As for the supporters: they seem right up there with the league’s best. The place was near capacity and both supporters sections were rocking, with blue smoke pouring forth and drums heard all around. The ultras from across the way could be heard just as clearly as the crew 10 yards from us at times. The whole crowd was receptive to chants and they would stamp the metal floor in unison at every whistle blown against their team. Even the kids were screaming and jeering. It was an awesome atmosphere to say the least.
Perhaps the oddest part about the stadium was the ticketing. Tony and I walked in with printed tickets and the guards simply looked at them and ripped off the barcode. I imagine someone with average Photoshop skills could probably get inside fairly easily. (I do not advise this. Don’t steal tickets!!) And if this is a time-saving measure, I think scanning a barcode is way quicker than having to carefully rip at a ninety-degree angle.
All in all, the game was a fantastic showcase of what MLS has to offer.
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