You’ve waited almost two years to do it, and now it’s not only allowed, it’s encouraged. Invite friends. Go see a game. Raise a drink at a busy restaurant. Browse and shop until you drop. Sounds surreal, doesn’t it?
Ottawa Tourism designed a clever and fun plan boost the economy of our hard-hit independent retail, hotel and restaurant sectors.
It’s simple math. Take a few Ottawans, have them invite a few people from out of town, and have a special experience. Double the money in the economy and double the fun for the group.
We thought to offer an experience to offer to Apt613 readers, around a professional football match in the heart of the city.
In return for an honest review, Apt613 was offered a free day by Ottawa Tourism.
Retail therapy before the game
I suggest coming to the game early and doing some window shopping, a craft snack, and a few one-off purchases. Glebe is renowned for retaining a unique local flavor.
Trotteurs du Glèbe offers quality shoes and locally made accessories. This is the place to find limited edition items. Belts and bags straight out of the Chelsea Leather Dealer.
All Eco is a treasure, for things you always needed and never knew it, and for those secret Santa gifts you must buy every year. It focuses on environmentally friendly products that are unique and of Canadian origin.
Maybe it’s time to replace that stained baseball cap that always ends up on your head, in which case we literally have you covered. Mickle Macks Haberdashery has hats and accessories made in Canada. This place sells the brand of hats that Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie wore during their last tour in Canada.
Don’t forget to refuel for the game! The wild oats is a must-have for handmade baked goods and healthy breakfasts. The products come from their own organic and regenerative farm, just outside of Ottawa.
You are now ready to head to the TD Place gate for your soccer experience.
The Atlético Pro-Soccer experience
My spouse stood up and screamed with the crowd as the fans responded to the goalkeeper’s roar.
One player surged through the bodies piled up around him after a double save while diving, holding the ball high and giving a victory cry that would have impressed King Kong.
If your only professional football experience is watching it on TV for a few minutes, you might feel like the game is just a bunch of players coming and going at random. Once you’ve experienced a match live, you’ll understand the excitement that transforms entire cities across the globe on match day.
Two 45-minute non-stop action halves help develop a relationship with the players. We started picking out our favorites and giving them nicknames. The Scrambler, # 44, “Look how hard he works! He deserves to score a goal. What? Defenders do not score goals? Well, he deserves one.
But more importantly, it was the whole team that came out in force. This is the secret of Atlético’s strategy and culture, inherited from its founding club in Madrid.
Back on the pitch, the referee blew the whistle twice. Everyone stopped, then left the field nonchalantly. She turned to me. “Is that it? It was 45 minutes? How did the second half go so quickly? Fans seemed to share their confusion as they continued to hit drums and sing an inarticulate song. The Atlético team won the game, but people wanted more.
Fortunately for them, the season is not over, but it is approaching! You can order tickets on the Atlético website. Hurry, there are only a few home games left in the season.
Post-match refueling at Craft
Leaving the game is like following a river of excitement. Craft beer market is just around the corner from the exit. The staff are used to it and get people in quickly. The place is huge but divided into comfortable sections. You’ll hear the post-game buzz, but you can still have a comfortable conversation as you break down the game and get the adrenaline pumping.
One beer that you should definitely consider is the “Community Brew”. The menu says, “This is a seasonal beer with one dollar of the purchase going to the Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund. Inspired by Chanie’s story and Gord’s call to build a better Canada.
Don’t like beer? No problem. There is a variety of options.
This is the best time to enjoy a trip to Ottawa. The leaves are changing, the weather is nice and cool (not hot and sticky). The shops are open. And the sanitary rules are comfortable. Enjoy!
Ottawa Tourism # Invite2 is part of a series of promotions designed to support Ottawa’s hospitality industry. For more benefits available, see the Friends of the city page with benefits.