News came out today that the date for TFC's game in Montreal this August long weekend has been changed. Instead of 6pm on Sunday evening, it's now 5pm on Saturday, so if you were planning on going, make the necessary changes to your arrangements.
The reason for the change for this game, (one of the few MLS games all season that will have significant travelling support and thus a lot of inconvenienced fans,) is that the Impact now have a CCL game scheduled for the following Tuesday so wanted to move it back.
Surely though, that's something that might have been thought of when making the schedule. This is the only league trip to Montreal this year for TFC, so it was always going to be one that a lot of fans wanted to go to, and putting it in the middle of a long weekend seems like a good idea to encourage supporters to travel knowing they can make a weekend of it. But if this was a CCL week, that would have been known well in advance, and everyone must have known there was a very good chance one of these teams would be Canada's representative (I'd say 67% chance, if we made the faulty assumption that Vancouver would have taken it seriously). Why schedule the game for the Sunday if there was a good chance of the CCL game happening in the following week?
For better or worse, that decision had been made though, so why not then have the CCL game played on the Wednesday or Thursday? With the 3 team groups now, each week there's a team sitting at home, why couldn't the week in question be given to Montreal as a bye week?
It all seems so unnecessary and avoidable and yet here we are. TFC's biggest (and one of MLS' biggest) games of the season for travelling support, presumably something the league wants to support and push and now there'll be large numbers of supporters inconvenienced. Planning to travel to Montreal on the Sunday, or later in the day on Saturday? Well, I hope you haven't booked that flight yet. Planning on staying overnight after the game? Hope your hotel can change your reservation to a Saturday now. Wanted to make a weekend of it and take in the Osheaga festival in Montreal on the Saturday? Hope you can somehow swap your ticket for Sunday.
Obviously there are a lot of things that go into making a schedule, especially when multiple teams and leagues and competitions are involved, we'll never get the full story of exactly why it had to be done this way. It won't be a decision that was made easily, but the optics on this are terrible, and so easily avoided. Hopefully the teams or league do something to compensate those who are out of pocket due to this late change.