The Montreal Impact sold nearly 20,000 tickets on the first day of sales for their Major League Soccer showdown with Toronto FC.
Tickets went on sale after Montreal’s 2-1 away victory over the New York Red Bulls on Sunday, which put the Impact into the Eastern Conference final for the first time.
The Impact play host to TFC on Nov. 22 in the first leg of the two-game, total goals series. They elected to move the match indoors to Olympic Stadium, which normally seats 55,000 but can be expanded to more than 60,000.
“It’s a great start,” said executive vice-president Richard Legendre. “There’s a buzz, for sure.
“Now we’ll see if it maintains itself.”
The club feared it may be too cold to play outside at 20,801-seat Saputo Stadium. They also saw a chance to draw a huge crowd.
Impact fans have turned out in large numbers before for special matches, including the 61,004 that attended the CONCACAF Champions League final against Mexican club America on April 29, 2015.
Legendre called having a rival like Toronto as the opponent an “ideal situation. We want to beat Toronto in the stands as well (as on the field). It’s exciting.”
The second leg will be played outdoors on Nov. 30 at BMO Field in Toronto.