As a season ticket holder in section 227, I got an email today from Toronto FC. I'll copy paste it here, with thoughts below.
As a renewal incentive in 2013, more than 3,000 Toronto FC fans and supporters made the trek down the 401 and helped us kick off the season with a record-setting showing in Montreal. You showed the whole League how to support your club on the road.
Part of that trip to Montreal was an agreement that we would accommodate their fans at a 2014 match in Toronto. As such, we will be hosting up to 1,700 Montreal Impact fans at our final game on October 18. When we initially agreed to this reciprocal travel deal, the thinking was Rogers Centre might play host to the match, but we know you'll agree with us that there's only one place we want to be for this match, at our house - BMO Field.
In playing this match at BMO Field, the ticket availability is extremely limited. Therefore, in order to provide a safe and secure environment for everyone, we will need to have 350 Season Seat Holders experience the match from a different location on October 18. As a Season Seat Holder in Sections 225, 226, and 227, you will be upgraded for this match to another spot in the stadium at no additional cost.
In addition to upgrading your seats for the match, we will be issuing a $20 Food & Beverage voucher to you per upgraded seat, which can be used at any match this season. Further details with your upgrade process and Food & Beverage voucher distribution will be communicated to you within the next two weeks.
Your account representative will be in contact with you within the next 5 business days to go over in more detail and discuss any questions that you may have.
//All For One
Thought 1 = Awesome. I like the idea of larger travelling support, so applaud TFC's decision to enable this, for last year's game in Montreal and for this one. Also, who knows what the real reason is for not using Rogers Centre, but yes, BMO Field is 'our house', it should be played there, so again, very good. This could well be a fantastic game with a great atmosphere, large and loud travelling support might well be the best thing to inspire a jaded TFC crowd to reach it's former heights. Also, I get an upgraded seat and a $20 voucher? Cool.
That's immediately followed though by thought number 2. This sounds like a logistical nightmare, with all sorts of potential for problems. Rather than expand the seats at the back of section 104, they appear to be planning to put the Impact fans into the top of the West stand, in sections 225, 226, and 227. That's obviously next to section 224, as well as above the Kings In the North and a couple of other sections, with everyone sharing the same concourse washrooms and concession stands and exits. Obviously keep the Impact fans back after the game is an obvious way to avoid large confrontations, but they're not going to be able to keep fans away from each other during the game as a whole. Hopefully there won't be issues but Impact fans have already shown on a few occasions in Toronto they're not above damaging the stadium or throwing things from above at fans below them.
Fears like that aside, this could lead to a pretty special game, generally MLS fans travel very well. I've been to a few away games and had nothing but good experiences. The odd tasering or public urination in Columbus aside TFC fans have travelled in large numbers without incident. Not just without incident, but usually the games in the league that have larger away support have a better atmosphere and are the sort of bigger event that work very well on TV and are generally more memorable all round. Add in the fact that it's the last home game of the season, and that big event thing goes up a notch. Theoretically this bloody big deal thing should mean that the game is actually important, with playoff qualification (or more) implications. Last year we had to make do with nearly knocking Montreal out of the playoffs, and that got TFC fans a bit riled up, this year might we get to actually clinch something worthwhile? Doing it in the company of an extra large amount of away fans would be great.
If everything adds up right, this could be one of the most memorable TFC games in their sorry experience. There's been a few games, mainly back in 2007, where it's been a great atmosphere, but very rarely with something on the line, at BMO Field probably the Cruz Azul game back in 2010 when the CCL was new and exciting and we beat the Mexicans might be the peak. If everything falls right as far as on the pitch success goes, this should easily overtake that and rival the CCL quarter final at the Dome in 2012 as far as important games go. Adding a significant travelling supporter presence can only enhance that. There's the obvious flipside of that, the travelling fans might get to be the ones who enjoy spoiling TFC's party, but hey you take your chances with that sort of thing.
So, while there's potential for logistical or safety problems, I'm happy this is happening, and that they're going to try and make it work at BMO Field. If all goes well, large travelling support can hopefully become an annual thing both in both directions, which can only help grow the rivalry and interest in both cities.