Hamilton

Canada-U.S. World Cup qualifying game in Hamilton sells out before general public sale

Tickets for the Canadian men's soccer World Cup qualifier against the U.S. that's expected to take place at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton on Jan. 30 were sold out before the public sale was to start Friday, leaving some fans out in the cold.

Game expected to take place at Tim Hortons Field on Jan. 30

Calgary resident Haley Mailandt attended Canada's World Cup qualifying match against Mexico in Edmonton in November. Despite booking flights to Ontario for January, she wasn't able to purchase tickets for the game in Hamilton. (Submitted by Haley Mailandt )

Tickets for the Canadian men's soccer World Cup qualifier game against the United States were sold out before the public sale was to start on Friday, leaving some fans out in the cold. 

The match is expected to take place at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton on Jan. 30.

On Thursday, Soccer Canada announced on its social media accounts that tickets were sold out, less than 24 hours before they were being made available to the general public Dec. 17 at 10 a.m. ET.

Many fans expressed disappointment on social media — including at least one who already had plans to fly in from across Canada.

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 would likely not visit Hamilton and would just watch the game from a bar.

Shawn Smith, 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. 

"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.

Smith said that while he is happy such a "prominent and important game is taking place here in Hamilton," he was surprised to see 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. It's one of several qualifying games before the World Cup 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.

Outdoor recreation facilities were not included in the Friday announcement, though food and drink for sporting events will now be prohibited. 

CBC reached out to Soccer Canada for comment but did not receive a reply before deadline. 

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