Toronto FC fans frustrated some bars did now show the team's first match since March
TORONTO -- Toronto FC fans want bars that are reopening to put TV screens on their patios so they can watch sports again.
Toronto FC played its first match since March on Monday, taking on DC United in Florida where the league has put teams in a bubble. The match was played without fans in the stands and the usual loud cheering that goes with a full stadium.
"It kinda sucks," said fan Vlad Islamov. "(The) best way to explain, there are games playing so you can watch it, while you watch it at home, it is boring.”
CTV News Toronto checked on a few of the footie hot spots where fans usually get together to watch a match, but some had closed due to the pandemic. Others like Cafe Diplomatico in Little Italy, where fans jammed the patio during the World Cup, say it was a business decision to not turn the TC screens on today.
Bartender James Russomammo says that with only half the seats on the patio open due to COVID-19 restrictions, the restaurant needs to turn them over.
"We didn't put the screens back up, we weren't able to get as many tables open as we usually have, so (with) the screens down, more people can use the patio, quicker table time. To come and have dinner it's an hour and a half (to) two hours and if you stay to watch a game, it's going to be three hours"
Jennifer Phillips tuned into the match on TV at home today, but says she would rather be around people.
"I was watching a little bit this morning, it was good but you still miss the comradery of people being in the bars and patios, just the feel of it is more energizing."
Vlad Islamov says it is not the same when you are not surrounded by like-minded people.
"Soccer is an experience. It does miss out, not being able to go to a bar and not having fans around me, you just miss out on that fundamental watching experience.
But the fans generally say that this is better than nothing.