Football and soccer in the city: the Montréal Alouettes and Montréal Impact

 
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April 4, 2012 – In Montréal, hockey is king. The Montréal Canadiens rank with the New York Yankees as one of the most successful franchises in modern sports, and the city rises and falls with the team’s every success and failure. But they’re not the only game in town.

The Montréal Impact celebrated the long-awaited move into North America’s premiere soccer league in style, playing before a record crowd of 58,912 in the home opener at Olympic Stadium on March 17. Major League Soccer’s 19th team, the third in Canada, will continue to play its initial games of the season at the former home of the Expos while the expansion of neighbouring Saputo Stadium is completed. Having replaced the second-division team of the same name, the Impact have a new look that retains much of their familiar image. Along with single-game Impact tickets, mini season-seat packages of five or ten games are available throughout the season, which runs from March to December.

When football season kicks off in June, the Montréal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League do their part to make the city forget about hockey, and recently they’ve been doing a good job. Founded in 1946, the two-time defending Grey Cup champions are building a dynasty of their own. The “Als,” as they’re known to fans, are seven-time Grey Cup winners. They’ve been winning league titles since 1949 and have made eight appearances in the Grey Cup championship game within the last decade, in addition to qualifying for the playoffs for 16 straight seasons.

Led by quarterback Anthony Calvillo, who recently entered the record books as professional football’s all-time passing yards leader and joined living legends Brett Favre, Warren Moon and Dan Marino as pro football’s only quarterbacks to have thrown over 400 touchdown passes, the team is looking to make another title run in 2012. With the help of the Alouettes cheerleading squad, the atmosphere at the intimate Percival Molson Stadium (situated on the downtown McGill University campus) is always electric. Family packs and group rates are available.