Toronto FC — Photo courtesy of Toronto FC
Toronto is home to people from soccer hotbeds in Europe, South America, Africa and every other corner of the world. Their passion for the sport is evident during any global soccer tournament, and year-round whenever the Toronto FC of Major League Soccer hit the pitch. Game days create an electric scene in and around BMO Field on the grounds of the Canadian National Exhibition, as fans clad in the team’s red and white colors show their support through chants and cheers. With international soccer superstars like David Beckham and Thierry Henry playing in the same league, Toronto is a soccer town where the greats come to compete.
Boston is a sports town. Pick a sport, any sport, and you'll find a plethora of fans who are ready to fill the seats, chat you up while watching at a local bar, or simply argue the merits of the home team. Soccer has gained increasing favor across the States and with a team like the New England Revolution to cheer for, who plays at a pretty cool field (Gillette Stadium), it is no surprise that game attendance has soared and soccer is fast becoming a Boston favorite. Its universal appeal, and availability of tickets, lends well to family attendance. Ticket prices fall well below those of most professional sports and allow for good seats to a great game that won't leave you totally broke.
New England Revolution's Gillette Stadium location also makes it easy to have a little fun before or after the game. Patriot Place is packed with stores, restaurants, entertainment and even a hotel. You can eat, stay, play,and catch the game without ever having to move your car. [PHOTO_208709]
Real playing a home game in the Rio Tinto Center — Photo courtesy of Ted & Dani Percival
To be a great soccer town, a city must meet a lot of criteria. It needs to have professional soccer for spectators, as well as league soccer for participants–both young and old. And naturally, it must have plenty of soccer fields on which everyone can play. Salt Lake City, with a Major League soccer team, extremely active adult and youth leagues and more than two dozen designated fields, meets all of these requirements, and then some.
Real Salt Lake is Utah’s professional Major League soccer team. Founded in 2005, Real has been gaining serious momentum as a highly successful team in recent years, even winning the MLS Cup in 2009. In late 2008, Real moved to the all-new, state-of-the-art Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy (about 10 minutes south of Downtown Salt Lake City). Now playing in front of audiences in excess of 20,000 people, Real keeps a busy game schedule February–October every year. With home game tickets selling for $18-100, Real is affordable in nearly any budget.
FC Dallas playing the LA Galaxy — Photo courtesy of FC Dallas Facebook page
Attention soccer fans: there's more to Dallas than football, basketball, baseball and hockey. Dallas has a professional soccer team, too! If you're a huge soccer fan, you can catch an exciting FC Dallas game and watch the home team play national and international clubs. Games take place at the FC Dallas Stadium in the suburb of Frisco. This stadium is actually a 145-acre entertainment and multi-purpose sports facility that is one of the top soccer facilities in the US. It has 17 tournament-grade fields that are not only used for FC Dallas games, but also for youth and adult soccer games.
Vancouver has been a soccer town since 1974 when the Vancouver Whitecaps FC had their first game, and won their first championship in 1979. Between then and now much has happened: fields have been changed, players have been traded, but the spirit in Vancouver has always remained strong for a team they love. On game days, Vancouver turns into a city of blue and white, and eager spectators make their way to BC Place to watch an intense game. When David Beckham came with LA Galaxy to play, Vancouverites had their eye on scoring tickets to the much coveted game day.
Vancouver's multicultural inhabitants from all over the globe bring their international fire and love for the sport, making a match even more intense and fun to attend. If you like playing soccer just as much as you enjoy watching it, there are a number of public soccer fields that are open to the public where both youth and adult leagues play.
If you want to catch a Vancouver Whitecaps FC game, there are plenty of restaurants and bars close to the stadium where you can go to celebrate after the game, or fill your belly pregame. BC Place is right beside a Skytrain station, which makes it easy for out-of-town spectators to come in and catch the game. Canadians love their sports across the board and it's evident at any Whitecaps game.