It looks like there’s going to be a raucous atmosphere at Canada’s next World Cup Qualifying match against Mexico.
Canada Soccer announced today that over 35,000 tickets have already been sold for the Friday, March 25th match at BC Place. With over four weeks to go and momentum on their side, you have to wonder how big the final attendance figure will be.
The 27,000 seat lower bowl is already full, and now the upper bowl is starting to fill. Capacity at BC Place is 54,500.
This has to be a pleasant surprise for Soccer Canada. Clearly, Vancouver has come a long way from the days of having 8,000 people watch the National Team play World Cup Qualifiers at Swangard Stadium.
After hosting Honduras in front of 21,108 people at BC Place in November, a 1-0 win for the home team, it made sense to stick with Vancouver as the host city. Filling up BC Place is a challenge at the best of times in this city, so I can’t imagine that they expected this.
The only question now is whose fans will be louder.
Mexico is the top ranked team in CONCACAF and are #22 in the latest FIFA rankings. They’re a draw for Canadian soccer fans, but Mexican soccer fans will also travel from far and wide to see their team.
“We want to see a sea of red at BC Place,” Benito Floro, Canada Soccer’s Men’s National Team Head Coach said in a statement. “Canada’s support has been excellent everywhere in Canada. What happened in Vancouver in November was marvellous and unforgettable, so we can’t wait for more of the same in March.”
Canada’s group consists of Mexico, Honduras, and El Salvador. They’ll need to finish top-two in order to advance to the final stage of qualifying.
Canada has had a good start to qualifying, defeating Honduras 1-0 at home, and drawing El Salvador 0-0 on the road.
The match against Mexico is the first half of a home-and-home. After the BC Place match, both teams play four days later in front of 98,000 people at Azteca Stadium.
A result against Mexico would help their chances of advancing immensely. It would also be a monumental upset. Canada has 3 wins, 9 draws, and 20 losses all-time versus Mexico. Canada’s last win against Mexico was a 2-1 win at the 2000 Gold Cup.