Advanced ticket sales for Sunday's Major League Soccer exhibition between the Columbus Crew and New England Revolution have already topped the 1,000 mark, Chattanooga Football Club board member Sheldon Grizzle said.
The preseason game at Finley Stadium will be the biggest that Chattanooga FC has been involved with in its three-year existence. Putting on the event are CFC and Atlanta-based soccer promoter Scott Spencer.
"We're over 1,000, which to the general public might not sound that awesome," Grizzle said, "but the most we've ever pre-sold for a game was 650, which was for the Atlas game last year."
A crowd of 6,317 attended CFC's game last May against the U-23 team from F.C. Atlas, of Guadalajara, Mexico. Grizzle said Sunday's game could draw more than 5,000 fans to Finley, which hasn't hosted an MLS team since the Crew visited in the 1998 U.S. Open Cup.
Chattanooga FC will open its third season on May 13 at Atlanta FC. The club was hoping to play an exhibition against a Mexican squad, as it did last year, but couldn't get a deal done, Grizzle said.
There are two new teams in the National Premier Soccer League's Southeast division, the Georgia Revolution and the Knoxville Force. CFC's home debut is May 21 against the Force.