This week has been an amazing launch of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium for Atlanta United. The club has continued its sellout streak, moved into fifth place in the Eastern Conference, and added two more wins and clean sheets to its impressive record. Thursday, Atlanta United announced via Twitter that it has surpassed the Major League Soccer record attendance ahead of Saturday’s match with Orlando City.
Back in the first year of MLS, the Los Angeles Galaxy hosted the then New York/New Jersey MetroStars (now the New York Red Bulls) at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. A huge walk-up crowd pushed what was expected to be a crowd of around 30,000 to 69,255. The kickoff was delayed as stadium staff removed tarps from sections that were originally not going to be sold. Seattle has filled CenturyLink Field multiple times, but its capacity prevents the Sounders for beating the Galaxy’s record. The Red Bulls drew 66,237 to Giants Stadium for David Beckham’s debut in the New York market in 2007. Orlando drew 62,510 to the Citrus Bowl for their inaugural match in 2015. The Galaxy’s record has stood for 21 years.
Depending on where the final tally comes in, the Five Stripes could set the all-time record for an American regular season match as a standalone event. The New York Cosmos of the original North American Soccer League drew 72,342 for a 1979 match at Giants Stadium with the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers.
One of the most impressive things about Atlanta United’s record that they will set is the competition this weekend. Music Midtown will take place in Piedmont Park on Saturday and Sunday, the festival drew over 130,000 in 2016. The University of Georgia is at home in Athens, hosting Samford for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff. The Atlanta Falcons host their first regular season game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium Sunday night in a rematch of last season’s NFC Championship Game against the Green Bay Packers. A capacity crowd is expected for that one as well. One worry coming into Atlanta United’s inaugural season was how the crowd sizes would hold up once football season starts in the fall.
Cross another milestone off the list.
It is also meaningful that this mark is being set in the club’s third match at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. This is not a grand opening event, this is a rivalry match with Orlando City. Expect an intense atmosphere live from the stadium and on the air with us tomorrow. Andy Bunker gets the day started at 2 p.m. with a pregame show leading up to kickoff just after 4 p.m. Adam Schick and I cannot wait to bring the match to you on 92-9 the Game.
Join us Saturday for a special day in Atlanta sports history.