Ticket sales near goooal!

DARREN FRIESEN -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:00 AM ET

Local soccer fans have embraced the idea of seeing some of the best European and international stars return to the pitch.

About 6,000 tickets have already been sold for the Legends of Soccer matchup Jan. 23 at the Pengrowth Saddledome -- and tickets continue to be snapped up.

"We're happy with the response so far but we think there will be more like 10,000 to 12,000 tickets sold before the event," said Legends spokesman Howard Silver.

Retired soccer greats such as Phil Neal, Chris Waddle, Vivian Anderson and Frank Stapleton will suit up for the Liverpool and Manchester United masters teams, which will take on two local masters select teams in the day-long event.

Originated by two hockey owners in England after seeing the success of the Legends of Hockey tours, the Masters Football program has been a huge attraction overseas.

"The intent was to promote soccer and the indoor soccer game," said Silver.

"We want to raise awareness in the Calgary soccer community and raise the standard of play in Calgary and treat (the fans) to something they've never seen before.

"The fact is that soccer has a greater enrolment now than even hockey, we're just trying to build on that and promote the game."

The event starts at 1:30 p.m. with all four teams facing each other once.

The two best squads in the round-robin will square off in the final.

Tickets are $16.95 to $49.50 and available at Ticketmaster.


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