The return of professional soccer to the nation’s capital on Aug. 14 will be open to fans on a pay-what-you-want basis, Atlético Ottawa announced Monday.
The 15,000 seats at TD Place will be up for grabs starting at the low price of $0, rising by $5 increments up to $50 per ticket, when Ottawa takes on the Halifax Wanderers in the team’s home opener. Proceeds from the event will also be donated to the Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa.
The event is not only expected to mark the first major open-air sporting event in Ottawa since the onset of the pandemic, but will also be the team’s first-ever home game.
The nation’s capital had been without a professional soccer club since the Ottawa Fury FC folded in late 2019. The team had failed to secure sanctioning from North America’s United Soccer League to continue its play, with Fury president John Pugh citing “politics” as the reason talks fell through.
Soccer fans in Ottawa started to believe again when Spanish football giant Atlético de Madrid announced in January 2020 that it had purchased an expansion team for the CPL’s upcoming season set to start in April of that year, only to have those hopes killed when the COVID-19 pandemic took live soccer from the city again.
Atlético Ottawa then spent the 2020 season playing in the CPL’s Prince Edward Island bubble amid the pandemic. The 2021 season began June 26 in a bubble in Winnipeg, but the team played its (hopefully) last bubble game last Wednesday and arrived in Ottawa last Thursday evening.
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