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Aston Villa pre-seasom match against Toronto FC


ahamaad
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by TorontoVilla

As an exiled Villan in the Canadian colonies, yesterday's news that Villa will be playing a friendly against Toronto FC of the MLS couldn't have brought a bigger smile to my face. Coming hard on the heels of our late season resurgence, our fantastic 25th Anniversary weekend and Birmingham City's failure to win the Championship, could it get any better?

It was announced yesterday that on Wednesday July 25th, Aston Villa's summer tour of North America will arrive at BMO Field in Toronto to take on Toronto FC of the MLS. To the best of my knowledge, this is Villa's first visit to Toronto...certainly the first since I arrived from Sutton Coldfield, set up my shack in the woods and chased the polar bears away from my sledge dogs. However, there has been a long and gloried history of former Villa players gracing the grass and astroturf of Canada's biggest city. Well, not quite: former Villa youth player - and friend of Mark Walters - Trevor McCallum, did play for the Toronto Blizzard of the NASL in the 1980s.

Toronto FC was created last year and this is their first season in the MLS. In a league in which LA's star player is David Beckham, Chicago boast Mexican international Blanco and New York has Juan Pablo Angel, Toronto's big name import is none other than the Hammersmith Horse, Danny Dichio. With Mo Johnson at the helm, the team has got off to the sort of start you might expect: 4 matches played, 4 losses, no goals for... 10 goals against. Needless to say, I felt right at home in the stands for their home debut, leaden grey clouds overhead, brutal April winds whipping in from neighbouring Lake Ontario and rousing choruses of "You're just a small club from Kansas" aimed at the mighty Wizards and their one supporter.

For anyone planning on heading over this way for Villa's tour, rest assured that come July, the temperatures will have soared to the low 30s and the new stadium down by the lake should be a pretty nice place to spend a summer evening. Everything is very civilised at Toronto FC's BMO Field with beer served in the ground along with chip butties, scotch eggs and the ubiquitous pizza and hot dogs. If the first match was anything to go by, the majority of supporters are either British or of British descent and the atmosphere is actually very good...considerably better than the football, in fact!

Toronto is a reasonably-priced city to visit especially with the strength of the pound sterling and there's no shortage of pubs and restaurants...CDs are also half the price of the UK.

However, be forewarned that BMO Field has 21,000 seats...and Toronto FC have 16,000 season ticket holders. Season ticket holders have first access to additional tickets which leaves about 1500 seats for each match available to the general public. In short, unless Villa obtain a block of tickets for supporters, if tickets for Toronto vs Kansas, Columbus or Salt Lake are sold out, there's not much chance that there will be any left for Aston Villa! In the event that there are tickets left, prices range from $110 to $195 for this game (GBP50-90). If you think you're coming, best bet is probably to keep an eye on eBay for tickets.

I'll see you there!

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the Toronto FC website has the following

Villa features international talent such as Thomas Sorensen, Gareth Barry, and Olof Mellberg.

I'm sure they put Sorenson's name in just to annoy me :-)

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  • VT Supporter

I'd also consider keeping an eye on Stubhub... they haven't listed the game yet (and tickets aren't even directly on sale through Ticketmaster yet...).

There may well be a number of tickets that become available through that method... don't know how many season ticket holders will decide to go to this game (or even if the game is included in the season ticket packages...).

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The two friendlies (Villa and Benfica) are included in the season ticket packet - but when season ticket holders realise how much Toronto FC are selling individual tickets for, I strongly suspect that more than a few will try to sell theirs.

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  • VT Supporter

Tickets have now appeared on Stubhub

73 tickets available from $75 (not sure if that's US or Canadian) to $4,700 (for a premium suite with parking and private entrance). While StubHub's FedEx service only ships to the US and Canada, they may provide for a last-minute pickup option.

There appear to be many other ticket brokers for Toronto, though I don't know which ones are reputable...

Game tickets will go onsale for the general public on Saturday at noon eastern (5pm in the UK) through Ticketmaster. Customers from outside the US and Canada can either have tickets delivered through e-mail (for about 1 pound) or pick them up at one of several Ticketmaster retail locations or the BMO Field Will-Call Window (the latter options require that you present a photo ID and the credit card used to purchase the tickets). Ticketmaster link.

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I just bought my tickets the other day off of Ebay, $212 USD for a pair of center field, second tier tickets. I bought them off of a season ticket holder, and I got a bargain. Some tickets are going for ridiculous prices, upwards of $400-$1000 for center field seats behind M'ON, etc. There are more available, and plenty of season ticket holders ready and willing to make a few hundred dollars, if I remember the numbers correctly, season tickets at the most expensive $1,700. They turn around and sell the pair for one single game at a price of $1000 and they are starting to profit. I don't exactly agree with it but then again I got tickets.

Working on getting tickets to the Columbus match, but they wont go on sell for another 2 weeks according to their ticket office.

Cannot wait to see the Villa play at BMO field though, spent $480 on plane tickets and $200 on match tickets, and I won't even be in Toronto for more then 24 hours. Now THAT'S dedication!

UP THE VILLA!

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