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Concerns about ticket sales, parking challenges, as Moncton's CFL game nears
It's less than a week until the CFL's Touchdown Atlantic game in Moncton and ticket sales are still lagging.
Concerns are also being raised about parking. For those who have bought tickets, they'll find it a lot more difficult to find a parking spot than it will be to find their seats because there will be no parking this Sunday on the Universite de Moncton campus.
With less than a week left to go, work is ramping up at the stadium at the Universite de Moncton.
"Our crews have been working the last two weeks here, prepping it with the endzones and posts and now they're working on the turf itself," said Greg Turner, Moncton's chairman of events.
The $55,000 end zone installation is now finished, but filling the seats to see the Argos and Alouettes is still a challenge.
"I thought this was a football town, I really did," said Rod Blank. "So, I guess marketing, as my brother pointed out, must be the issue. They're not really pushing it."
Wray Dunn, a CFL podcaster, is also disappointed.
"The only thing that tells me that there's a football game here is that we now have field goal posts and endzones on this field."
A representative for the Atlantic Schooners says ticket sales have increased over the past couple of weeks.
Some believe it'll be a large "last-minute" crowd.
"More and more people are talking on social media about travelling to Moncton for this game, so I do think that there will be a significant amount of tickets purchased in this last week leading up to the game," said Dunn.
There is one more logistical challenge fans will need to deal with: there will be no on-site parking on campus.
"Now we're going to host a CFL football game with thousands of parking spots around this stadium, that I highly doubt are going to be used on a Sunday, and we're not going to be able to park here. I just don't get it."
While the game isn't until Sunday, celebrations will kick off this week. Several restaurants in and around the city will host pre-game parties.
The city says having both family zones and zones specifically for 19-plus makes it an inviting game for everyone.
"Those are new elements we haven't had before," Turner said. "We had bleachers in the endzones before, so it's just the way the CFL is embracing the fans now, including them to be more "fan friendly" I guess."
The main question now is how many of those fans will show up.
As for exact ticket sale numbers up to this point, that is still unknown. However, there are plenty of tickets left, so organizers are hoping a last-minute crowd will help boost the numbers.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Kate Walker.