Excitement and Anticipation Mount for Atletico Ottawa Home Opener
ABOVE: Fernando Lopez, C.E.O. of Atletico Ottawa, field media questions ahead of Saturday's home opener.
It was only a few short months ago when Atletico Ottawa took on Forge FC from Hamilton in the Canadian Premier League final. TD Place was buzzing with excitement; there was a sense of pride as the largest crowd Atletico had seen piled into the stadium.
Soccer is alive and well in Ottawa. It's amazing to think that Atletico came in last place in 2021 and finished first in 2022. Despite losing that final game, it is a phenomenal turnaround!
This season, Atletico Ottawa returns to the field with a lot of excitement and anticipation. The fan base in the nation’s capital is unrivaled. The level of passion is rare to see.
At a recent event, I asked Daniel Duff, the former head of the Capital Supporters Group (the local supporter's group for the team), what makes Ottawa fans so passionate.
“It’s about organic growth. People in this city always use the term ‘grassroots,’ which is a term that is used in politics and that is thrown around every chance they get, but when people put the work in from the bottom up, you see results. We built a community here. There has always been a love for the game here, but now it’s organized. It’s been organized in a way to benefit the club. The final has helped. The success has helped. No doubt, but it’s the organized events, the ravenous supporters, the community engagement, the never-ending social media presence, all that plays a part in the bigger picture and the commitment that the supporters have made since they were founded on the backs of the announcement that of the team. We will not stop until this sport and this club are cemented in the sporting landscape of the city of Ottawa.”
Like I said, passionate.
Residents of Ottawa are very fortunate to have choices when it comes to sports: the Senators, the Redblacks, the Champions, the Blackjacks, and the 67’s, to name a few.
I was a new season ticket holder last year, and it doesn’t take one long to understand the enthusiasm of Atletico's fan base; it’s infectious, and this team is special.
We recently had the chance to speak with the C.E.O. of Atletico Ottawa, Fernando Lopez. Check out our interview, and here is a link for tickets to the home opener this Saturday at TD Place against the Halifax Wanderers.
Saturday’s game continues a tradition of ‘Pay what you can’ for the home opener, as the team has done everything to make the experience as accessible as possible.
Atletico Ottawa fever is a thing . . . Go to TD Place Saturday afternoon and catch it!
Here is a link to purchase tickets: https://atleticoottawa.canpl.ca/matchtickets/
Here is an interview to kick off our coverage.