May 3, 2019 8:08 pm

‘Huge response’ from community for Valour FC home opener: team president

Valour FC's Vic the Lion mascot.

Michael Draven/Global News

Excitement is building for Valour FC as their home opener is set for Saturday, marking the return of professional soccer to Winnipeg for the first time since the 1990s.

The team is already riding high, sitting at the top of the Canadian Premier League standings after a victory in B.C. Wednesday against Pacific FC.

Valour’s president and CEO, Wade Miller, told 680 CJOB the response to the team from Winnipeggers has been fantastic.

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“We’re looking forward to hosting Manitoba’s soccer fans here at Investors Group Field,” he said. “It’s going to be a great inaugural match and bring soccer back to Manitoba.

“Based on ticket sales, it’s been a huge response. We’re close to 8,000 (tickets sold), so it’s really positive. We had to open six more sections on the west side.”

READ MORE: Valour FC opens with a win in Victoria

Miller, a former CFL player and the chief executive of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, said he had “zero” experience with soccer before getting involved in the planning for the new league five years ago, but the game has really grown on him.

“I will never step on a soccer pitch, because there’s no way I’m keeping up with all that running and the fitness level,” he said.

“Over time, I’ve come to have an appreciation for how talented all these athletes that play soccer are. It’s the world’s game and you can see why.”

Valour FC takes on FC Edmonton at Investors Group Field Saturday at 5 p.m.

WATCH: Valour FC ready for home opener


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