Does the sight of a Canadian stadium, overrun with opposing fans, infuriate you? Are you sick of seeing Canada on the sidelines every time the World Cup comes around? Do you take actual pride in this country of ours, and relish opportunities to support proud Canadian athletes in international competition?
Then there's one massively important thing for you to do. Buy tickets to this summer's World Cup qualifying games.
Canada plays four times at BMO Field in Toronto this summer: June 3 (friendly vs. USA), June 12 (WCQ vs. Honduras), September 7 (WCQ vs. Panama) and October 12 (WCQ vs. Cuba). Tickets go on sale tomorrow (Friday), with a pre-sale in effect right now (Thursday, midday) and they're very reasonably priced; details after the jump.
Fans of those countries will find their way to the games. They will travel. And they will make noise. The only way to neutralize them, the only way to crowd them out and ensure a true home crowd, is for Canadian fans to buy as many tickets as possible, as quickly as possible. If you're reading this site, you're likely already one of the converted; in that case, tell your friends, your coworkers, anyone who will come to the stadium and support Canada.
If you want Canada to make it to the next World Cup, this is your time to help make it happen.
Individual game tickets can be had for as little as $25, and package deals for all four games can be had for as little as $80 -- and are on sale to the public as of 10 a.m. ET on Friday.
Or, if you want to participate, stand and sing for 90 minutes (not just watch others stand and sing, but actually do your part), there's the Canadian supporters section in the south end. Non-Canada supporters, don't bother trying to get these tickets. Trust me.
It's easy to sit at home and gripe about the CSA, or the number of away fans, or any other number of problems with the game in this country. But right now, Canadians need to put their money where their mouths are. Things will never improve unless we show that there is interest in seeing our national teams succeed.
Fans from across the country were upset to learn all these games would be played in Toronto -- and frankly, their outrage was understandable. Those in southern Ontario have been gifted with a rare opportunity here. Some fans will travel from Saskatchewan, or further, for these games. Comparatively speaking, jumping on the subway, or a GO train, is nothing.
Now, let me be clear: I'm fully aware that there are things the CSA could be doing -- but won't do -- to help ensure a pro-Canadian crowd. I'm no CSA shill.
What I am is a passionate person who fits all the descriptors above. I'm tired of seeing our stadia overrun. I'm tired of watching World Cups without Canada in them. And I take pride in this country and its athletes.
I've never asked you for a penny over the course of four years of writing and podcasting about this game. But now I'm asking you to put your collected pennies towards filling spaces at BMO Field with real Canadian fans. You, your friends, your coworkers, your family -- anyone who is willing to wear red and cheer for the home team, whether or not they've ever seen a soccer ball before in their lives.
We all have a part to play if Canada is to get closer to a World Cup, and if the game is to move forward in this country. On this day, we play that part by buying tickets. It's as simple as that.