Sports in Montreal: NBA, UFC, Lacrosse and more

Posted on October 16th, 2013 by .

While it’s that time of the year when most Montreal hockey and football fans are focused, laser-like, on the fortunes of the just-getting-started Montreal Canadiens and the coming-down-the-home-stretch Montreal Alouettes respectively, there’s a lot more sports life out there than just the big tickets…

Indeed, the Habs and the Alouettes aside, Montreal supports a diverse sports base, as illustrated by the sharp ascension in popularity of its Major League Soccer pro soccer franchise, the Montreal Impact. Based out of the newly expanded Saputo Stadium, located beside the Olympic Stadium, the Impact are currently battling for their first-ever playoff spot, with three key, determining games left in the season, including one home game against the Philadelphia Union on October 19.

In what is becoming an increasingly common, and welcome, initiative, professional basketball (NBA) and baseball (MLB) teams are playing exceptionally well attended pre-season games, and this year is no different. Baseball-hungry Montrealers, who lost their beloved Expos in 2004, have already snapped up more than 40,000 tickets for two MLB exhibition games between the Toronto Blue Jays and the New York Mets at Olympic Stadium on March 28 and 29, 2014. Pro basketball fans will get a taste of their game in the much nearer future when the Boston Celtics square off against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Bell Centre, October 20, with tickets still available here.

For those who like their competitive sports on the rough and tumble side, as many Quebecers do, there are two not-to-be-missed events coming up on the calendar. First, the bi-yearly World Indoor Lacrosse Championship, which pits long-running rivals Team Canada against the Iroquois Nationals for a fourth consecutive World Championship matchup (Team Canada has won all three previous contests) at the Bell Centre, November 17.

And last, but not by a long shot least, UFC-crazy Montreal will get its itch scratched when mixed martial arts (MMA) hometown hero and bona fide cultural icon Georges St-Pierre (24-2-0) defends his welter weight title against popular, number-one ranked Dallas fighter Johny Hendricks (15-1-0) on November 17. Trash talk from both camps in the lead-up should make for a good one, and while the bout will be fought in Las Vegas, downtown Montreal sports bars like Winnies, Sharx, La Station des Sports and La Cage aux Sports, as well as Champs on Saint-Laurent, will all draw huge crowds for coverage of this latest challenge to GSP’s legacy.

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