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Canadian Premier League enjoys ‘great starting point’

The Canadian Premier League enjoyed a successful opening weekend, with 17,611 fans attending the inaugural game: a 1-1 draw between between York 9 FC and Forge FC.

“Overall it was what everyone hoped it was going to be,” said Forge FC head coach Bobby Smyrniotis. “A great festival for the game; a great starting point for what we’re going to build for the future. We were entertained as coaches and players and I think the crowd was…that’s the most important thing.”

Tickets at the 24,000-seat Tim Hortons Field were essentially free, however, and the Hamilton venue is likely to be limited to 10,000 seats for future games.

The opening game was aired on Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, which recently signed a deal to cover 20 games of the start-up league’s inaugural season. The Mediapro agency holds the media and marketing rights to all Canadian football for the next 10 years, worth a reported C$20m (€13m/$15m) per season.

All matches this season will be also aired by streaming service OneSoccer.

The seven-team league has signed up Macron as kit provider and Nike as its footwear and equipment supplier. Elsewhere, Volkswagen has signed a sponsorship deal with the league.