Tickets for the Canadian men’s soccer World Cup qualifier game against the United States were sold out before the public sale was supposed to start on Friday, leaving some fans who were hoping to buy tickets out in the cold.
The match is expected to take place at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton on January 30.
On Thursday, Soccer Canada announced on its social media accounts that tickets for the game were already sold out, less than 24 hours before the tickets were supposed to be available for the general public on December 17 at 10 a.m. ET.
Many fans expressed their disappointment on social media after the announcement — including at least one who already had plans to fly in from across the country.
Haley Mailandt, who lives in Calgary, bought January flights to Toronto for her and her partner in late November, with hopes of attending the game.
“When the tweet came out yesterday, my partner and I resigned ourselves to not going [to the game],” she told CBC News on Friday. “We looked briefly this morning, but there’s only resales and they’re going for almost quadruple what they’re worth.”
Mailandt said the couple will still travel to Toronto, but they will likely not visit Hamilton and just watch the game from a bar.
I was looking forward to traveling to ON for this game from AB. How do I get on the pre-sale list? Where do I need to signup? <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/sad?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#sad</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/missedmyopportunity?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#missedmyopportunity</a>
Shawn Smith, who is a season seat holder with Hamilton-based soccer club Forge FC, which plays at the stadium, was one of the lucky ones to get access to the presale earlier this week.
“I was able to get my [two] tickets on Thursday and it still seemed like tickets were going pretty fast even then,” he said. He paid $40 per ticket, he said.
Smith said that while he is happy that such an “prominent and important game is taking place here in Hamilton,” he was also surprised to see that the general public “didn’t even get an opportunity to buy tickets.”
As of Friday, tickets were available on resale sites from $250 and up to $3,000 each.
The game location was announced in November. The match is one of several qualifying games before the World Cup, which will take place in Qatar from Nov. 21 to Dec. 18, 2022.
Tim Hortons Field has a seating capacity of approximately 24, 000 for games. It is unclear if the numbers of seats will be reduced due to the quick rise of COVID-19’s Omicron variant, which prompted the Ontario government to announce reduced capacity limits for businesses and social gatherings Friday afternoon.
Outdoor recreation facilities were not included in the Friday announcement, though food and drink for sporting events will now be prohibited.